Weekly Roundup for September 30, 2011

Jess Tonn> Geoff Canada makes the case for a longer school day/year in The New York Times, but the responses by his fellow writers prove that there’s still Room for Debate.

> Survey says: Chicago parents want a longer school day with more time for science, history, languages, art, music and recess, as well as English and math. Hear, hear.

> Thanks to the Citizens’ Committee for Children for showing what life is like for the one-third of NYC kids who are poor (PDF, 187K). That’s over a half a million kids, people.

> More recession news: The Pew Hispanic Center reports that more Latino children are living in poverty—6.1 million in 2010—than children of any other racial or ethnic group, marking the first time in U.S. history that the single largest group of poor children is not white.

> On the bright side, I was inspired by this clip from President Obama’s Back-to-School Speech: “You’ve got to wonder. You’ve got to question. You’ve got to explore. And, every once in a while, you need to color outside of the lines…. That’s what school is for—discovering new passions, acquiring new skills, making use of this incredible time that you have to prepare yourself and give yourself the skills that you’re going to need to pursue the kind of careers that you want.” Well said, Mr. President.

Featured Friday Funding Opportunity:

Project Ignition

Car crashes remain the number one cause of death for adolescents. High school students have been using service-learning to tie their academic objectives to this important issue through Project Ignition grants. Twenty-five schools will receive $2,000 grants to support implementation of their campaigns. Ten of these schools will be granted an additional $5,000 to support their participation in a national conference or event. They will also be given the opportunity to be named “National Leader Schools” and receive an additional $2,500 for their campaigns during the 2012-2013 school year.

Deadline: November 15, 2011

And now for something completely different:

Regardless of what you think of his politics, Stephen Colbert is one of the more brilliant fundraisers I know. (Admit it Nation, would you really have donated to U.S. Speedskating otherwise?) This week, I was delighted to procrastinate…errr…I mean, raise money for DonorsChoose.org…by uploading photos to the “Stephen and Melinda Gates Foundation” website, emailing them to my friends and posting them on Facebook. Here’s Stephen, Melinda, my Baby Girl and her double chin:

I am teachers and so can you!