Students from seven Ann Arbor high schools have organized the first local TEDxYouth event, on Saturday, March 22 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Skyline High. According to the event’s website, all speakers will be high school students, talking about their future: ”We believe in the efficacy of Youth Voice for powerful growth and change in Ann Arbor.” [Source]
Ann Arbor Public Schools board of education regular meeting (Oct. 10, 2012): Student achievement and labor contracts were the main topics of discussion for the AAPS board of trustees.
Deputy superintendent of instructional services Alesia Flye and director of student accounting and research services Jane Landefeld, presented a comprehensive report on student achievement. While the trustees were pleased and excited to have such a detailed report, and there were several positive points in the data, they also expressed significant frustration at the disparity between the achievement of various subgroups. African American students in the district showed significantly lower achievement on standardized tests than students in other ethnic groups. Trustee Simone Lightfoot described herself as “fire mad” about some of the results in the report.
The conversation ranged from results and highlights to the challenges the district faces. Flye and her team indicated that the district would continued to work with this data and to implement the district’s established plans to address the achievement gap. But the presentation was a point of information only. [.pdf of AAPS achievement slide presentation with graphs and tables]
Also at the meeting, a proposal for a technology upgrade to the network infrastructure prompted a conversation about labor contracts. The network upgrade was a first briefing item on which the board did not vote. But conversation about labor contracts continued as trustees heard a second briefing about outsourcing the noon hour supervisor positions. In a 4-3 decision, the board did not approve the a contract with PCMI, which had bid to provide noon hour supervisors at a 24.83% administrative cost.
William Hampton came up to the podium and smiled, looking out at the crowd of several hundred people gathered at the Four Points Sheraton ballroom. “Isn’t this great?” he said.
Hampton, president of the Ann Arbor branch of the NAACP, had just finished handing out certificates of achievement to several dozen high school students at Saturday night’s Freedom Fund dinner. They were honored for maintaining at least a 3.20 grade point average in the spring term of 2009.
In his keynote speech, Washtenaw County sheriff Jerry Clayton told students they had a responsibility to be leaders in their schools and community, and to push their peers to excel. “There should be double the number of students in this room next year,” he said.