"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bringing Up Baby 101: Expanded Curriculum for Missouri Charter Schools?

What federal agency searched for the words "missouri charter schools" on the internet recently and showed up on this blog? It wasn't the Department of Education...it was the Department of Health and Human Services.

I couldn't figure out why that department would be interested in charter schools. Since then I've discovered Health and Human Services has given quite a bit of funding for pregnancy programs:

WASHINGTON, DC The District of Columbia’s Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced that DHS has been awarded a $1.559M grant to further DHS’ efforts to provide school-based support to its pregnant and parenting teens. The goal of the grant is to increase attendance and graduation rates among pregnant and parenting teens, while also increasing public awareness about the availability of supports and resources for pregnant and parenting teens.

The grant will fund the expansion of the New Heights program into 14 new schools within the District of Columbia. New Heights is an innovative program whose mission is to inspire inner-city youth to be leaders, champions and student-athletes and to empower them to be successful in high school, college and life. The New Heights Teen Parent Program model is unique in that it is located in and run by DC Public Schools.

The District proposes expanding the New Heights program to both public and charter high schools. Schools will be prioritized based on their numbers of pregnant and parenting students and the existing resources in the school and neighboring community.

From the former superintendent of the DC school district:

“We are proud to serve the young parents who are determined to get the education they need to support their families,” said Chancellor Michelle Rhee. “It’s incredibly tough for students to raise children and balance a full course load at the same time, and we have to do everything possible to empower them and ensure their success.”

Former Chancellor Rhee apparently has great faith in the coming P20 pipeline for public education. The mother and baby can both be profiled and tracked at the same time. The Departments of Education and Health and Human Services can share the nanny position for mom and child. Education just isn't about writing, reading and arithmetic; it's also about teaching teenagers how to parent and possibly providing them with other services; under the "Health and Wellness" section of the DC website:

New Heights Teen Parent Program

Pregnant and parenting students have the right to remain in their schools and participate in all school programs. Our New Heights Teen Parent Program provides pregnant and parenting DCPS students with the assistance, support and guidance they need to handle the responsibilities of raising a child and graduating from high school.

New Heights participants may be eligible for educational, employment, housing, support services and information about community resources until their 20th birthday. Contact the Anacostia SHS office at 202-645-4040, or the Cardozo SHS office at 202-671-1995.

This is listed under the Health and Wellness section under the teen parent program information:

Wrap MC Condom Availability Program

We have adopted DOH’s Wrap MC Condom program in all high schools, where trained school staff provide condoms to students as part of a comprehensive health education program for students in grades 9–12. Condoms are also available through the school nurse.

Visit the Department of Health for more information.

A question: are these the intended functions and constitutional responsibilities of the Federal government and the public schools?

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