Monday, June 30, 2014

Waterford Historical Societies Log Cabin Days a big hit

    Educationally speaking, the bridge from the days of yesteryear to now is a lesson all people should share. This is not just for the young people but for the adults that have never seen many of the tools or stores where the old days of trading are lessons for all who do not remember them. That is what Log Cabin Days are all about and in the picture album below that is in the Oakland Press, showcase those that are making the connections available for the public. Photos by Roy J. Akers  The photo link is below VVV

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Rush Limbaugh takes on a children's bookstore selling multi-cultural books

     There is one thing about Rush Limbaugh above all other things. He is intolerant of anyone that does not see the world the same way he does. I do not understand how anyone can be conservative about everything anymore than I can understand how someone is liberal about everything. It's a huge reason why the people we elect do not serve anyone but the narrow audience that thinks those with narrow minds are doing a good job then cannot solve problems because finding a pragmatic solution is something they can live with for their constituents or this country. While Rush is great entertainment, his recent rant against a bookstore that sells children's books was pretty stupid. Limbaugh is an author of quite a few books and he has quite a following. So why was he mad at a children's bookstore that sells products aimed at multi-cultural education giving viewpoints for students that are trying to find a place in this world? Because they will not carry his books. As the story below indicates, why anyone would shop at Home Depot for Ragu does not make business sense. The Teaching for Change bookstore is not Walmart, Barnes and Noble or a grocery store carrying best sellers. It has a very narrow focus as the story below describes and makes Limbaugh look like the narrow minded demagogue he is.

Rush into Battle

You wouldn’t expect a health food store to carry Pringles. 
Nor would you tune in to the Cartoon Network in search of episodes of Mad Men or Breaking Bad.
So we’re wondering why Rush Limbaugh thinks the Teaching for Change Bookstore at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C., should carry his Rush Revere line of books for young readers?
If you don’t know about the Teaching for Change Bookstore—and it’s well worth knowing—here’s the lowdown. It’s small and selective. Its children’s section gives priority to books that feature children of color. They do not offer Mr. Limbaugh’s books.
That such a bookstore is rare and needed will come as no surprise to teachers and librarians who struggle to find children’s books featuring characters who reflect the diverse children of the United States. We wrote about this problem recently in our magazine.
Limbaugh, however, takes issue with the bookstore’s mission. It offends him. In fact, it seems to infuriate him. He used up a chunk of radio time on his June 16 show to denounce the store’s selection criteria as “racist and bigoted.”
And then he got personal. He decided to smear the folks who run Teaching for Change—people we at Teaching Tolerance know and respect as allies in the struggle for social justice. The character assassination poured forth from Limbaugh’s mouth: He called Teaching for Change the “most bigoted, racist people,” “loony” and “simply dumb.”
By the time Rush finished, he wasn’t simply vilifying the good people who run the Teaching for Change Bookstore. In his telling, they morphed from narrow-minded booksellers into powerful foes, who “happen to be running the country … in Washington … in charge of the public school system … running daycare …” and who “show up at Obama’s fundraisers.”
His war cry had the expected results: Limbaugh’s followers inundated Teaching for Change with what TFC describes as “vicious, hateful messages.”
I don’t doubt it. When one sows hate and anger, as Limbaugh does so well, hate and anger are the harvest. We experienced it here at Teaching Tolerance in 2012, when the American Family Association attacked our Mix It Up at Lunch Day program.
That attack backfired. Despite the avalanche of ugly messages, we were buoyed by the outpouring of support from teachers, friends and allies, including Teaching for Change.
Today, we stand with them. You can too. Visit their bookstore, or send a note of support, and we’ll forward it to them.
Costello is the director of Teaching Tolerance.

