A new free academy for bright students from low-income families has been set up by the Harris Federation in tandem with Westminster School. The Federation’s CEO, Sir Dan Moynihan, hopes that half the students will go on to Oxford or Cambridge.The academy, called the Harris Westminster Sixth Form, is likely to rank as one of the most selective schools in Britain. Set up under the Government’s free schools programme, it is set to take on 125 students in September 2014, with that number increasing to 250 in future years. These admissions will be open to children from all across London, but priority will be given to those entitled to free school meals.The Harris Federation, which has around 1600 to 1700 students in academies, is a non-profit educational charity.James Handscombe, the new academy’s Principal, said: “Getting into Oxford is never easy but it is a sight harder if your school has no history of sending students there, no experience of navigating the admissions system and no peer group of similarly bright and ambitious pupils to support and encourage each other.”He added, “Harris Westminster is the Harris Federation’s solution to this problem.”The new sixth form will be sited close to Westminster School itself, which sends 90 pupils to Oxford and Cambridge each year. The aim of a partnership with Westminster is that it can provide high quality educational standards to the new academy through joint departmental meetings and shared staff training. Sir Moynihan remarked in the Times: “We want to get more A* and A grades at A-level and Westminster has that expertise.”Handscombe said the sixth form will be “adopting many aspects of Westminster’s education model, including the development of cultural capital in the pupils.”“In order to take advantage of an Oxford education, and therefore in order to be offered a place, pupils need not just academic potential but also academic achievement: they need to have read about their subject, to be enthralled by it and to have pushed themselves to achieve in exams. Most people will do these things more successfully with support from their school than without it.”An Oxford University spokesperson said: “We would like to see an increase in the proportion of UK students from the lowest income bracket of below £16,190. Every year we hold over 2,400 outreach events, spending over £5m on this work and speaking to schools in every local authority in the UK.”St Anne’s Access Rep Will Carter said, “The school looks like a fantastic opportunity for some, but we shouldn’t let high publicity developments like this distract us from making Oxford and the university in general as accessible as possible to as many people as possible.”
With the goal of exploring the connections between diversity and civil rights, racism and social justice, a thoughtful conversation has begun.That conversation, difficult as it may prove to be at times, was the topic of “Ferguson and Beyond: Educational Strategies to Address Racism and Social Injustice,” an Askwith Forum held Monday night at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. (GSE). With a panel that included educators, administrators, and a parent activist, a full house at Longfellow Hall examined practical ways to bring this difficult dialogue forward in schools, homes, and institutions like HGSE.“We are a remarkably diverse country,” said GSE Dean James E. Ryan, the Charles William Eliot Professor of Education, in his opening remarks. “And yet our schools are markedly separated.” Introducing the forum, which had been postponed from January due to bad weather, he said, “Our hope is that the conversation will help us more fully understand and realize the strength of diversity and to put that strength to work.”Although the recent shootings of black men have made headlines, the topics of race, equity, and social justice have long been central to the work of panelist Tiffany Anderson, superintendent of the Jennings, Mo., school district. Talking about the need to build trust, both with students and with the community, she said, “I believe that social justice is something you talk about all the time.” Indeed, it is a subject that has been central to her 18 years as an administrator in Missouri and previously in Virginia.“Our hope is that the conversation will help us more fully understand and realize the strength of diversity and to put that strength to work,” said GSE Dean James E. Ryan during the forum’s opening remarks. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerThat doesn’t mean it’s an easy topic, of course. Ni’Cole Gipson, a parent and social-media activist from Florissant, Mo., did not relish having to explain racism to her 10-year-old son (who was present on Monday) — why, for example, “he might be the first in a group of kids to be blamed for something.” For Gipson, the focus was on the children left adrift by the crisis in neighboring Ferguson.With many schools closed, she explained, “Our kids were left at home, watching the news. There were no resources for them.” In response, she helped found Parents for Peace, a group that welcomed children, first in the Ferguson library and then in other public spaces, providing educational material, donated food to make up for missed school lunches, and, most importantly, structure. “We needed to find a positive way to love and support each other,” she said.In St. Paul, Minn., they call these discussions “courageous conversations.” School administrator Valeria Silva instituted them as a way to approach a systemic problem. “[What] they gave us was a framework,” she said, “A vocabulary” that allowed students, teachers, parents, and community members to voice what many feared ― questions like, “Am I racist? How