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THE EPIC NATIONAL DROPOUT DISASTER

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					THE EPIC NATIONAL DROPOUT DISASTER FOR PRE-SCHOOL TEACHERS; ELEMENTARY TEACHERS; MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHERS; HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS; COUNSELORS; AND ADULT SCHOOL TEACHERS; AS WELL AS SUPERVISORS AND ADMINISTRATORS INVISIBLE CAUSES THAT THE PRESS, PUBLIC AND POLITICIANS CAN‘T SEE BUT THEY BLAME US ANYWAY PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS VIA THE ART; THE SCIENCE AND OUR OWN UNIQUE GIFTS AND TALENTS TO RESOLVE IT INSIGHTS AND REVELATIONS THAT NO EDUCATOR HAS EVER SEEN IN ANY COURSE, ARTICLE OR BOOK PARTICIPANTS WILL GAIN INSIGHTS THROUGH THE NEVERBEFORE-SEEN PRISM OF ACTUAL VICTIMS AND LOVED ONES IN THEIR OWN WORDS AND THROUGH THEIR OWN EYES WALT LIDMAN ESLIBILINGUAL TEACHER, RETIRED ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, DEVELOPMENTAL ENGLISH UNION COUNTY COLLEGE, CRANFORD CAMPUS DVRT (DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESPONSE TEAM) VOLUNTEER COUNSELOR FOR POLICE DEPARTMENTS OF HAZLET, UNION BEACH, KEANSBURG waltlidman@verizonnet AGENDA FOR TODAY‘S WORKSHOP Introductions: who we are 1. The National Dropout Disaster as we experience it 2. The National Dropout Disaster as Politicians, Press and Public See It for Which They Blame Us 3-4. Straight from An Editorial in The New York Times 5. ―How Do We Handle This Guy?‖ 6. Here‘s How: ―Our Claims to Fame‖ (Our Own Unique Gifts and Talents) 7. Invisible Causes to Dropout Problems Beyond Scope and Reach of Schools (BUT They Blame Us!) 8. Invisible Causes of The Epic National Dropout Disaster: Abandoned Children (BUT They Blame Us!) 9. How Unwed Teens Cause Low-Scoring High-Risk Disruptive Potential Dropouts: One Invisible Cause (BUT THEY BLAME US)

10. ―The Mess I‘m In Is So Deep, the tears never stop falling‖ straight from a student journal in her own handwriting 11. ―The Devastating Dropout Disaster: Abandoned Children‖ It‘s a national, not ethnic, problem. (BUT THEY BLAME US) 12. Domestic Violence: problems with the father of her baby 13. Invisible Causes of Dropouts ―Sabrina‖ Straight from my Hazlet Police Dept. DVRT report 14. ―Growing Pains‖ It‘s really ugly! Not for the squeamish A Really Invisible Cause (better leave if you can‘t take it) 15-16 Sexual Abuse: The Heart-wrenching Lihisa Williams Story from The Star-Ledger 17-18 ―The secret we didn‘t know‖- my UCC student‘s journal 19-20 ―Parents Charged in Death of Baby‖ Jersey Journal TEN-MINUTE BREAK 21. LONG-TERM STRATEGIES: USING OUR CLAIMS-TO-FAME 22. LONG-TERM STRATEGIES: SUCCESSFUL READING 23. ACTIVITIES TO DEVELOP WRITING SKILL, INTEREST, POWER 24-25 CULMINATiNG ACT! VITV THE ANGIE MARTINEZ CASE GROUP WORK; REPORT YOUR FINDINGS I THE NATIONAL DROPOUT DISASTER AS WE EXPERIENCE IT PERFECTLY NORMAL INTELLIGENCE POOR ATTENDANCE IN NURSE‘S OFFICE TOO MUCH HIGH & MIDDLE SCHOOL: CUTS CLASS TRUANT; ISS; OSS UNCO OPERATIVE; DISINTERESTED DISORDERLY IN CLASS; HALLWAYS; CAFETERIA; BUS DOES ASSIGNMENTS POORLY OR NOTATALL POOR READINGIWRITING SKILLS. FAILING TEST SCORES & GRADES SINGLE-DIGIT READING PERCENTILES READING SCORES TWO TO THREE GRADES BELOW GRADE LEVEL MOTHER NEVER ATTENDS CONFERENCES! ********************************************* Audience participation: Have you experienced this? Anything to add? Discuss with partners. Jot notes, then share (Couple of minutes, PLEASE) (Not for specific cases; save that for after the workshop.) THE NATIONAL DROPOUT DISASTER AS POLITICIANS, PRESS AND PUBLIC SEE IT FOR WHICH THEY BLAME US

