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College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning

- Authored by: Gary Kaplan

The Autumn of our Reconnect. School will be opening. But how?

School will be opening. But how?

by Gary Kaplan

School will be opening September 16. How it will open is still uncertain. Three operational models have been defined by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: fully in-person, fully remote, and a hybrid of the two. It is up to each district to decide which option to choose. The decisions will not be strictly pedagogical: much will depend on health and safety conditions. Final school plans for reopening are due at DESE August 10.

Cracks in the Bedrock, The destabilizing effects of inequality

by Gary Kaplan

History doesn’t repeat itself, Mark Twain observed, but it often rhymes.

Because of our peculiar history, the current calls for redirection of police funding to social programs fall with a familiar cadence at JFYNetWorks.

We are often asked what JFY stands for. It stands for Jobs For Youth, the original name of the nonprofit organization. Jobs For Youth was founded in 1976 with a Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention grant from the US Department of Justice. Our original mission was to help high school dropouts find jobs. Low-income youth were dropping out of high school at rates rising toward 20% nationally and 40% in the cities. In the early 1970s the Nixon Administration, predating Reagan, thought the best social program was a job. And so, our history began as a juvenile justice delinquency prevention program.

Remote doesn’t have to mean impersonal

by Gary Kaplan

Online communication has been with us since May 24, 1844, when Samuel F.B. Morse tapped out his first dots and dashes. Thirty-two years later, in Boston, Alexander Graham Bell summoned Mr. Watson with the first voice message carried over an electrical wire. Western Union transmitted a halftone photograph in 1921, and in 1927 Philo Farnsworth beamed the first live TV image. The cornerstones of online communication were in place. These founding fathers would be astonished at the ceaseless cacophony of voice, image and text that blankets the globe today in an impenetrable electronic cocoon.

Remote Learning with JFYNetWorks

Education is a culture-defining and socially unifying process.

First and foremost, we hope all our friends and colleagues are managing to weather these extraordinary circumstances with patience, fortitude and a dash of humor.

Here at JFY, we are working hard during this period of shutdown and social distancing to guide and support our partner schools and their students in making the transition to remote learning.

JFYNetWorks has been providing online academic support to schools since 2000, but we can’t think of a time when our online curricula and teacher support were more vital. It’s almost as if the past twenty years were preparation for this rocket launch from classroom to cloud.

COVID-19 Response-JFYNetWorks Mobilizes Resources

COVID-19. We Are Here to Help During This Time of Uncertainty

Dear partners and friends:

We at JFYNetWorks want you to know that we are ready, willing and able to help you and your students keep education on track during this unprecedented and prolonged period of uncertainty and disruption.

E-learning can help mitigate the disruptions. Our ELA and math curricula are aligned to the state standards and flexible enough to support regular classes as well as all benchmark assessments. We are working with our school partners to maximize deployment of our online resources to help students keep current with their classes and prepare for MCAS and Accuplacer. As always, we are providing online coaching and professional development to our teachers. In addition, we have on-demand videos available on our website to assist with MCAS prep.

Origins of JFYNetWorks (Podcast)

With Gary Kaplan, Executive Director
Narrated by Greg Cunningham, Blended Learning Specialist

JANUARY 2020 PODCAST – For nearly 40 years, JFYNetWorks, a Boston-based nonprofit organization, has served high-need populations in Massachusetts by developing and delivering education and job training programs that equip young people with the skills needed to succeed in our changing economy. Gary Kaplan, Executive Director of JFYNet, describes the origins of the non-profit, and how it has adapted to best serve a changing student population over the years.

Education and Workforce: What’s New?

Old Year, New Year, New Decade. Same Story.

by Gary Kaplan

For readers of education and workforce journalism, the turn of the decade was neatly bracketed by two articles that summed up the year’s main themes: low student performance and labor shortage. First was a New York Times piece on December 28 headed “Year in Education: Stalled Test Scores…” Under the sub-head “Stagnant Student Performance and Widening Achievement Gaps” it reminded us that the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), our “gold standard” nationwide assessment, had found only one-third of fourth and eighth-graders proficient readers, while student achievement in both reading and math was flat over the past 10 years. That wasn’t all: the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), an 80-country international test under the auspices of OECD, found that American 15-year-olds have been stagnant in reading and math for two decades. Both tests noted widening achievement gaps between low-performing and high-performing students. The article did not delve into the demographics of the gaps, but we know all too well how that maps.

A Jeffersonian Solution for a Jeffersonian Problem: Inequality

All people may be created equal, but all schools are not.

by Gary Kaplan

Inequality will be a pervasive topic in the new decade. It won’t be a new topic. It’s been a front page story ever since Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century came out in English in 2014. But it seems to be coming up more frequently, and in more contexts, from the World Economic Forum in Davos to the sports page of the Boston Globe. Yet for the millions who live it every day, it’s hardly breaking news.

Madison Park Holds the Line on MCAS Math

Madison Park is on an upward trajectory.

by Gary Kaplan

The scores are in, and they’re down. It was expected that scores on the new 10th grade MCAS 2.0 would be lower than on the old “Legacy” MCAS. The new test was designed to be more difficult, with higher-level questions. In addition, it was online, not on paper like the old test, and it contained new question formats—technology-assisted questions and multi-text comparisons, for starters—that students had never seen before. Lower scores were fully expected.