Education

"There is no value in anything until it is finished." Genghis Kahn *** Rt Hon David Cameron MP I am writing to request a full refund for tuition fees totalling £9,000 (plus interest) paid over a period of 3 years (2007-2010) to Loughborough University. Rest assured that once I have received the full amount I will of course be happy to return/destroy my degree and relinquish all associated qualifications, namely a Bachelor of Science, Second Class Honours, Upper Division in Sport and Exercise Science. The reasons that I am writing to you and not the minister of state for universities and science are as follows; a) I'm scared he'll make me do another degree. b) See above. My reasons for the requested refund, like all good children's stories, make little to no sense,...
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Dear Mayor de Blasio: You have called New York a tale of two cities, and we could not agree more. In some neighborhoods, families have a choice of sending their children to high-performing district schools or affording a private or parochial education; meanwhile, many families in low-performing districts who cannot afford to pay tuition have no high-quality choices – or can’t gain access to the handful that do exist. Charter schools level the educational playing field for their students. But as long as there is a cap on the number of charter schools in the city, New York will continue to have a school system where zip code dictates destiny. As leaders of public charter schools in New York City, we see firsthand how life changing an excellent school can be. Already, we receive...
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Dear Mr. Secretary, In 2010 and again in 2012, the Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General raised concerns about transparency and competency in the administration of the federal Charter Schools Program. The Charter Schools Program, part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), offers federal funding to help establish, replicate and expand public charter schools across the country. Over the past twenty years, the federal government has spent a staggering $3.3 billion of taxpayer money to expand the number of charter schools in our communities. The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS), whose organizational members represent 7 million parents, community members, students, educators and school staff, believes that the public deserves more information on...
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Dear Person I Went To High School With, I see you’ve heard about today’s Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, or as you referred to it, “The Day God Left America”, or “the Obamanation”. I know you’re hurt, you’re scared, and you’re having trouble making sense of the world around you right now. I’d like to take a moment to reassure you. With Obamacare being upheld, the confederate flag coming down off of southern state capital buildings, and gays getting married, it must seem to you like we’re mere moments from the rapture, or worse, the rapture has already happened and you’ve been left behind to endure the tribulations. Relax, my friend. The end is not nigh. Hopefully, by the end of this letter, you’ll understand a little bit more about how America works and why, despite...
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Dear Chancellor Fariña, I was saddened and disappointed, on behalf of the students, families, and teachers of Success Academy Harlem 5, that once again you have found it necessary to misrepresent our schools. Yesterday, while touring reporters through PS 123, which shares a building with Success Academy Harlem 5, you were quoted by Capital New York as explaining the discrepancy in math and English proficiency at the two schools (96% passing math and 68% passing English at Success Academy, vs. 4% and 8% at PS 123) in this way: “This is a zoned school,” Fariña said. “They take every child who lives in the neighborhood and they have to do what they do with those students.” “Charter schools use another system, just the fact that it’s a lottery means parents have to go the extra mile,”...
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Dear Parents We were very sorry to hear news of the closure of St John's. You will be understandably devastated and you have our sincerest sympathies for the disruption this will involve to your children's education and your daily lives. We have always regarded st John's as a kindred spirit, with a similarly strong sense of community and family ethos, standing apart with us from other independent schools in the area. We understand that stability and continuity will be paramount in your mind. As most of you will know, your previous headteacher Mrs Carol Clint joined us at Westbourne as our head of junior school in April and has settled in very quickly as part of the Westbourne family. All of us at Westbourne - and Mrs Clint in particular - would like to help you at this dicult time...
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Dear Dr. Rao, I write to suggest that you and VCU's Board of Visitors examine a potentially embarrassing situation in the School of Education that smacks of favoritism, nepotism and a possible conflict of interest. The Dean of the School of Education, Christine S. Walther-Thomas, and associate dean, Diane Simon-Beatty, not only hired Yvonne Brandon, the failed, former Richmond Public School (RPS) Superintendent [and the former boss of Simon-Beatty's husband, Thomas Beatty], but also hired Mr. Beatty himself. Now, it may be perfectly legal for them to do this, but the situation certainly fails the smell test. What message does your university send when it hires people who were on the front line of Richmond’s ignominious and failed use and abuse of a special alternative...
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Dear Arne Duncan, In a recent interview with NEA Today you said of my book *36 Children,* "I read [it] in high school … [and] … wrote about his book in one of my college essays, and I talked about the tremendous hope that I feel [and] the challenges that teachers in tough communities face. The book had a big impact on me." When I wrote *36 Children* in 1965 it was commonly believed that African American students, with a few exceptions, simply could not function on a high academic level. The book was motivated by my desire to provide a counter-example, one I had created in my classroom, to this cynical and racist view, and to let the students' creativity and intelligence speak for itself. It was also intended to show how important it was to provide interesting and complex curriculum...
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Dear Sir Michael, I note from recent reports that you continue to consider no notice inspections. Ofsted recently announced forty snap inspections - within minutes of the announcement we received calls from worried head teachers. If Ofsted wishes to rebuild its relationship with the profession and to remove the deadening effect of the fear of inspection, this is not the way to proceed. We have spoken about this topic many times but I want to repeat our concerns. Faced with the permanent threat of inspection, few heads will be able to spend time outside school. The education system now depends on heads helping out in other schools. This will decline, the sharing of best practice will decline, and standards will decline as a result. We can have a self-improving school system or we can...
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Dear Lydia, Having never done anything like this before I admit I was absolutely terrified until about a week before when I took on the philosophical view that whatever happens, happens! As you know our pupils are not predictable and their own response to the story, play, and the experience of being on stage can vary depending on day, mood etc. I now feel that it is my biggest achievement as a teacher in 22 years and one of my assistants has worked at the school told me it was the 'highlight of her 26 years!' I was quite unprepared for the response of the audience particularly those who did not have an interest in our school. I wanted to keep it simple, very visual and meaningful for our pupils. There was no point in doing it if they did not understand and therefore respond...
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