‗With one in five New Jersey students dropping out and maybe twice that amount in urban districts – Gov. John Corzine and other top state officials launched a campaign to devise solutions.‖ —Mooney, John and Addison, Kasi, The Star-Ledger ―Every 26 seconds, a young person drops out of school, 70,000 of them a year. -. Before the end of the day, 3000 more students will drop out‖ —Alma Powell, wife of former US. Secretary of State General Cohn Powell, to the State Board of Education the real cost of the estimated 19,000 students who drop out of school: $49 billion in lost earnings; $2.5 million in annual health care costs and others.‖ —John Corzine, Governor of New Jersey ―Dropout Factory‘ is a harsh term for a school. Researchers applied that label to 12 per cent of high schools nationally and 37 per cent to New Jersey. New Jersey, with 18 of 348 high schools on the dropout list, seems to de doing BETTER than many other states. AND STRAIGHT FROM AN EDITORIAL IN THE NEW YORK TIMES (May 9, 2009) ―The soaring dropout rate is causing the United States to lose ground educationally to rivals abroad and is trapping millions of young Americans at the very margins of the economy.‖ - solving this predicament will require a lot more money and a comprehensive national strategy) (all underlined italics presenter‘s) ―The problem is especially pronounced among men. -. hits minorities really hard. . nearly I in 5 African- Americans and nearly 3 in 10 Hispanics ages 16 to 24 are dropping out.‖ -. dropouts tend to have anemic earnings and unstable lives which places them at high risk of becoming burdens to society.‖ ―Many of this country‘s large urban high schools are rightly called ‗dropout factories‘ because more students leave schools than graduate.‖ ‗Congress, which is just waking up to this issue can advance the solution by putting its money and muscle behind proven programs that have been shown to reengage young people who have dropped out and that keep at-risk children on track to complete their educations.‖ Questions? Additions? Jot notes here and share with us. How Do We Handle This Guy? In adult school, a student spontaneously hands me this letter. How should I respond? More important: WHY?? Discuss your reasons with your neighbor(s). Jot your answer(s) below. Share with the group, if possible. We will discuss the ART, the SCIENCE, the SKILL to start creating that miracle. It‘s based on an actual occurrence. Dere mis tore liddmen, Dis rily happint Wan dae wen I wuz pla yin baskitbol wid mie frenz in pordo reeco dis ladie shi corn op ta mi en uh beeg limezeen an shi sez ar yew miguel an I sez yes mam coz mie fada he oways to! ml ta shoe rispec en shie sez ie her yew kin seeng predi gud so I sez yes mam en shie

sez wud ya leik ta seeng fer mie an I sez yes mam an soe we dreive ta diss pleiss an I seeng an shie sez yu seeng gud wud yu leik to kam temara an I sez jes mam bud dat neit ml an mie fada we kern ta da youneided steits das hoe i los da shans ta bikom rish an FEIMESS SPACE FOR YOUR RESPONSES; YOU WILL USE THEM IN THE ANGIE MARTINEZ CASE ----------------------------OUR CLAIMS TO FAME WORKSHEET (OUR OWN UNIQUE GIFTS AND TALENTS) MINE: NEW JERSEY‘S BEST BALD BILINGUAL TEACHER DAD/STEPDAD GRANDPA/STEPGRANDPA (LOTS OF TROUBLE REMEMBERING THE ‗STEP‘) FLUENT SPANISH WORST COLLEGE CAREER BATTING AVERAGE FAMILY-LOVING GUY OLD ENOUGH TO BE - - YOUR GRANDPA OLD ENOUGH TO BE a YOUR DAD OLD ENOUGH TO BE - - YOUR BIG BROTHER NOW: YOUR CLAIMS TO FAME; GIFTS; TALENTS Discuss with