Senior Dad

Briefing

Room

 

  Get up to speed on parenting and education issues in the Senior Dad Briefing Room. How do parents today handle the stress of earning a living and raising children? How can our schools teach our children better? Should parents donate more to the schools or should government raise funding?
Senior Dad Briefing Room

 

Teens have been an enigma for several millennium, even Socrates questioned the conduct of youth. The post-industrial revolution child-labor laws brought about the emergence of the modern teen. New pressures and new patterns of free time have molded the behavior of our modern teenager. Often surly and argumentative, our teens seem to walk around in self-selected fogs. Michael Simon, a noted psychotherapist and a specialist on teens, joins Stan Goldberg to discuss what is really going on with teens.
No one can ever promise you that you would be happy. Maybe you thought that happiness just happened like a sunrise. In reality we can learn techniques to make ourselves and our families happier. Happiness expert Dr. Christine Carter joins Senior Dad Stan Goldberg to discuss methods we can use to help our families be happy during the holidays and have our children grow up to be happier adults. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Seth Rosenfeld was an investigative reporter for the San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicle. But it was his work for the Berkeley University newspaper, The Daily Californian that started him on a 30 year journey that culminated in the writing of his book" Subversives the FBI's war on student radicals and Reagan's rise to power". It took five lawsuits for the FBI to release over 200,000 pages of classified information about government spying. Seth Rosenfeld joins Senior Dad Stan Goldberg and gives us some insight into his fascinating book.

How do you get across to the President of the United States that the education policy he is embracing will destroy public education? How do you make a president who panders to the wealthy understand that the push for education privatization is nothing more than an attempt to suck money out of the public coffers and will not benefit children? There is a movement in our country to commercialize education. In Seattle there is hotbed of testing and privatizations where Dora Taylor is fighting Bill Gates and Eli Broad. Dora is the founder of Seattle Education 2010 and one of the organizers of the recent Save Our Schools march to Washington DC. An active member of Parents for Public Schools (CPPS) and founder of parents across America (PAA) Seattle, Dora joins Senior Dad Stan Goldberg to share what is happening in the battle for Seattle, current events, and how she views the future. Dora Taylor- Two Billionaires and a Mom.

Inventors are lucky if they create many inventions through their lifetime. Barry Blesser has done that. In 1960s he along with a colleague at MIT converted analog sound into digital sound and put it on a computer, thus enabling all of the digital audio technologies we experience today. Barry is also a philosopher. He describes his philosophical outlook as “plasticity” nothing is inevitable. He joins me in a Skype video interview to discuss his philosophy and how he interprets the world in which we live in. How sound affects the way we live and how different types of minds have different types of strengths. How commercial interests force us to categorize natural occurrences into medical diagnoses. Barry Blesser Author, Inventor, Philosopher, University Professor and gentle human being.
When politicians and pundits were trying to understand the motivations of voters in “heartland” America in 2008 they read Joe Bageant's watershed book "Deer Hunting with Jesus.”  Joe grew up in Winchester, Virginia, then moved away and became a journalist. When he returned years later to write his book, Joe delved into the psyche of those he grew up with. A keen and aware observer, Joe is able to add clarity to the motivations of the working poor. Joe's insight and understanding of people is not limited to those who he grew up with. He joins me today to discuss not only the people of the heartland but why many people around the world seem to dislike Americans and why Americans, in our own myopic way, seem to be clueless. Joe Bageant, Author, Lecturer, and Marxist
What is a learning disability?  Can you properly identify a learning disability? What should we do when our children seem to be behind in reading or math? Is it really a problem or is it just our imagination?  How do we get our children through the education process with their egos intact? Deborah Waber, researcher, clinical neuropsychologist joins me to discuss these issues among others and her new book, “Rethinking Learning Disabilities: Understanding Children Who Struggle in School”.
I want to be happy.  I want my kid to be happy. Sound familiar? Most of us want this but getting there is something else. How do we get our kids to expect to be happy? Christine Carter the author of “Raising Happiness” joins me in a Skype video visit to chat about how we can promote happiness in our children’s lives and our own.
We are what we eat.  We are facing a national epidemic of childhood obesity, hypertension, and high cholesterol from our bad eating habits. Dr Alan Greene, author of “Feeding Baby Green” joins me in a Skype video-visit to talk about teaching children to love great food by starting them early.  Since Alan is a Pediatrician we also discuss the health and education related issues of the Autism epidemic and other health related issues.
The Spark Program identifies at-risk middle-school students who need to be motivated by the relevancy of school and matches them with people in industry that are employed in the student's dream job. The student then becomes an intern at that profession for one semester going to the job after school hours. Chris Balme, Co-Founder and Executive Director, shares the genesis of Spark and what they are doing to reduce dropouts. What type of job does a child want?
The Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District has placed the districts failing schools up for grabs. Not only has the superintendent made schools available to be taken over by the usual suspects but the superintendent has also put in a “parent trigger”. Bill Ring, Director of TransParent®, talks to me about what's happening in Los Angeles. 12:40 minutes audio. Take my schools please!

Sara Bennett co-authored “The Case Against Homework” with Nancy Kalish. Both have been guests on my show in the past. On this show I share with Sara some of my homework wins and losses and she shares with us what the last 3 years running stophomework.com was like.

The state of special education. This report covers special education , due process, inclusion, parent communities, and trust. Colin Ong-Dean, researcher and author of Distinguishing Disability: Parents, Privilege, and Special Education, has investigated special education and due process. Two of our panelists have children in special education. Both have fought to get the services their children justly deserved. Katy Franklin has not engaged in litigation but she effectively points out her child’s legal rights. Robin Hansen has fought the system  through due process hearings and eventually won the services her children needed.  This report gives you real-life instances of the conditions within our schools and special education. Some of it will make you laugh, some of it will get you angry, and some of it will make you cry. But this is a day-to-day situation of over 5,000 families every day in San Francisco, and millions around the country.

