Education

Why Demanding Better Education is Paramount for Our Children

Young Children Ready For School

Arming a child with knowledge early in his or her life will position him or her for continued success. Not only does a great educational foundation provide the skills for a child to reach his or her greatest potential, but it also cultivates a better future society. Our children first learn the most from their parents, and they must lead by example to help the next generation. Parents know how significant their jobs are, but they can only do so much.

When deciding on a school for their children to attend, parents must devote serious attention to the quality of teachers and administrators at the institutions they consider for their children. Parents have a right to demand that schools create environments where students can thrive academically. Students will not, unfortunately, thrive academically in schools that don’t have effective teachers and administrators. Here are some phenomena to contemplate as you attempt to prepare your child for academic success.

Education in Early Life

It makes sense that investing in the education of a child builds a more prosperous and peaceful citizen. Those who have some kind of educational foundation are more likely to commit themselves to academic excellence and the notion of the life of the mind. A school system that continually challenges a student will lead him or her to see the value of lifelong learning. With a better education and more efficient ways of assessing our children’s abilities, more of them will feel valued. This will certainly lead to a more productive society. In children’s early learning, assist them in discovering their distinctive beliefs and worldviews. Early learning should be fostered by their own curiosity about the world, with lots of support, validation, and hints offered.

New Ways of Learning

As the saying goes, “Out with the old, in with the new.” We need to focus on alternative means of assessing our children’s academic growth. If you’ve ever taken a standardized test, you know how mind-numbingly painful it is to stay focused and regurgitate all the information you were forced to memorize. Students need new ways of being evaluated, such as oral exams or presentations. Modern schools are becoming better at employing new methods and strategies of imparting new material. Observe the ways in which your own child responds to different methods of learning, such as visual, auditory, and tactile learning, and identify ways you can address his or her needs inside and outside of the classroom.

Online Education

Online schools are increasingly becoming attractive options for parents for their children’s education. Not only are college classes held online, but entire K-12 schools are now online. These types of organizations are especially advantageous for those who don’t have easy access to a school, or children who want to be homeschooled without having their parents as teachers. Online learning also has the benefit of being directed by the student’s own curiosity. Some K-12 online schools offer field trips and community resources that allow for social engagement and community learning, as well as an individualized pace.

Conclusion

Ensuring the next generation is equipped with the tools essential for educational success is our responsibility. With some sweeping educational reforms, we can empower our children to evolve in a society where they are ready to ameliorate it persistently. Parents should lead the effort to advocate for the educational reforms necessary to improving American public schools dramatically.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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How to Make Online Schooling a Smooth Process

Online Universities

Today’s typical college student has changed dramatically in the past few decades. The traditional university student used to be the fresh high school graduate with no obligations to interfere with a full course load, but thanks to the advent of online university and college programs, current college attendees are more likely to work full-time and have family obligations competing with their class time.

Online programs offer flexibility to these students, allowing them to attend classes asynchronously from their homes at whatever time is most convenient. Despite the advances in distance education, new students still need to make adjustments to prepare for the challenges unique to working adult learners. This article strives to help make the process of beginning higher education smoother and more enjoyable.

Prepare for Virtual Interaction and Self-Guided Study

Most online courses are learner-centered, which means that the learner carries more responsibility for meeting course objectives and requirements than the instructor. The instructor is still present in an online university course, but he or she will take more of a mentor or facilitator role, while the learner will rely mostly on assigned readings, research, and interaction with fellow students and the instructor via guided discussion.

Many programs include both synchronous and asynchronous communication to make this work. Discussion boards, shared websites, wikis, and email are forms of asynchronous contact where the individuals can communicate in different places at different times.

A web chat room or video conference enables students and instructors to interact synchronously, where they are all together at the same time despite being in different locations. Learners who are not used to this new environment often adjust readily during the first week of class when the assignments are focused on orienting students and encouraging them to introduce themselves and interact using the discussion methods outlined for the course.

Explore the Classroom Environment

Students in online university programs need to be familiar with the user interfaces for their online classroom environments and virtual tools provided to students by the institution. The best programs offer learners access to vast digital libraries and web resources to use for research instead of brick and mortar libraries accessible to the traditional students. The online classroom environments differ between colleges, but quality programs will provide tutorials for students before the beginning of a term.

The best way to become proficient with the user interfaces is to explore them during one’s free time and begin interacting with other students as soon as possible. Again, most courses are designed with primary activities to aid new students in adjusting to the environment.

Check Hardware, Software, and Internet Capabilities

The online university website and student handbook should provide a list of technology requirements that students are expected to meet before starting the program. This list will include the minimum hardware specifications for computers and mobile devices as well as a minimum speed for the Internet.