neighbor take notes; we‘ll share a few right now if there‘s time Smiles are one huge key to resolving the dropout problem. You will use them - and your claimsto-fame, gifts and talents — today to resolve the Angie Martinez case, and later, in your districts, to resolve the dropout problems that you will face on your first day back. ----------------------------7 INVISIBLE CAUSES TO DROPOUT PROBLEM BEYOND SCOPE AND REACH OF SCHOOLS That the public, press and politicians can‘t or don‘t want to see —through victims‘ and their loved ones‘ ve,y own words — for which they blame us! WARNING: NONE OF THIS IS PRETTY!!! LACK OF EMOTIONALISPIRITUAL SUPPORT Mother dropped out of middle or high school Mother was not a good student; hated school Mother had negative school experiences (later we will see this in the Angie Martinez case) Father or mother abandoned the child Mother‘s childcare skills deficient Father has girlfriend; Mother has boyfriend Father has live-in girlfriend; Mother has live-in boyfriend ABUSIVE PARENT(S) OR STEP-PARENT(S) Mother uses alcohol or drugs Someone abused the child emotionally Someone abused the child physically

Someone abused the child sexually Mother was an unwed teen Space for reactions and notes -------------------------------------INVISIBLE CAUSES OF THE EPIC NATIONAL DROPOUT DISASTER: ABANDONED CHILDREN ―Babies need their fathers. Statistics say that 40 % of American children will go to sleep tonight without a father in the home Absence of a father is linked to in creased drug use! earlier sexual activity lower grades and increased criminal activity.‖ — Ann Landers, ―Teen Dad Trying His Best to Be A Father‖, The Star-Ledger ―Countless children are abused by parents who lack the skills to be mothers and fathers - a Many parents have psychological problems. -. There aren‘t any easy ways to deal with parents whose lives are out of control0 Their instability produces children who are emotionally brittle and difficult to control‖ • Lawrence Hall, ―What‘s Wrong with Today‘s Kids? Try Today‘s Parents‖ The Star-Ledger ―Boys need the male influence to see what they‘re going to be when they grow up Girls need the male influence because they are delicate, sensitive and need lots of love, attention, affection and support from a man... It‘s difficult for a single mother to control kids. Mothers talk more. They raise their voice and threaten. This does no good‖ — Jimmy Hoffman, Veteran‘s Interviewer, N.J. Dept. of Labor, 1027 Hooper Avenue, Toms River, NJ. ---------------------------------HOW UNWED TEENS CAUSE LOW-SCORING, HIGH-RISK DISRUPTIVE P0 TENTIA L DROPOUTS: ONE INWSIBLE CAUSE ―Teenage pregnancy is a problem of gigantic proportions Often teenagers have limited access to health care. Teen pregnancy is often related to a dangerous pattern of abuse against girls Four out of five children of teenage mothers who drop out of school live In poverty.‖ Donna Shalala, Secretary of Health and Human Services. ―Dropouts, drugs and crime are endemic to children born to teenaged parents. The poverty rate among teenaged parents who drop out of high school is 80%. TEENAGED. UNMARRIED MOTHERS ARE FAR LESS LIKELY TO FINISH HIGH SCHOOL, F1ND A JOB OR WORK THEIR WAY OFF WELFARE. S David Broder, The Star-Ledger ―The majority of teenaged mothers do not finish high school‖ • The Alan Gutmacher Institute, New York ―Children of teenage parents have lower IQ and achievement scores than the children of those who delayed childbearing.‖ • The Alan Gutmacher Institute, ibid Audience participation: discuss with your neighbor jot notes below; share with the group. --------------------------------WALT LIDMAN The DEVASTATING Dropout Disaster:

