Newsnight Maryland; 397; Children to Achieve
What can you do to help your child achieve in school. Some answers tonight. Plus revitalizing downtown Cumberland and honoring Dr. Martin Luther King. Good evening. How well are your kids doing in school. Are you satisfied with their progress. If you are what makes her or him an achiever. If you're not satisfied what can you do to improve their performance. There are still a lot of debate in our society and in the educational research community over the direction of education whether student performance is getting better or worse. These are important questions that need to be answered. Tonight we'll hear from some experts on how they think students as a whole are doing in Maryland and how us parents can take a hand in helping. Joining us now are Maryland's 1999 teacher of the year Rachel
Yonkers. Dr. Joyce Epstein from the school of Family and Community Partnerships at Johns Hopkins University. From the center rather and Lamont Tolliver from the Meyerhoff Scholar program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and you can join our discussion. Just give us a call. Welcome to you all. Thank you. Let me ask you first of all all of you Dr. Epstein Perhaps you first. In your own opinion do you think students as a whole are doing better now than they were say 25 30 years ago. That's a hard comparison but I think that one would have to say that there's much more to know now than 25 years ago that there's new technologies afoot in students lives and students as a whole I think generally are getting smarter. I think that it's hard to put a kind of a number on these things but they are certainly living within and doing very well in their society the society of 1990s in the new century and so overall I think we'd have to say that students are really coping very well learning more and more and are becoming
very smart in many things that their parents may not really know about. Mr. Tolliver agree with Joyce concerning what they are expected to know at this day and age with that information. They're doing well overall. How about you as youngsters. I also agree I know that what I was expected to do as a student and what I'm expecting now as a teacher are two entirely different things. We've moved beyond minimal competencies and into higher levels of reasoning and performance and I think that's the direction of achievement now and where arts expectations for students are getting higher and higher and they're meeting them better and better. High on the list of everyone's suggestions about getting students to meet those higher expectations is more parental involvement you hear that constantly. Well what exactly is parental involvement because that is it seems to me could run long spectrum of things about you know we've been studying what is parental involvement for OBOT 15
years in order to answer that very question. And what we've learned is that there are six types of family involvement. That we call parenting communicating volunteering learning at home decision making and collaborating with the community. A full program of partnerships would include activities for all six types that are linked to particular school goals so that involvement is purposeful and has some meaning in students lives in improving schools and strengthening families. So we know what it is. And now our task really out in the real world is to try to help schools put these things in practice. Those six types taken in total sound like a second job for someone. Well it's really delegated tasks. Part of the problem in parental involvement in the past has been it has been on somebody's shoulder it's been somebody trying to do all of these things. And what we have found that's very important is that a team approach at a school. Where
teachers parents administrators and even students at the upper levels if they're working together with a plan they can begin to delegate tasks put the plan into practice and then it's not on any one person's shoulder which really has been the problem in the past you hit it right on. So you're going way past that old level of sorry going to good police going way past that level of saying well parental involvement means you make sure your kid's homework gets done. And I hear my nudge right. But there's there's a whole lot more complexity involved in that. Plus some things that get done at school. Some things get done at home. Some things get done in the community to support children's learning to give the common message that school is important and to keep youngsters on a path. To Success. If everyone is working on that we can do a whole lot better. And he goes also into the real definition of partnerships Bob. When you talk about partnerships if Joyce and I were having a partnership one of the first things we must do is to understand our
goals and to define them. And if the parental and the school partnership is to exist and to work well with the kid in mind the first thing we have to explain to the child or to the parent and to the school system we must agree on what it is we expect from our parents and parents must also have the responsibility to say what it is they expect from the school system. Would you explain a little bit about the background of the Meyerhoff Scholar program. Yes I will. The program started 10 years ago by then Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Freeman Hrabowski who is now president at U AND B C and they came out of the dream and it concerns a dream to have a community of scholars who are doing well especially in the science and engineering and technology. Also the concern that 20 years from now with the need for more under-represented students to do well and do better in science and technology we were not going in that direction. As fast as we should and as well as we can in higher education. So with an
initial loan of $500000 donation from Robert Jay morrow foundation 900 students were brought in the second year and the program initially started out for African-American males from Baltimore City. The second year African-American females were added and three years ago the program was open to all students. Since 1993 we have graduated one hundred forty eight students one hundred forty eight hundred twenty seven are currently in advanced programs in science and technology. And these are probably students who I would say the top 1 or 2 percent in this country in science and technology. And it starts out with Joyce was just talking about with parental involvement and the partnership with schools. Let's go to the telephones now Tiffany is on the line from Arlington. Hi I'm a creature in Arlington. I've taught in the District of Columbia. Two years and when I was teaching in the district one of the things that was kind of lacking was the parental involvement