Students are responsible for meeting these requirements, and most instructors will expect learners to have alternatives plans in case their home Internet is not working. This could include a local cafe or library that extends access to public Internet service. Students should always obtain email and telephone contact information from their instructors to maintain contact if they do run into problems with these services.

The recent growth of online degree programs has brought unprecedented opportunities to busy working adults and parents. However, one should be prepared for the change from instructor-led to learner-centered curricula. Furthermore, new online students will want to learn how to access and use their virtual school and study tools before starting their programs.

Resources Consulted

WGU

U.S. News

KQED News

eLearning Industry

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Do Teachers’ Unions Contribute to a Decline in Public Education?

classroom-2093744_640

Being a teacher can be an exciting job. For starters, you have an opportunity to work with diverse children and teenagers. You can enjoy summers off. However, you’re also in the public eye. For example, your students and their parents can readily recognize you around town. As a government employee, your salary is a matter of public record. Perhaps, most importantly, everybody seems to think he or she can do your job. Thankfully, teachers’ unions help both teachers and the public manage these realities and keep public education from declining. Learn more below. 

What is a Teachers’ Union?

A teachers’ union is a group of employees with collective bargaining power. Essentially, this means a school district hires the union to run its schools. Through using a contract, the rights of the school district and the rights of the teachers are protected. In other words, you can think of a teachers’ union in the same way you think about your power company or cable company.

How Did Teachers’ Unions Begin?

Many people mistakenly believe teachers’ unions formed out of greed. Thankfully, this isn’t the case. Teachers’ unions allow teachers to be treated as professionals and earn a fair salary. However, teachers’ unions also protect the rights of the community. To put this in proper perspective, remember that teachers are public employees of a town or city. Without a union, a new mayor or school board could fire all teachers upon election. The teachers could then be replaced with friends of the new government and earn generous salaries as political kickbacks. The new mayor or school board could also fire all teachers with a particular political viewpoint and replace them with all conservative or liberal teachers. Teachers’ unions prevent such shenanigans from happening.

Teachers and students from California de

(Photo Credit: Politico)

Tenure and Teachers’ Unions

Many people wonder about tenure and teachers’ unions. For example, people often wonder if tenure from a teachers’ union keeps terrible teachers in the classroom. Thankfully, this isn’t the case. Tenure just means teachers have due process before termination. This prevents teachers from being fired because they supported suspending the mayor’s child or because they obtained their education degree and certification from an online higher education institution instead of an education degree and certification from the mayor’s favorite brick-and-mortar higher education institution. Tenure prevents teachers from being fired for supporting a Republican or Democratic candidate. However, it is possible to fire a tenured teacher. All tenure does is make sure that firing is done correctly to prevent local governments from removing teachers unfairly.

Do Teachers’ Unions Contribute to a Decline in Public Education?

All of the above questions can help us find an answer to this tricky question. After understanding what teachers’ unions do and why they were formed, we can see that they certainly help protect public education. For example, teachers’ unions make sure teachers are treated as professionals. They also supply educational consistency in a community by making sure all teachers aren’t fired and replaced each election. Teachers’ unions keep the schools running smoothly through contracts that set clear expectations. In short, it’s easy to see how teachers’ unions have been elevating public education through budget cuts and difficult political climates.

After people realize teachers’ unions aren’t as terrible as some people say, honest questions do arise regarding how these unions can be ameliorated. For starters, teachers’ unions can make the standards for joining them more rigorous. Improving these standards can strengthen teacher quality and the effectiveness of teachers’ unions. If teachers’ unions improve in these areas, they will be able to aid in serving and protecting students even more than they do today.

Works Consulted 

https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/06/11/does-tenure-protect-bad-teachers-or-good-schools/tenure-is-a-guarantee-of-due-process-to-prevent-capricious-firings
https://www.wgu.edu/education/online_teaching_degree
https://lessonplans.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/07/well-paid-teachers-im-on-board/

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Happy 41st Birthday to Tunicker M. Jones

Tunicker M. Jones

(Photo Courtesy of Tunicker M. Jones)

After years of her being envious of my best friend, Dr. Santresa L. Glass, I reluctantly decided to write a brief piece to wish Tunicker M. Jones a Happy 41st Birthday! Each year, I compose a piece, an ode to Dr. Glass on her birthday. Jones has desired the same, with me denying her request each year. She has the privilege of being my sister, which, of course, is the greatest fact of her life, of her existence.

Ms. Tunicker M. Jones earned her undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice at Troy University in Troy, Alabama and her master’s degree in Special Education at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. As a certified educator, Jones has over 10 years of professional experience teaching middle grades regular and special education students.