ABANDONED Children AUTHOR‘S NOTE: As ESL/bilingual teachers, our focus is the dropout rate as it pertains to our ELLs, but this article treats dropouts as a national, not ethnic, problem. never saw my father. My mother abused alcohol and drugs. She became so hooked that DYFS (Department of Youth and Family Services) put my sister and me in group and foster homes.‖ A.D. was my Developmental English student at Union County College. This is the course for students unable to pass reading or writing sections of the college entrance exam and, therefore, cannot matriculate. Her shocking words expose a source of academic problems and dropouts, not to mention the devastation upon the children and their mothers whose fathers abandon them. A.D.‘s mother was too devastated to provide the vital emotional and spiritual support without which A.D. did not succeed. A.D. wrote that when her father learned that her mother became pregnant with her, he abandoned them. Abandonment is an awesome burden. When I was an elementary school teacher, I ministered to an eight-year-old boy, ‗A.K‘, whose father had abandoned him and his unwed mother. He knew his father‘s name and his work phone, but that was all. Every time he called and said, ―Daddy...‖ his father hung up. Night after night, he cried himself to sleep. ―Where‘s my daddy? Why won‘t he talk to me?‖ His grandmother, the one raising him and not his mother, showed me ugly red blotches on his body. ―Nerves from all that,‖ she wistfully sighed. ‗Tm all he has.‖ His mother couldn‘t cope with abandonment let alone motherhood. She became very unstable and dropped out of high school. Naturally, her maternal skills were far less than to be desired. Tremendous tension passed between the mother and grandmother who seldom spoke to each other and A.K. painfully felt. He was barely passing, even with normal intelligence and me playing ‗substitute daddy‘ to him. There are numerous scientific studies that correlate single parenthood whether by un-marrieds, teens, divorcees with far greater problems than dropouts. E.J. Dionne, columnist for The Washington Post writes, ―Children raised in single-parent homes are at greater risk of poverty, delinquency, adult joblessness, and school dropouts.‖ Sometimes the absence of a parent creates a disabled family. Frank Russo, State Director for The American Family Association of New York wrote, ―Drug abuse, crime, poverty and educational difficulties are reduced when are raised by a mother and a father.‖ (New York Times, February 6, 2004). Dr. David Popenoe wrote the most devastating revelation of all. ―The decline of fatherhood is behind crime; premature sexuality; out-of-wedlock births to teenagers; deteriorating educational achievement; depression; substance abuse and alienation among adolescents and the growing number of women and children in poverty.‖ (―Life without Father‖, Star-Ledger, August 18, 1996). As President Barack Obama said in his inauguration, we have to pull together as a nation to solve many problems. That includes our devastating dropout disaster. Walt Lidman, retired ESL/bilingual teacher, teaches at Union County College, Cranford. Readers may respond at waltlidman@verizon.net. -------------------------------ENG 088-008 A conversation about problems with father of her baby March 5 or thereabouts. There was domestic violence. There is a court date. He grabbed her and threw her against a wall. She grabbed him and pushed him off her and he claimed self-defense.

