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College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning

Life Preparedness
Life Preparedness

Brother Bechner, The impact of a teacher on a student’s life

The impact of a teacher on a student’s life

by Greg Cunningham

For most of my days in middle and high school, English was my worst subject. It wasn’t the reading; I can never remember a time when I wasn’t reading a book. From the Hardy Boys series to the Three Investigators series, I loved having a new book to read. But grammar, diagramming sentences, direct or indirect objects—none of that made any sense to me. Entering Catholic high school, I had no idea that grammar would be such a huge part of the curriculum.

JFY supporters sweeten student futures

Ice cream sundaes seal the deal

by Gary Kaplan

The end of the year is a time for reflection and assessment. Looking back over these past two years, we have much to be grateful for. We have survived the greatest disruption in memory and students are now enrolling in JFYNet college and career readiness at a pre-pandemic pace. We are in this positive position thanks to the unwavering loyalty of our supporters.

“It takes a village,” the adage says, but a village needs villagers to sustain it. In our village, the most important citizens are the students. I think of a young man named Andre with whom I indulged in ice cream sundaes a few weeks ago. We were celebrating the end of the first semester of our early college program. He had passed his college course and was looking ahead to the next semester and beyond.

The battle for arts education in the public schools

The battle for arts education in the public schools

by Greg Cunningham

A debate is roiling across the country about what students should learn in our public schools. From how to teach certain aspects of our country’s history to what kind of literature students should be reading, the philosophy behind educational curricula continues to frame the lessons student receive in their classrooms.

This debate is not new. While the topics and subjects vary, the question of what a full and rich education means has been debated for decades—actually, centuries. Unfortunately, what has also not changed is the foundation upon which change is predicated. Change is not initiated, at the local, state, or federal level, for the benefit of students. It is only initiated to solve a political problem or appease a powerful constituency.

a Good Teacher shapes our future

by Cathie Maglio

They do so much more than teach

This blog post is dedicated to all the teachers I have had, all the teachers I work with, and all teachers everywhere!

Think back to when you were in school, and the teachers that taught you. Can you remember your favorite teachers? I remember my two favorite high school teachers, Mr. Lindsay who taught me algebra and calculus, and Mrs. Schack who taught me chemistry. I loved going to their classes. (I also remember some teachers who were not my favorites, but we’ll pass over that.)

Inland Steel Revisited. Is education keeping pace with automation?

Is education keeping pace with automation?

by Gary Kaplan
photo by Matthew Kaplan

Skills and the Workplace: The Lesson of Inland Steel was our Labor Day post in 2016. Its two main themes are even more relevant five years later: technology is transforming the skill content of work; and post-secondary education or training is necessary to be competitive in the labor market.

Unexpected Lessons of the Pandemic

by Joan Reissman

What We Learned and How Students Benefited

Nobody’s saying the pandemic has been easy. Many families have suffered terrible losses. People have lost loved ones, jobs, homes. Students have felt isolated and disengaged. They’ve missed interaction with their peers. Teachers have felt overwhelmed trying to manage online and in-person students at the same time, forced to do an academic juggling act. But even though the pandemic has exposed many systemic problems, there have been surprising success stories, and some teachers and students have flourished during this time.

Independence Day-- or Equality Day? What are we celebrating?

by Gary Kaplan

What are we celebrating?

The Declaration of Independence is a curious document. Much of it consists of grievances against the actions of King George III which are summarized as “the establishment of an absolute Tyranny.” There are 27 discrete articles in the catalogue of complaints.

The themes are familiar: arbitrary governance and legislation; usurpation of justice and the rule of law; military occupation; economic imperialism in taxes and trade; overt military aggression and incitement of domestic insurrection. All tourists on the Freedom Trail and fans of the Boston Tea Party have heard these complaints recited since childhood.

There Comes a Time We Must Come Together, WE Are The World

by Greg Cunningham

The world must come together

“Check your egos at the door.”

This sign, inscribed by Quincy Jones, greeted 46 world-famous singers who showed up  at the A&M Studios in Los Angeles the night of January 28, 1985, to record We Are the World for USA For Africa to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. A drought of a magnitude never seen in the region had caused famine-scale food shortages. Thousands were dying every month and horrific images of starving children haunted nightly news broadcasts around the world.

The song soared up the charts as soon as it was released, juiced by a promotion hatched by Georgia DJs Bob Wolfe of WROM-AM and Don Briscar of WKCX-FM that brought it to a wide audience, including President Ronald Reagan aboard Air Force One.