and being in Arlington now and it is incredible the amount of parental involvement is that there are the teachers the parents are always in the classroom which can sometimes be a good thing that a lot of times is a good thing when sometimes it can be a little much at times but it is that is what has made the biggest difference I think in our Ted Gores and to the big kids. The parents know what going on. They want to know they come into the classroom and it's just it's a wonderful thing. A lot of the parents in D.C. unfortunately cannot take off from work and. I understand that they have to work and everything. But these parents. Because they can afford to have one parent working and the other one has the opportunity to spend more time with the children. It is incredible. Rachel how do you. How do you relate to that. Well I think that there are a lot of families with both parents working and that's just a reality of society today I think that we need to take where our students are and work under the
assumption that all students can learn whether they have one parent home both parents at home know parents at home they can all learn. And we can't really fault factors beyond their control as indicators that they won't be able to achieve. Can you as a teacher in the classroom spot students who maybe aren't getting that support from parents that I definitely I definitely can and I think that we need to take students from where they are no matter what their background and look for their individual strengths and try to build on whatever makes them learn you know whatever their. Learning preferences their learning style and get them interesting Get them hooked on learning. No matter what their background I also think that the caller is saying how her school is working and for that school that may be the way the school should work can work. But schools within Arlington I know many schools in Arlington with low income families families that their parents don't have very much education or parents do work and they too
have good programs of partnership which means that they are starting their program in other kinds of schools just like her school from where they are starting from as a school and building their capacity to involve all families families who may have two parents working outside the home. Parents who may not have very much formal education. The good part that we're finding around the country in the School Family and Community Partnership Program is any school with parents of any background can help those parents all parents really support their children as learners. It takes a plan to go back to the song. Girard from Baltimore City is on the 100. Good afternoon. Welcome. Areva Martin if your action weren't issue would be for a lot of them are not given the support if you're coming to the car from the front. From there play the game and go where you know if you are prone to promotion
and there are a lot in the news today the president didn't mention from for prime time to screw up socially. Most students I'd like you to comment on there. Well the first issue first year teachers I can speak to because I know having that experience as a first year teacher that can be incredibly overwhelming year and I think the state of Maryland is moving in the right direction because increasingly you're seeing more and more mentorships for first year teachers where experienced veteran teachers are taking a new teacher under their wing and giving them a lot of advice and strategies for dealing with that first year. Another recommendation that's been made is increasing the number of years for tenure from two years to three years with that mentorship component where new teachers are getting a lot of advice and they can benefit from the experience of another more experienced teacher Mr. Tolliver let me ask you something in your in your program have you been able to sort of.
Defined some predictors of success for students beyond say parental involvement in things like parental income parental education level what else. Very good question Dr. Boesky. Dr. King met and Dr. Jeffrey Grice just published a book called Beating the Odds. It's based on research of the Meyerhoff program of the Marmar programs on marriage. It's not socio economic. It is these students with an average of 13 30 s eighty three point eight run the burials of our society and one of the things that we came out of the research that we found was that number one parents of academically successful students they read to their students on their read to their children at a very early age. They're very active as the caller said in the schools they know the teachers they know the programs and they are there. The other thing is is that they use the resources of the community and I like Joyce to talk about that what have you in this could
be museums it could be business is churches but one of the things wisely said several years ago we talked about well single parenting is much different than two income parents and everything else because you are a single parent with students does not necessarily mean you have to practice single parenting. There are other resources out in the community that are going to aid your student or your child in doing well in school. Dr. Epstein I know you want to add to that but let me just squeeze in another call here for Stephanie from Allegheny County Hi Stephanie. Hi I have a question especially for youngsters. I have a child in elementary school and I very much like to be involved in the classroom but there seems to be great resistance among the teachers to be in the classroom there's lots of welcome to do laminating and how her kind of path went in what productive ways can parents help out in the classroom. Without getting in the way of all the curriculum matter you have to cover. Great question. That is a great question I know that a big concern right now is reading and that should
be in every county in every school system in the state of Maryland across the nation and I think one way that a parent could offer help to the particular teacher is by offering assistance reading to students more than anything else our students need to be read to and they need to read to you and if you could offer that assistance to your classroom teacher I think that that would be greatly greatly appreciated working with a small group pairs of students individual students. That's a huge concern for everyone. I would just add briefly that in the start of the school year teachers might have a wish list of how they want help in their classrooms. And you have to again start where the teachers are on this topic so that if if parents know that teachers need particular talents time expertise and they can link that to the parents time with the teachers needs and the teachers request with the parents talents. That's a good way to start a plan full approach to the caller's question rather than hoping something