She invited him to lunch which set off the argument. He said yes, then changed his mind. She will not contact him again. She was up since 6AM. There have been violent arguments ever since he found out she was pregnant. (five months now) The families are now involved quarreling with each other. She told him to stop calling but he kept calling. His grandmother got into it, accusing her. She yelled at the top of her lungs at him. (not clear) That attracted his grandmother‘s attention and that was when she got into it. He called her a lot of filthy names. A.. explained it to the grandmother. He was on top of her with his body. He wants nothing to do with the baby. Aysia wants to keep the baby. He tried to hurt the baby by pushing against her womb. He wants nothing to do with the baby. She went to the hospital and the baby is OK. She had an appointment with a counselor who warned her that if he is violent now, he will be violent with the baby. If he hit her once, he will hit her again. He weighs 225 pounds, she about half that. She was really scared and that‘s why she missed class. He pressured her to get an abortion but she will not. They have been arguing day after day. He has been rude and disrespectful. A social worker is involved, and so are the police. She has witnesses that he hit her and they filed a domestic violence charge against him, in Newark, Essex County. She loves her baby. It is her first baby. Her mother is excited about the baby. It is her first grandchild. -----------------------------------INVISIBLE CAUSES OF DROPOUTS: DIRECTLY FROM MY REPORT AS DVRT COUNSELOR 4-6-09 4PM 5:30PM ―Sabrina‖ 21-month-old son in common Verbal, economic, physical, emotional, harassment coercion, threats, intimidation, control, using the child as a weapon She broke off with him two years ago. She has his son (see above). The precipitating issue is visitation rights. All this is complicated with severe illness of the child. He has surgery pending which (he claimed) interferes with his visitation. Prior history of DV Will see Joelle & Robbie tomorrow. (counselors at Monmouth County Courthouse) Went over cycle of violence; (tension-building; violence; ‗seduction) relationship passes through all 3 stages within an hour, she said Went over power & control chart; all are present. (intimidation, emotional abuse; isolation (control); minimizing the abuse; making her feel guilty about child; economic abuse; making her feel like servant; coercion and threats) Gave her hotlines in case she needed them. Listened to her for over an hour. (counseling for self) She has documented all abuse including phone calls and e-mails. Gave her plan to present her case in court She was very on edge when I saw her; after listening to her and letting her talk, she was smiling and relaxed when she left to pick up her son. ----------------------------------

