Week of 4.17.17

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Bloomfield Hills Schools Celebration

Wabeek Country Club was a good choice for the third annual Bloomfield Hills Schools Foundation fundraiser which attracted 220 ($150, $250) school district supporters. Alum-to-be-honored, Las Vegas-based magician Rick Lax, BHS 2000, chatted easily with the early-arriving VIP guests, including teachers Pat Clees, David Reed and Bob Ambrose whom he would later praise in his acceptance speech. We were amused that his favorite accomplishment was not his two college degrees, his membership in Mensa, his Ted Talk or his books, but rather the You Tube videos of his magic tricks that have more than 2 billion views. Casino games (with Lax doing a stint as a dealer), a silent auction and strolling dinner preceded the program emceed by auctioneer Gary Mark. Program highlights included three testimonials (by student Emelia Johnston, teacher Rachel Matz and Way Elementary principal Adam Scher) about the educational value of their foundation grants, a salute to Rob Glass (in the form of a named foundation to honor outstanding teachers) for his Michigan Superintendent of the Year honor, and the live auction.
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This weeks social light photos…

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oakland confidential

April 2017

BIGOTRY 101: Who could have imagined that in 2017 anti-semitism would once again be rearing its ugly head. Sadly, some local Republicans confirm the toxic malady hit the state’s Republican convention in February, when party administrative vice-chair David Wolkinson of Birmingham ran for re-election to the party position. "There were a bunch of people who also wanted to be vice-chair who ...more»
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Common Core standards: common sense


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"There is no specific, mandated curriculum. No one is saying you have to use these books. The curriculum we wrote as an ISD are generic enough a teacher can choose their own books and tools," Delia DeCourcy, literary consultant for Oakland Intermediate Schools, explained. "It creates a very student-centered classroom with more discussion in the classroom. There's no more 'sage on the stage.' It's learning by discovery, how you learn in the real world. Administrations are overwhelmingly positive and excited to provide professional support for it."

Yet, Michigan legislators are currently debating whether to support and fund Common Core, held hostage by a Tea Party contingent led by Rep. Tom McMillin (R-Rochester), who sponsored House Bill 4276 which would have Michigan opt out of the Common Core curriculum and deny its funding. He told Downtown his motivation is because "before Common Core, we owned the discussions. I oppose Michigan having their state rights, their authority taken away from them."

He also doesn't like that students will have to take assessment tests on computers because "you must type. Lots of kids don't know how to type." Really? Isn't the point of Common Core to make our students more competitive? One way is to become computer-literate.

Several local legislators, such as state senators John Pappageorge (R-Birmingham, Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills) and Mike Kowall (R-White Lake, Commerce Township, Walled Lake, Wolverine Lake, West Bloomfield), said they were impressed with Common Core, but hadn't made up their mind yet about their vote.

However we applaud state Rep. Mike McCready (R-Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield) for standing up for his principles, and his principals, when he said, "The Tea Party isn't going to like it, but I'm going to support Common Core. It's a basic skill set for K-12. I have to listen to my educators and the superintendents in Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and West Bloomfield all support it. I have to support my district, and not the Tea Party."

Common Core makes a lot of common sense to us. Educators and administrators are seeking the best English and math standards for our children, to prepare them for college and careers that will help them succeed. It's time for lawmakers to recognize that, and provide that support.

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