will happen. We really want to link it to school goals like reading or helping with children to read aloud or listening to tapes or other kinds of things. I want to know how many school systems in Maryland are associated with your center. Well the Center on school family community partnership runs a program called the National Network on partnership schools and that includes over a thousand schools 100 school districts and nine states across the country including Maryland Maryland is one of our lead states including about 12 of the districts out of the twenty four in Maryland. And any of the cult listeners or viewers really are welcome to find out more about that program as well. In just about 30 or 45 seconds can each of you just give one basic practical tip to parents that really might help them get on track with their kids. I have already made my pitch for reading read read read to your children. I
also think that you want to set up structured homework time at home. And more than anything else to get involved and discuss what's going on in school with your child those dinnertime conversations might seem mundane but they really mean a lot and they can they can be important in a stroller. We want our students and our children to succeed in school that we as adults as parents as a community as a May should must make doing well in school. The most important thing that our students are involved. And I just say keep talking to your children talk to the children talk to children's teachers to find out what's happening in their lives and how to be involved. Thank you all very much for joining us to thank you. An Annapolis firm is working to help boost Western Maryland's economy. Jeff Holcomb has more in tonight's Maryland is. The city of Cumberland has a new plan to make improvements to its one city bustling commercial district. Pat Fox of the apple is based Fox group is responsible for that
plan and she joins us here tonight. Pat welcome to NPT What are you trying to accomplish with this. Well this plan is trying to create the physical setting that will allow the downtown to compete with suburban malls and to create a setting that is appropriate to attract the kind of heritage tourists that the city is working on revitalizing with their economic strategy that the planned is connected to. We have some videotape of the downtown area as it looks now and it's quite pleasant that the traffic was eliminated on the the main thoroughfare there and it's left to pedestrians at this point and there's certainly historic sites like the train station around. What do you plan to do to bring it all together or take this to the next level. Well the plan includes six or seven different major categories and we have a from highway to door way signage system that will encourage people to come from 68 into downtown. We have a strategy to manage
and to have adequate supply of parking. We have a whole collection of strategies that are designed to link the attraction so that people when they come for one attraction will be interested and willing to stay for the entire day and to visit many of the things that Cumberland has to offer. You brought a copy with you of the site plan that you were here on and it gives us a look at the downtown area of Cumberland the orange areas there. What is that. That's the downtown pedestrian mall which was created in the late 70s with an urban renewal project. And we're trying to link that now with the Canal Place redevelopment area that is down in the lower corner which is an area which has the Scenic Railroad system running. And in the year 2000 We'll have the canal reopened and re watered and we'll have a scenic boat rides and all kinds of festivities and things going on down at that location. And our plan will connect those two is the idea here to to encourage
day trips for it. People in the Baltimore and Washington areas and even Pittsburgh or should just drop travelers off of ice 68 who are passing through. Literally right there at the bottom of that map. Well it's it covers fairly comprehensive all of the aspects of trying to attract more of the local people to the downtown area to spend more time to do more business activities. But as you say part of their major tourist strategy is the weekend trips from Pittsburgh and some of the areas further west as well. And the big competition in terms of people who live in western Maryland is the mall and that's what contributed to the decline of the downtown commercial district in the first place. What can you do about helping those merchants compete. Well one of their biggest assets is their historical character and their small town charm in many of the amenities they've had there for a very long time. And our strategy is based on pulling that all together in the same fashion that a suburban mall or
theme park does in that you. You take care of the visitors from the moment they arrive through their entire daily experience and then graciously allow them to slip out of town clearly and understand what they have just accomplished. Sounds like it's worth a trip Pat Fox thanks for joining us. Thank you. Keeping the dream alive. Tonight's newsmaker is working for racial understanding. Meet him. When we come back. News from around the area today State Highway Administration officials say the bad weather has forced Maryland to spend more than half its budget for snow and ice removal cost has been high because the storms brought more ice than snow. If you lost power Montgomery County health officials say you should throw out Kerry products meat fish and cook pasta that's been at temperatures 40 degrees or warmer for more than two hours. Water restrictions could be placed on pet owners in Ocean City.
Now dogs are not required to be on a leash but police say it's time the laws provide the leash law hasn't been examined since the 1970s. This one message we have adopted me. More than any other it is the idea that every child is special and must be to one to be the best. That's you NBC President Dr. Freeman Hrabowski speaking at the Montgomery County Martin Luther King Jr. celebration today. I am the it is the dream deep rooted in the American dream. Oh all right load. OK.