HOW SEXUAL ABUSE CAUSES LOW-SCORING HIGH-RISK DISRUPTIVE POTENTIAL DROPOUTS: THE HEARTWRENCHING LILLISA WILLIAMS STORY ―The first half of Lillisa Williams‘ life had not gone well, ―There was rebellion and shame as a teenager growing up in Cincinnati Dropping out of high school in the eleventh grade was her solution to years of academic frustration ―Drugs in the 1970‘s helped her escape a pain she would not discuss for years — an Uncle had molested her from the time she was five until she was 18. Williams had no clear direction then, her world finally unraveling into prostitution, more drugs and arrests •. a,, — Barry Carter, The Star-Ledger, Nov 3, 2008 ---------------------------------LONG-TERM STRATEGIES: USING OUR CLAIMS-TO-FAME TO BUILD SUCCESS 1. USE OUR CLAIMS-TO-FAME TO RAISE FAMILY SELF-ESTEEM 2. USE OUR CLAIMS-TO-FAME TO RAISE STUDENT SELF-ESTEEM 3. READ ALL MATERIAL TO THEM (FIRST READING) TO DEVELOP MENTAL VERBAL LEXICON AND SIGHT VOCABULARY 4. ENCOURAGE THEM TO THINK A ND SPEAK THEIR THOUGHTS 5 ENCOURAGE THEM TO WRITE THEIR THOUGHTS; TAKE DICTATION IF NECESSARY; OFFER LOTS OF HELP -------------------------------THE LONG-TERM STRATEGY To SUCCESSFUL READING BUILD ON YOUR CLAIMS-TO-FAME TO ESTABLISH THAT PERSONAL BOND AT ALL TIMES IN ALL PLACES; BEFORE AND AFTER THE BELL ARE MOST IMPORTANT, AS ARE BODY LANGUAGE AND ALL NON-VERBAL MESSAGES READ A VARIETY OF MATERIALS TO THEM ONE-ON-ONE OR ONE-ON-SMALL-GROUP IF POSSIBLE TO BUILD SELF-ESTEEM AND INTEREST OR, READ TO ENTIRE CLASS AT ALL TIMES MAINTAIN STRONG EYE-CONTACT; THIS PERSONAL ATTENTION IS WTAL THIS IS WHAT THEY MISSED IF PARENTS DID NOT READ TO THEM WHILE GROWING UP INVOLVE THEM IN THE MATERIAL BY ELICITING RESPONSES DISCUSSION CROSSES TO DIFFERENT BRAIN HEMISPHERES RESPONSE CAN BE VERBAL AT FIRST; DRAWING; ACTING-OUT; WRITING COMES LATER ―TEACHER READS FIRST‖ BUILDS MENTAL WORD POWER AS A BASE TO MASTER SIGHT VOCABULARY MAKE CHARTS OF NEW VOCABULARY WITH DICTIONARY MEANINGS AND DISPLAY THIS STIMULATES THE BRAIN BE VERY, VERY, VERY PATIENT AND VERY, VERY CARING

-----------------------------------ACTIVITIES TO DEVELOP WRITING SKILL, INTEREST, POWER (REFER BACK TO ‗HOW DO YOU HANDLE THIS GUV?‘AND KEEP IT IN MIND FOR THE ANGIE MARTINEZ CASE) 1. EVERYTHING THEY WRITE IS FOR AN AUDIENCE AND SENDS A MESSAGE! NOT JUST FOR A GRADE. 2. THEIR MESSAGES ARE IMPORTANT: THEREFORE THEY ARE IMPORTANT * * *SELFESTEEM* * * 3 FEEDBACK IS THE KEY! NOT CRITICISM! 4. RESPONDING POSITIVELY TO THEIR MESSAGE IS THE KEY! * * *SELFESTEEM** * 5. OVERLOOK ERRORS AT FIRST; THEY WILL IMPROVE AS THEY WRITE AND GAIN CONIDENCE 6. READ THEIR MESSAGE ALOUD TO AN AUDIENCE; CAN BE THE STUDENT ANDIOR CLASSMATES. 7. POST WORK ON BULLETIN BOARD IF APPROPRIATE 8. PRESCHOOL, KINDERGAR.TENERS OR FIRSTGRADERS CAN DRAW. PRAISE EVEN THEIR SCRIBBLES. MAKE THEM WANT TO DRAW AGAIN. TEACHER CAN PRINT THEIR NAMES, DATES, LABAELS, TITLES, CAPTIONS AT FIRST 9. OLDER STUDENTS DICTATE TO TEACHER AT COMPUTER. TEACHER READS BACK, ASKS ‗IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY?‘ TEACHER EDITS, FIXES GRAMMAR, SPELLING, PUNCTUATION; DOWNLOADS; STUDENT COPIES 10. WHATEVER YOU DO, MAKE THEM WANT TO WRITE AGAIN -----------------------------CULMINATING A CTIVITY THE ANGIE MARTINEZ CASE Schwartz Jeremy. ―Today‘s High School Dropouts Face A Bleak Economic Future‖. The StarLedger. May 6, 2001 very appropriate today) BREAK INTO GROUPS; ELECT LEADER AND RECORDER. ASSUME THAT ANGIE MARTINEZ‘S SON IS IN YOUR CLASS. HE IS HAVING PROBLEMS. LIST THEM. ANALYZE THE SOURCE. EXPLAIN YOUR IDEAS TO RESOLVE HIS POTENTIAL DISASTROUS DROPOUT PROBLEM. TAKE NOTES. REPORT TO THE GROUP. MOST IMPORTANT: USE THESE IDEAS IN. YOUR OWN SITUATIONS OR TO HELP SOMEONE IN A SIMILAR SITUATION


				
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