Waterford Parks and Rec Millage needs passing if the programs are to continue

     The Waterford Parks and Recreation has been serving the local community since the 1950's. They have been doing an outstanding job and in spite of all they have done, they have had a really tough time getting a millage passed.  The reasons are very perplexing to me as many people use the services but the message has fallen on deaf ears. I do know they were up against police and fire millages at the same time and while the former were passed, the P&R was the shutout. They have been helping citizens from infants taking classes bonding with their parents, to t-ball and they have great programs for the seniors. Still, the P&R has been losing revenue for years with the property value decreases of the great recession of 2008 greasing the rails for a dramatic loss of money to subsidize the programs and they have laid off just about all but a skeletal crew and have had to cut services to the point of no return. On August 5th, they have put a half mill request to the voters that comes to $2.04 per month for a homeowner with a valuation of $98,000 or $24.50 per year. This covers community events which are held at very reasonable rates and often are free such as the Concerts at the Park at Hess Hathaway Park. The Waterford P&R also operated several ballparks, canoe sites and the hidden gem known as the Drayton Plains Nature Center. Check out the short video which shows some of the parks and the need for the millage increase.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Freep: Editorial by Stephen Henderson: For students' sake, Michigan must do better on charter schools

      Any educator in Michigan can tell you they are targeted by politicians that couldn't last a week and most a day with the average public school student. Add regulations, politics played by school district administrators with teacher evaluations and a right to work element that has eroded teacher rights in the work place and you can see why many of the 2014 graduates are staying away from the education profession in droves. Add a charter school environment that resembles the wild west where profits by large companies and a set of rules that are much more liberal that allows them to pocket money that would go to students and valuable programs and you get the idea. Add Stephen Henderson and the Detroit Free Press staff's look at the failed promises of charter schools and you may take a look at the school down the road from the public school that may be running rogue from regulations and providing a quality student learning environment.

Stephen Henderson: For students' sake, Michigan must do better on charter schools

June 22, 2014   |  
There were 12 charter schools the first year the state law governing them was passed; today, there are about 370.
There were 12 charter schools the first year the state law governing them was passed; today, there are about 370. / Romain Blanquart/Detroit Free Press
Great idea. Lousy execution.
Twenty years ago, charter school advocates in Michigan promoted independent public schools on two premises: that they would provide quality options for parents in places like Detroit — where the public school system was, even then, abysmal — and that they would introduce competition into the educational marketplace that would force old-line public schools to get better or face closure.
Today? Neither pledge has come true. In fact, neither is even a reasonable pipe dream, because Michigan’s charter law enforces little or no quality control over charter schools. The last two decades have been a raw and unregulated experiment on Michigan children with no accountability for academic performance or the spending of public money.
Full coverage: Free Press special report: State of charter schools
Related: Michigan spends $1B on charter schools but fails to hold them accountable
It’s a laissez-faire free-for-all that is sacrificing children in the name of “innovation” and “choice.” And the saddest part? There’s barely a whisper in Lansing about doing any better.
A Free Press series that begins today lays out the scope and shape of the state’s charter school mess.
There were 12 charter schools the first year the state law governing them was passed; today, there are about 370. Statewide, 38% of all Michigan charter schools that are ranked fall below the 25th percentile, meaning at least 75% of all Michigan schools perform better.
Meanwhile, there’s little effort to hold them accountable. Nearly two-thirds of the charter schools that have been open for more than a decade are in the bottom half of the state’s school rankings, and state law is not demanding that they get better or be shuttered. They’re also largely reticent even to say how they spend their money, while a whopping 60% of them are run by companies that take public dollars to operate on a for-profit basis.
And most public schools are no better than they were in 1994. In the districts with the most charters, like Detroit, the principal effect has been to siphon money away from old-line public schools, fueling their decline and ongoing financial troubles. All we’ve done is create dual school systems — both awful, one near totally unmanaged.
To read the rest of Henderson's editorial, click below.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pontiac Academy for Excellence graduation photos

The Apostolic Church of Auburn Hills was the site of the Pontiac Academy for Excellence graduation. Like the church itself, they had a little bit of church in the mix with the graduation.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Parent one ups school and wears her banned daughters dress to graduation

 When I was teaching full-time, students sagging their pants was the number one dress code violation. For girls, between showing cleavage or wearing skirts that are too short, there really wasn't too much for a teacher to do. What is really strange about the story below is the girl that wore a skirt that could hardly be considered risque. She also wore the outfit several times to school before drawing the ire of a school staff member. What her mom decided to do about the suspension is pretty funny and draw accolades from quite a few people.

