Virtual Academy ‘Blog’ Posts
I recently had the pleasure of reading, Push Has Come to Shove, by Dr. Steve Perry. Dr. Perry is the principal of Capital Prep Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut seeking to educate students from poverty stricken neighborhoods. Also through books such as, Push Has Come to Shove and public speaking engagements on CNN and such, Dr. Perry is attempting to educate parents as well on how to demand proficient teachers and quality education. While I didn’t agree with all of Dr. Perry’s point of views, his overall message rings clear. Our society should solely concern itself with the best interest of our youth, there should be an accountability to school staff that assures no child is left behind. School choice has been in debate for years; school vouchers will give parents the option to choose a school, which best suits their child’s interest, beliefs and learning style.
With growing private and parochial schools surviving and/or struggling with tuition costs, school choice would provide vouchers that afford students quality education and qualified staff. Dr. Perry looks into the existence of tenure teachers, unions and teacher certifications and how he believes they hold back the progress of student achievement.
Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of Washington D.C. school district is discussed for her bravery in closing failing schools and firing non-productive school staff. Rhee was fired for her nontraditional tactics to improve the school district. “Michelle Rhee sought to institute a novel evaluation system that combined accountability and rewards…union fought this proposal because it gave too much power to the principal to determine who is or isn’t a good teacher.” There are so many issues surrounding our public schools and unfortunately the solutions fail to focus on the most important variable in the problem, the students.
Our public schools are designed to protect all staff and to educate as many students as they can. These unions fight for staff as they fail to educate and prepare our youth for college and/or society. Some people disagree with the methodology of Rhee by focusing on the numerous unemployed teachers and closed schools instead of increased achieving students and manageable class sizes. Just like the outcome of Brown v. Board of Education it is time for our education system to see radical change for the success of our future. I salute those in education such as: Michelle Rhee and Dr. Steve Perry; change is just as necessary for our future as it was for our past.
Virtuous Academy has entered its 3rd year of operation with one staff member that serves as a teacher, lunch aid, janitor, principal and counselor. With only a handful of students, this is possible through on superwoman, Iyana Tennon. With a heart for the Mon Valley area and a passion to work with youth, Tennon has managed to keep the doors of Virtuous Academy open.
The design of Virtuous Academy has the potential to be so much greater and still is being occupied by only a handful of students due to funding concerns. However, the students of Virtuous Academy have small requests to make a big difference in their lives at school. “More teachers to help us would be nice,” says Ashley(6th grade). Different teachers will give Tennon the ability to be a more effective administrator. “The food is good here, it would help Ms. Iyana to have a lunch aid,” says Jayante. (6th grade) Multi-tasking is one of Tennon’s strengths however they can be used in a more beneficial way if she could focus just in the area of teaching.” I like my friends here and I don’t have any dislikes so far, it would be nice to have more kids,” says Shental (7th grade) The students appreciate the personal attention and need the extra help that no one person can supply
Virtuous Academy can use a few trusted sidekicks to better serve the students and increase funding and enrollment. Not only are staff needed, but also dedicated board members to provide the necessary funding and resources to keep the doors open and to keep Virtuous Academy growing. Visit our website and see what we have accomplished so far at www.virtuousacademy.org For more information please contact us @ 412-896-4415 or email us @ email@example.com
President Obama’s attempt to revamp the No Child Left Behind Policy gives hope to the future of education. Standardized tests portray an unfair image of yearly progress for students. All students are capable of learning but not at the same pace or on the same levels. O’Bama has decided to shift education in the direction of tracking. It is true that some students will come to your classroom 2 or 3 grades behind state standard. There are inadequate assessments that assess yearly progress for these struggling students. Standardized tests make low income programs seem insufficient because they are not proficient at state standards. These programs are losing funds and lack qualified staff and resources to be successful. Read the rest of this entry »
Growing up in Duquesne has had its ups and downs. I have learned a few things that I’m proud of and a few more things that I’m not so proud of. Each morning I put my best foot forward, believing God to add the increase. And I pray that God will continue to examine my heart and remove anything that’s not like Him. I am grateful for my life, it’s never been easy but I can tell it was designed for me. I’m living out scenes that I have already seen. Those visions help me when I get down or start messing up. I like a lot of things and I love a lot of people but God has been amazing to me. I hope that when you look at me it shows.
I know the Lord doesn’t smile or even ignore disobedience but His forgiveness is key. People want to judge and condemn one another, but we all fall short. My students were not born into a perfect world with perfect people so we take it one day at a time and help one another. That’s what families do, love and support one another. However, families aren’t perfect either. I want my students to be aware of the realities of their environment, so they can make smart decisions in life. I want them to become learners and positive thinkers. Understanding that they are not perfect I expect them to get tripped up. I also expect them to dust themselves off and try again. Virtuous Academy is here to stay, this is for Duquesne!
Virtuous Academy has a new site. Above is a photo of our old site so you can see how far we’ve come. Our site and our web hosting has been donated to us by Soul Pitt Media, a minority owned web design company located in Pittsburgh PA! You can visit them at www.soulpittmedia.com
Now the VA site has room to grow and we also will have this cool blog so we can inform you of what’s going on with VA. Thanks again to Soul Pitt Media! And stop back often to read our blog and post comments of your own as well.
Hopefully you have been voting for Virtuous Academy on refresheverything.com. We were approved to compete for $50,000 in grant funds. These funds will be used to fund our art program over the summer and extended through the school year. Backstage is our after school program that is designed to offer academic tutoring and to celebrate art. With these funds we can extend Backstage into the summer so that children will be exposed to art and academics all year long. We also will have the capability of visiting art museums, plays and musical con-certs. In these last days please continue to vote for Virtuous Academy @ refresheverything.com. Read the rest of this entry »