As a clergyman Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. saw churches as the backbone of the civil rights movement. For many this still holds true today. Tonight's newsmaker Francis green represents the Maryland organization interfaith action for racial justice. Welcome. Thank you. Can you give me a little bit of background as to how they were going to zation came about and what its mission is. Well the organization came about I think because there were a group of clergy I think there was a group called Clergy and Laity United came together sort of recognizing what racism was doing to the world and to the country especially and how it could be change I think in March of 97 there was a meeting at. No Dom what they call folks and say hey we want to have a call to community and have an honest discussion about race. Reasonability and reconciliation and they asked for volunteers to come in to help. Well I've been doing this kind of work for a long time. I think in the 60s I was at a civil rights movement doing a lot of things
there even before that I was looking at how being a person of color had an adverse effect upon everybody. And I thought that the harm it was doing to the country. I'd always thought that racism racism was very detrimental to the progress of the country. So when they had this meeting in March I joined in and out of that came what they call study circles a group of volunteers were would come together and agree to sit together for six weeks two and a half hours each to talk about reasons of racism and how it can be resolved what can we do about it in a space of institutional racism which kind of drives everybody up the wall but keeps your pants pretty tight because this is a fact and this is what's happening and this has been going on and and the you know the institutions are locked into a certain process. How do you go about getting this. Sort of energy or synergy going in the group and and and then taking it outside the group it gets very difficult because first you have a conversation and conversation
between whites and blacks doesn't happen often. There are two different worlds and especially the one Sunday morning where you know we have that's the most segregated hour. And and so to get them to talk about Haiti how it affects me. My first experience in that what did that feel like. And to get them to understand that being a person of color it's a very difficult thing to do in this country and there are adversities everywhere you look you know everywhere you look there's you got to figure out how to avoid this how to get around this. So a whole lot of energy is lost just in trying to survive. So you the conversation brings folks together to look at hey gee I didn't know that you had to go this I didn't know that was so bad I didn't know what you mean things are still that way I thought had been solved and it hasn't distilled the same thing only I think Jim Crow and all of the negativity is has gotten pretty dressed up now Jim Crow is now Dr. James Crow. And it's kind of sophisticated and hard to get through. Who takes part in these groups volunteers and the facilities are trained
and we go through training and then retraining and we do some assessing of how it worked and what happened and maybe some of things that happened that some of the problems you ran into so that we were caught constantly updating the facilitators and trying to help them be on target and it's a very difficult kind of subject sometimes. What is the racial mix in these groups. We try to make sure that the racial group is diverse and we definitely want as much as possible a 50/50 match that becomes very difficult. Unfortunately I have difficulty getting some of my black male friends to take part in it because it's very painful to talk about those kinds of things. And I'm so i so I said I suspect also that there might be a case where someone might say look I have been through this thought over and over again and it doesn't. I know a couple of guys I'm talk I'm sick of educating my folks I'm tired of it. Yet we know it's got to be done. It's got to be done. And folks have to understand that racism is not bad only for black folks and other folks of color but it's bad for the country. The amount of money
in just maintaining separate separate schools for example or separate institutions. It's unbelievable. Look at what happened to the farmers. You know that over the years just coming out now that they had some had gone out of business because they could not get loans. Why. Because they were black. Do you think that the previous the recent presidential initiative on race was constructive and did it accomplish anything. Yes I think it was constructive. Did it help. I don't know. I think any time you have a person take a good look at the racial picture of the country and a good look at understanding what's happening to minority groups here you know something's got to happen. I think it was an excellent start. I think the other scandals that came along sort of killed that and that's unfortunate but I think the initiative had a good start. How can people become involved in the interfaith action for racial justice. Well most of the institutions will willing or willing to participate. They asked for
volunteers their money goes out saying this will be a study circle here and so forth. I've done one with clergy in the area. I've presented at several of the colleges and community colleges and there are folks willing to get on looking forward to participating. And once a person has gone through there's a kind of freeing up process when you can look at yourself or you can interact with another person of a different culture and realize hey we're all human beings trying to make it like everybody else. And it's kind of freed up to get through that that process. Mr. Green thank you very much for joining us. Glad to be here. That they went Oh no. Men and white men. To send out Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing a new way. Well stay with. Us. Thanks for watching this evening. Tomorrow on NEWSNIGHT Maryland we'll explore the increasing
- Newsnight Maryland
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- Children to Achieve
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- Maryland Public Television (Owings Mills, Maryland)
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- NewsNight Maryland Show #397 Children to Achieve
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- NewsNight Maryland is a local news series that covers current events in Maryland.
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Maryland Public Television
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- Chicago: “Newsnight Maryland; 397; Children to Achieve,” 1999-01-18, Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 18, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-394-86nzsj2t.
- MLA: “Newsnight Maryland; 397; Children to Achieve.” 1999-01-18. Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 18, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-394-86nzsj2t>.
- APA: Newsnight Maryland; 397; Children to Achieve. Boston, MA: Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-394-86nzsj2t