Mom Wears Daughter's 'Too Short' Dress to Her Graduation

Amy Redwine wears the dress in question on her daughter's graduation day. (Photo courtesy Amy Redwine)When Amy Redwine's 17-year-old daughter, Violet Burkhart, was sent home from school for wearing a dress that a teacher thought was too short, the Lexington, North Carolina, mom couldn't believe it. Not only was it Violet's last day of classes before graduation, but she had worn the dress to school half a dozen times before without any problems. To cheer up her upset daughter, Redwine joked that she would wear the dress herself to Violet's graduation  and that's exactly what she did. Now, her subtle-but-defiant act has sparked conversations throughout her community about school dress codes.
"Pick on me. I'm an adult. I can take it," Redwine tells Yahoo Shine about her decision to wear the above-the-knee floral frock to Violet's graduation from Central Davidson High School. She believes that Violet was singled out by teachers, and that the dress code rules were applied inconsistently. Otherwise, Redwine says, her daughter was a good student whose only previous fashion infraction was when she wore black lipstick to school and a teacher called it "distracting."
Amy Redwine wears the dress in question on her daughter's graduation day. (Photo courtesy Amy Redwine)
Redwine says she was inspired by the famous Jeannie C. Rily song "Harper Valley PTA," about a single mom who is criticized by the other mothers at her daughter's school for wearing short skirts and retaliates by calling out the other parents at a PTA meeting.
"People were coming up to me saying "thank you" and giving me hugs and complimenting the dress," she says about the graduation ceremony. "Several moms told me they were going to wear the shortest dress they had. Even some teachers told me they were going to wear short dresses. You know it meant something. It meant standing up to the school board, to the bullies, standing up for my daughter."
For Redwine, wearing her Violet's dress started out as a joke, but it quickly turned into an opportunity to teach her daughter a lesson about standing up for yourself when you think you've been unfairly criticized. Violet, who plans to enroll in a community college culinary school program, had a blast on her graduation day posing for photos  with her in a red cap and gown, and Mom in a flowered dress. Both of them also wore big smiles.
More on Yahoo:
Girl Accuses School of Body Shaming for Ban on Short Short

Friday, June 13, 2014

Waterford Village Elementaries last day

This photo album by Tim Thompson shows a photo story of a school that dates back to 1871. The school becomes repurposed next year.

These girls are going places- Sacred Heart Graduation Photo Album

 Sacred Heart- Wow, what a graduation ceremony. The parent responses portion of the program and presentation of the roses was really incredible. These 29 girls received more than $3.2 million in college scholarships! The schools the girls are being accepted to are below the picture link below.

What an incredible speaker Sacred Heart had and they did not have to go far. 
The graduation speaker was Natalie Cochran from the class of 2004.  Her heart felt message of pursuing your dreams was personal and profound. She also has an incredible voice and with her listening to people telling her she could always fall back on her detour of hospice care, she listened to people (Yes, God uses people) and is once again pursuing her dream of being a professional opera singer.

Class of 2014

Matriculation is indicated by *
Albion College
Alma College
Arizona State University
Assumption College
Ave Maria University
Berklee College of Music
Boston University
Butler University
Calvin College
Case Western Reserve University
Cazenovia College
Central Michigan University
College of the Holy Cross
Columbia College Chicago
Columbia University
Duke University
Earlham College
Eastern Michigan University
Eugene LangCollege
The New School
for Liberal Arts
Florida State University
Fordham University
George Washington University
Georgetown University
Grand Valley State University
Hampton University
Harvard College
Hope College
Howard University
Illinois Institute of Technology
Indiana University Bloomington
John Carroll University
Johns Hopkins University
Johnson and Wales University
Kettering University
Lawrence Technological University
Loyola University Chicago
Marquette University
Miami University
Michigan State University
Michigan Technological University
New York University
Northeastern University
Northern Michigan University
Northwestern University
Northwood University
Oakland Community College
Oakland University
Otterbein University
The New School
State University
Purdue University
Quincy College
Rice University
Saginaw Valley State University
Saint Louis University
Saint Mary’s College
Saint Michael’s College
Savannah College of Art & Design
Texas Christian University
University of California Davis
University of Chicago
University of Dayton
University of Findlay
University of Louisville
University of Massachusetts Boston
University of Michigan
University of
University of Rochester
Vanderbilt University
Villanova University
Washington University St. Louis
Wayne State University
Western Michigan University
Xavier University
Young Americans

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Walled Lake Central teacher wins iPads, software for students, district

Walled Lake Central teacher Neb Stojkovic will enjoy his summer after an intense month that landed him a spot on the Michael and Kelly Show on ABC as the runner-up teacher after being nominated by a student. In a post in May in this blog, his story was told by Channel 7 News and the Michael and Kelly Show. In a story written by Carol Hopkins of the Oakland Press, his prize is 30 I Pads by students in the Walled Lake District. Her story is below.

Walled Lake Central teacher wins iPads, software for students, district
Walled Lake Central teacher Neb Stojkovic with his former student Kelsey Prena, 23, and the first of 30 iPads that he will receive after finishing 2nd on the LIVE! With Kelly and Michael show’s Top Teacher contest. Prena wrote the letter that got Stojkovic nominated and he will receive the iPads and personalized software for his classroom from CompassLearning. Friday, June 6, 2014. Tim Thompson-The Oakland Press
Students heading into Nebojsa Stojkovic’s math class next fall will be able to use one of the 30 new iPads and special software he received Friday, June 6 at a special assembly at Walled Lake Central High School.
Stojkovic received the equipment as part of his prize for taking second prize on the “Live with Kelly and Michael” show’s “Top Teacher contest held this spring.
 To Continue reading, click the link below directly to the Oakland Press.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Lake Orion Graduation Photo Story

 Lake Orion Graduation Photo Story

Rochester High Schools Graduations and Prom Photo Albums

Lake Orion grad surprised by military sister

While standing on stage shooting a photo story where some of the biggest names in pop history have performed, sometimes the best moments are for the common people. Not that the Lake Orion Graduation was an uneventful event. For Joice Dominquez, an unexpected reunion with her sister Anglelyn who flew in earlier in the week and  surprised the 2014 Lake Orion Graduate. Angelyn is a Staff Sargent in the Air Force and her sister will follow in her footsteps later this year. Lara Mossa, a staff writer for the Oakland Press picks up the story and the complete photo album of the Lake Orion graduation is linked in the story.

Lake Orion grad surprised by military sister

Lake Orion senior Joice Dominquez is surprised by her sister, Angelyn Dominquez, coming home to see her graduation from Lake Orion High School on Tuesday, June 10, at DTE Energy Music Theatre. Photo by Roy J. Akers - Special to The Oakland Press

Lake Orion senior Joice Dominquez is surprised by her sister, Angelyn Dominquez, coming home to see her graduation from Lake Orion High School on Tuesday, June 10, at DTE Energy Music Theatre. Photo by Roy J. Akers - Special to The Oakland Press
INDEPENDENCE TWP. >> School leaders in Lake Orion helped Angelyn Dominguez, a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, surprise her sister at graduation.
It is a reunion story with a twist for younger sister Joice Dominguez.
Angelyn Dominguez took a leave from the U.S. Air Force this month to attend her sister’s graduation from Lake Orion High School. But she didn’t want to hide for eight days, she said, because she wanted to visit with her family. So, she talked to school officials and made arrangements to present her sister with her diploma at the ceremony.
“I thought it would be really special,” said Angelyn Dominguez, 28, who leaves back for her base in South Korea on Thursday. “We’re really close. It was a big thing in her life.
“It was a big moment for her. I thought it would be special if I gave it to her.”
At the Tuesday graduation ceremony, which was held at DTE Energy Music Theatre near Clarkston, Dominguez snuck out during the program, changed into her dress uniform, and appeared on stage to give her sister the certificate.
“I was completely shocked,” said Joice Dominguez, 18. “It was amazing. I couldn’t hold back the tears. It was just the most amazing thing that’s happened so far in my life.”
Daughters of Bruce and Kathy Dominguez of Lake Orion, the girls have not seen each other in about a year. Despite their age difference, they have always been close.
“We’re pretty much best friends,” Joice Dominguez said.
Angelyn Dominguez, a staff sergeant, has been in the military for six years and is a crew chief for an F-16 Fighting Falcon. Joice Dominguez will follower in her footsteps and enter the U.S. Air Force later this year; she hopes to someday be stationed with her sister when she returns to the states. While in school, she was a member of the National Honor Society.