can I change?”Silva, who emigrated from Chile, presented an unusual perspective on race, one that shows both how mutable and how subjective it is. “One day [in Chile], I was a white person,” she said. “And then I came into Minnesota and I was a person of color.”Once the topic of racism has been broached, the panelists agreed, there are many possible approaches.Anderson talked about focusing student anger, frustration, and confusion. In the wake of the Ferguson violence, she related meeting with students and assigning them homework, concentrating on achievable goals. The practical ideas they came up with — asking for body cameras on police, for example — helped them focus and helped the community, too.Intervention and awareness also can be called into play against the kind of smaller-scale, subtle attacks known as micro-aggressions. When he was a principal in a Pittsfield, Mass., high school, Tracey Benson said he witnessed and confronted these subtle manifestations of racism.All of the students, he explained, tended to congregate in the hallways between classes. But when teachers were asked to clear the halls, they invariably moved on the groups of African-American students first. This happened “eight periods a day, every day,” he said, noting he himself was guilty of it. The result? “Self-esteem is affected.” The singled-out students were “getting more upset, and they’re more likely to get more combative.” Plus, he added, “You’re teaching the white kids that the black kids are up to no good.”Ultimately, the panel agreed, communication is key to bridging differences. “If we don’t embrace the new diversity, our kids miss out,” said Gipson.As Silva explained, students “need to be able to see that the conversations we’re having are not about the shame and the blame, but [about] giving you tools to talk about what history has developed. We have the kid for 6½ hours a day; let’s give them hope.”
The governor admitted he got both positive and negative feedback about the sentiments of the rank and file employees of the provincial government. “I don’t want to discuss these cases. I think it would be unethical for me to discuss these cases that have been brought forward,” he added. “Let the proper forum handle that. I hope they will be able to proceed judiciously,” Lacson said. Jalandoni, on her part, was slapped with a 60-day suspension, but for a different administrative charge./PN Earlier, Renelo Lastierre, president of the Progressive Alliance of Capitol Employees, denied there was demoralization among provincial government employees of Negros Occidental. “We have to do what we have to do. I don’t want to talk about the cases publicly,” he said. Salado’s suspension is due to the alleged failure to study and evaluate the creation of new positions by the province in its annual budget for fiscal years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, On Monday, Lacson ordered the 60-day preventive suspension of Provincial Budget Officer Jose Percival Salado Jr. and Mambukal Resort head Ellen Marie Jalandoni pending investigation of administrative charges against them. BY DOMINIQUE GABRIEL BAÑAGA BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental’s Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson refused to comment on the recent suspension of two department heads of the provincial government. The oversight was believed to have led to excesses in the personal services (PS) cap allowance from P106,134,890.46 in 2015 to P595,224,524.03 in 2019, resulting to the disallowance of the said amount in 2019 and prohibition on Province of Negros Occidental to provide for additional PS items until such time that the PS cap is observed.” The governor designated Budget officer IV Gemma Rose Flores as officer-in-charge of the budget office while Tourism Operations officer II Cheryl Decena oversaw the Mambukal resort. “It’s the prerogative of the executive branch to discipline department heads and even rank-and-file employees. We have to respect it and just perform our respective obligations,” Lastierre said.
Greensburg, IN—Last Saturday, Greensburg Police Officers were dispatched to the area of North Michigan and West Walnut Streets for an alleged robbery that had occurred. When officers arrived on the scene and began speaking with the victim, he stated that he was robbed of money by another male.Officers then began investigating the allegations that were made.A short time later during the investigation officers located the suspect, who was identified as Ellis Martinez, 48, of Greensburg, and took him into custody. Martinez was transported to the Decatur County Jail and charged on allegations of Robbery, Dealing in Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of a Syringe, and Battery.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has told Eden Hazard to improve his defensive workrate after dropping the playmaker for the Premier League champions’ 2-0 win at home to Aston Villa.Hazard, the recipient of numerous player of the year awards last term as Chelsea won the title, began on the substitutes’ bench as Diego Costa scored one and forced an Alan Hutton own goal to ease the pressure on Mourinho.”I left out Hazard because we are conceding lots of goals. We need to defend better,” Mourinho said. “When you don’t have the ball, quality means nothing and what means [he thumps his chest] … you have or you don’t have.”It was just a tactical decision, leaving super quality on the bench, but bringing tactical discipline and hoping that the team could be solid.”Willian and Pedro did amazing defensive work and allowed the [central] midfield players to be very comfortable.”– Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports.