SCHOOL/COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS.

by Camille Giglio

Is the mayor of your town running the school system? That may not be as silly a question as you think? Have you ever heard of community/school partnerships? How about School-to-Work? Life-long learning? Smart Growth, school based clinics? Come to think of it, why is it school "based" clinics. Have you ever asked the question: based in the schools, but meant for whom?

Come to think of it, why is it school "based" clinics. Have you ever asked the question: based in the schools, but meant for whom?

The answer may soon become clear that clinics based in schools are meant for everyone. When the progressives succeed in passing Universal Health Coverage legislation Health care may be just one of the services being planned for our future California-schools-as community-centers for the delivery of all social services for every age group and type of need.

On 2/14/09 The Contra Costa Times published three articles from county residents on its Reader's Forum page. All three extolled the virtues of opening the schools to the communities as a point of delivery of a wide variety of social services. One was entitled Medical Complexities, Schools, by a local School district medical consultant, a second article was by the Mayor of San Pablo entitled: A new day for cities and schools and the third article entitled Don't Stand in our children's way, was co-authored by a Richmond City Councilman and a member of some program called Learning Environments. None of these advocates are educators. All promoted the school as community center idea.

I think all four attended the same Smart Growth conference referenced in the Get out of the Way article, in which they were given the assignment of writing articles about the benefits of merging schools ie education department, with social services, ie Health department ( job training, drug and alcohol programs, mental health counselors, antiobesity, etc). There are several bills in Sacramen to dealing with the expansion of coverage of mental health (or mental disfunctions) counseling.

The idea of merging schools as academic centers of learning with the school as personal development-social service provider for everyone, is not new. What's new is that it may be coming to Contra Costa County in both the West County USD and the Mt. Diablo USD. (there are already 103 such centers in California now.) There are a few bills in Sacramento mandating the creation of school-to-work type training classes.

School-to-Work programs are defined as ones that concentrate on training students for local specific work force needs rather than any emphasis on academics. This is also where the term "life-long learning comes into play. Local work force needs change with some regularity so the training one received in school may be obsolete within a few years of graduating high school requiring the worker to start all over again.

You may be familiar with the emergence of academies within schools, health care, journalism, etc, these are the models for the forecasted local work force needs. Many high schools require students to spend school time hours volunteering in some non-profit or business. This is one way of encouraging the students to think globally but act locally upon high school graduation.

In the future, some people claim, the health department and the city officials will have equal influence with the school superintendent as to what takes place in the school setting since it will be a partnership affair.

None of this is new. Using the schools to develop the "whole child" was a concept that John Dewey and other educators began promoting in the early 1900's. It gained new enthusiasts in the 1950/60's and within UNESCO taking on a global mandate. It again attracted followers under Bill Clinton's Administration (remember Hillary's It takes a village?) and grew again with the promotion of the Goals 2000-No Child Left Behind promotion of George Bush, Sr, Bill Clinton and George Bush, Jr.

President Obama is only the latest to take up the cause with his slogan: Together We Can. However, that slogan as it applies to education was first promoted through the publication of a manual entitled Together We Can: a guide for crafting a profamily system of education and human services. It was published by the Departments of Health and Human Services, Donna Shalala, Director, and the US Department of Education, Richard Riley, Director, in 1993. It provides the entire agenda for merging schools into community centers for the delivery of social Services to every member of the community from the new born babe on up - womb to tomb services. This is what's behind the heavy promotion of public school pre-kindergarten mandated programs, year-round classes and home visitation services for new moms.

Here is a quote from an abstract in the Journal of Religious and Social Research, Vol 1 No. 1. It is entitled: Humans as Resources: Econo-Politics of Global Education., written by Robin Navarro Montgomery, PhD. President, Christian Ages. Inc. "This study will explore the linkage between the global political economy, America Goals 2000 education plan and UN global education policy. This linkage process depends, it will be shown, upon devaluing humans to the level of just another economic resource. Emerging is a world socio-political regime basing its legitimacy on human resource communities holistically integrated into the public school system."

Like pieces in a puzzle the legislation that I track both in the state legislature and in the Congress, are fitting together to form a global picture of the future planned for our lives.

Published February 24, 2009

Tuesday

February 24th, 2009

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