The passion Jones has for ensuring special needs students receive a quality education is commendable. She’s truly committed to helping every child, including our most vulnerable, to be prepared for the future and to experience success.

As I reflect on the vital and challenging work you do each day, I guess you deserve a little recognition on your birthday. Savor this piece, as it’s likely to never happen again.

Although the most important national and international holiday is on March 27th, which, of course, is my birthday, I’ll let you have today.

Happy Birthday!

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Asante Lloyd: A Shining Star for The Why You? Initiative

Asante Lloyd

(Photo Credit: Asante Lloyd)

One of the most important services offered by The Why You? Initiative, a national non-profit organization committed to advancing and empowering young students and young professionals, is mentoring. In Critique of Pure Reason, renowned German philosopher Immanuel Kant posits that “Examples are the go-cart of judgment.” From Kant’s perspective, therefore, if a person desires quality judgment, then he or she needs quality examples. The Why You? Initiative, affectionately known as “[YU?],” is increasingly becoming a national leader in supplying America with the effective examples this perilous and disconcerting epoch necessitates. Under the leadership of Dr. Renaldo C. Blocker and Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels, [YU?] Co-Founders, and their executive leadership team, Marie Beasley, Donald Dantzler, and John Hubbard, the next generation of national and international leaders in sundry fields and spaces are emerging. Asante Lloyd, a native of Augusta, Georgia, is one such future leader the organization is developing.

Mr. Lloyd, a junior Civil Engineering major at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, plans to pursue a master’s and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering after graduating with his undergraduate degree. Over the past three years, Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels has served as Asante’s main mentor. Daniels has known him since he was a toddler. Through an extended discourse with Daniels, Lloyd became inspired to earn a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering. His original plan was to begin his career in the field after earning his undergraduate degree. [YU?] motivates young students and young professionals across the nation to reach their highest potential. Dr. Daniels is keenly aware of Asante’s intellectual acumen and does not want him to limit himself to earning just an undergraduate degree. Lloyd appreciates this academic advisement, and he has resolved to expand his career possibilities by embarking on the challenging, yet rewarding journey to a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering.

As a high school student-athlete, Mr. Lloyd excelled academically and athletically, receiving numerous awards for football and track and superior academic achievement. He was even named Scholar-Athlete of the Year during his final year in high school. Asante evinced the reality that black male student-athletes can experience greatness in the classroom and fields and courts of athletic competition. He graduated with honors from a competitive magnate high school in Augusta, Georgia, obtaining a nationally and internationally reputable international baccalaureate (IB) diploma. Although he loves Mathematics and Science, and has always performed really well in those subjects, Asante has made great grades in all subjects. As Lloyd enters his junior year, his academic success persists—he’s still an honor student.

While his academic and athletic prowess and success are noteworthy, they do not even compare to his character. Asante is the type of child any parent desires to have. His parents, Felicia Mack and Roderick Lloyd, have done an excellent job rearing him, and they are quite proud of the accomplished young man he has become. One never hears a credible negative word spoken about him.

[YU?] prides itself on helping young students and young professionals, especially those who emerge from underrepresented backgrounds, to secure meaningful internships, including nationally competitive ones. This is why the organization’s leadership was enthused about Mr. Lloyd being selected last summer as a Scholar-Intern by the United States Department of Energy (DOE).  Impressed by his work last summer, Asante’s supervisors at the DOE invited him to return this summer to work for the agency at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina, and he recently completed this summer’s internship experience at the DOE.

As a DOE Scholar-Intern, Mr. Lloyd gained valuable research experience in the field, and he was able to make significant contributions to the DOE, contributions that will benefit all Americans. He was able to gain knowledge and critical insights from national and international experts in his field, and these two years of experience have buttressed his understanding of how to engage in sophisticated research, apply data-driven approaches to solving complex problems, and work collaboratively with novice and experienced engineers.

[YU?] salutes Asante Lloyd for his accomplishments and for operating in a spirit of excellence.

If you would like to learn more about the work The Why You? Initiative does and would like to make a tax-deductible contribution, please visit http://www.whyyou.org. You may also donate to the organization by texting “YU” to 41444.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

Co-Founder

The Why You? Initiative

UC-Irvine’s Student Government is Unpatriotic and Dishonors Troops

UC-Irvine

Photo Credit: UC-Irvine

On Thursday, March 5, 2015, the Associated Students of University of California-Irvine passed a resolution to remove all flags, including the American flag, from a student government room on campus in a faux effort to be more “inclusive.” UC-Irvine student Matthew Guevara penned the anti-American resolution. Guevara posited that the American flag could be viewed as a symbol of hate. While America has a number of troubling phenomena in her past, and some residual problems in her present, an attempt to efface all symbols supposedly associated with the disquieting dimensions of our nation’s past evinces the fatuous thinking UC-Irvine’s student leadership employs. The American flag has always symbolized utopian ideals—even when many of the people who lived under it didn’t fully embraced those ideals. UC-Irvine’s student leadership should be honest and reveal that the vote banning the American flag isn’t about inclusivity at all; it’s a veiled maneuver to promulgate its anti-American sentiments.

Banning the American flag from this public space does nothing to ameliorate inclusivity at UC-Irvine. In fact, it does just the opposite.

Matthew Guevara’s lame explanation that since “the American flag has been flown in instances of colonialism and imperialism,” its display “does not express only selective aspects of its symbolism but the entire spectrum of its interpretation” leads the Associated Students of University of California-Irvine down a murky road and slippery slope. Does this mean the next resolution Mr. Guevara or another member of the student government will author is a resolution forbidding white people from being able to use this space, considering white people could be viewed as vestiges of America’s racist and discriminatory past? This is the type of mindless conflation of what the American flag symbolizes with inclusivity in postmodern public space forces us to confront.

At every university I have attended, I have been a passionate advocate for student rights and for students being seriously included in the notion of shared governance. I love how students at my current institution, University of Wisconsin-Madison, have significant power. With considerable power, however, comes even greater responsibility. Unfortunately, the unpatriotic UC-Irvine student government has abused its power and exposed its immaturity.

I urge UC-Irvine’s student leadership to correct their wrongs by rescinding this foolish resolution. American men and women in uniform have fought and are fighting under the banner of what the American flag represents every day. Our military men and women who have lost their lives fighting for our liberty have been draped with the American flag. Above all, the American flag symbolizes everything that unites us as a nation.

I encourage the Associated Students of University of California-Irvine to awake from their stupor and be grateful for the precious human treasure that has been sacrificed and lost defending the honor of the American flag and the freedom of America and her denizens.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Support Deserving Young Students and Professionals with $1 or More

Diverse Teens

(Photo Credit: Videezy)

By texting YU to 41444, you can donate $1 to $2,000 to help The Why You? Initiative, a tax-exempt non-profit organization, provide essential funding, resources and support to deserving young students and professionals across the nation who primarily emerge from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds. Yes, even your $1 can make a serious difference in the lives of students and young professionals who don’t have the economic means to purchase the phenomena necessary for their success. When your $1 or more is combined with thousands of others who will make the same or greater donation as you, the potential amount of money that can be amassed can exceed your wildest imagination. People express that they wish they could do something to make a real difference in people’s lives. Well, here’s your opportunity. Give whatever you have today to support numerous students across the nation who desire not to become a part of undesirable statistics. Your donation today goes a long way to ensuring that they become valuable contributors to civil society. You can claim every dollar you give to the organization on your taxes and receive that money back when you file your taxes.

The Why You? Initiative prides itself on being able to take numerous students with GPAs below 2.0 and transform them into 3.0 and above GPA students. One of the distinguishing characteristics of this organization is 100% of donations directly benefit the young students and professionals the donors intended for their donations to support. Every dollar you give, therefore, is used to purchase items for disadvantaged students and professionals. The Why You? Initiative, affectionately known as “[YU?],” is staffed with distinguished researchers, engineers, educators, lawyers, social scientists, doctors, computer scientists, community leaders, and etc. who have demonstrated success in ameliorating the progression of young students and professionals from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. [YU?] offers young students and professionals mentoring based on empirical assessments, best practices, tutoring, financial assistance for the purchase of essential items, valuable resources, opportunities to become well-connected through the organization’s extant well-connected network and etc.

You have the power to make a true difference in the life of a young student declared “at-risk” today by making even the smallest donation. Don’t just talk about what you want to do to help deserving people—do it! Take a brief moment and text “YU” to 41444 and make your donation to The Why You? Initiative today! The organization is striving to raise $2,000 this weekend to support the immediate needs young students and professionals have across the nation. With your generosity, the organization can shatter this modest financial goal. When you donate, you will have the option of easily giving on a recurring basis, or you can simply make a one-time donation.

Thank you in advance for your support of The Why You? Initiative and the deserving young students and professionals we serve throughout the country. I encourage you to visit the organization’s website and spread the word about the organization and its aspiration to raise $2,000 this weekend.

Best wishes,

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

Co-Founder

Research & Development Director

The Why You? Initiative

daniels.antonio@whyyou.org

www.whyyou.org