Be prepared for the flu season and the possibility of school closings. How parents and teachers can keep children learning and minimize the problems of school and work disruptions.With Ellie Goldberg www.healthy-Kids.info Nationally know advocate for students with chronic health conditions.

Sponsored by Parents For Public Schools San FranciscoFor additional information about public school issues for parents, please contact Parents For Public Schools at www.PPSSF.org

John C. Dvorak is an internationally renowned technology reporter and analyst.  John joins us to tell us if you can expect your paper textbooks to be replaced by digital ones shortly.  A Senior Dad Brief 10:41 minutes.

Distracted— this is a very popular word and it describes what is happening to many people in our modern world. We look at our children and see that they can't focus and we wonder whether this is caused by some medical condition or by the way we live. Commercials, technical devices, music and popular entertainment pull us in several directions. Are these the root causes of the distraction of our society? Maggie Jackson, the columnist for the Boston Globe has written a book called "Distracted". She explores this phenomena and discusses the coming dark age caused by distraction. Maggie joins me to discuss her book and explores the lives we live. Rarely will you find such an interesting and entertaining person as Maggie Jackson. It is easy to see why she has such a loyal following at the Boston Globe. Maggie Jackson—Distracted.
California ballot proposition 1D is confusing.  The copy that describes it sounds like this is a boon to early childhood education yet some of the most respected leaders in early childhood education are lining up and speaking out to vote ‘No’.  I asked Kadija Johnston, a long time educator and administrator in the field, to help me understand prop 1D.  Many people in our community who are committed to preschool education-for-all are volunteering time at local phone banks. Those of you who are so inclined can contact Paula at the following email address to schedule a time.  Schmidlinp@yahoo.com

If your child has allergies, it is important to have the child’s school engaged as a good- health partner.  When starting a new school, the time to get acquainted with the school is the springtime before.  Ellie Goldberg shares with us in a Senior Dad Brief that lasts 10 minutes 50 seconds. “How to prepare for a new school year for a child with allergies.”

Mel Levine speaks about individualized education plans for all

The Sustainable Chef

Throughout his life Bryant Terry has tried many different diet plans.  As a Chef he has explored cuisine from varied corners of the United States.  Nationally known, he has participated in sustainable garden projects on both coasts and he has appeared in a featured article in the Sunday New York Times Magazine. Now a Berkeley resident, he has spoken at Alice Water’s and Ann Cooper’s school food project.

In this conversation we chat about his new book “The Vegan Soul Kitchen” as well as his cooking roots, growing organic produce at home, school food, sustainable gardening, buying local food from farmers markets and what spices to use to enliven a meal. 

Edward Zigler is Director Emeritus of the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University. He was the youngest member of the planning committee for head start and later served as its director. Recently he has been a member of President Obama’s childhood transition team.

Ed speaks to us about the past and the future. We talk about the persistent economic education gap, about charter schools, preschools, early childhood education, and developing integrated educational communities. Arguably there are a few educators in America as well qualified as Edward Zigler to help us chart the direction of American education for the future.

Mel Levine and Stan Goldberg chat about trust.
Kris Olson went to Waco, Texas public schools as a child.  It was quite natural when her first child entered kindergarten to show up at the school and ask to pitch in.  When Kris saw that a large number of her contemporaries were choosing to send their children to private schools or moving to the suburbs, she and some other parents decided to act, leading to the formation of Parents For Public Schools, Waco.  This action changed the Waco public schools and the parent involvement there forever.  PPS- Waco the Genesis.
Without the catalyst generated by an Op-Ed piece placed in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1999, the two founders of Parents for Public Schools San Francisco (PPSSF), Sandra Halladey and Deena Zacharin, would not have been able to generate the interest and funding to start PPSSF. This is the story of the genesis of Parents for Public Schools San Francisco and the people who crafted it. Cindy Rambo of the Zellerbach family foundation, Jane Beach of  Parents for Public Schools and two dedicated parents, Deena Zacharin and Sandra Halladey.
Laurie Rogers, parent and school volunteer, was just not hearing the answers that she expected. Laurie volunteered at her child’s school. She has a teaching and math background so it was natural that she would be interested in what they were doing with math at the school. What she saw got her digging deeper.  She researched until she found that the math scores in the district seemed to be in trouble. She tried to ask questions but felt she was getting the runaround. When she got meetings, she felt she got no answers. This is her story and what she did next.
Mel Levine and Stan Goldberg chat about rules
The news business has been changing even before that runner burst through the door, breathless to deliver her earth-shattering news. Nanette Asimov was not in the business that far back, but has been the mainstay of the Education Beat for the San Francisco Chronicle for over twenty years.  Her focus is on state and national issues and has recently begun investigating special education and autism.  Her stories are insightful, informative, and occasionally controversial, as her words describe a vision that is uncomfortable for some.  Speaking with Nanette gives us insight to the person we meet so frequently at our breakfast table.  Nanette Asimov- The Observant Witness.

The city council of Santa Monica withheld funds from their school district because the city council was uncomfortable with all the non-disclosure agreements that the school district was requiring to settle special education lawsuits.  What are non-disclosure agreements (gag orders) and who do they help and who do they harm?

Three experienced special education advocates join me in conversation: Ellie Goldberg, advocate, author and legislative chair of the Massachusetts PTA; Pat Howey, advocate and nationally known special needs presenter at WrightsLaw seminars; and Katy Franklin, advocate and a leading voice towards revising the San Francisco Unified School District’s educational practices towards children with extra needs. They explore the Santa Monica case and discuss actions by other school districts that not only harm the children the school districts are entrusted to teach, but cause all taxpayers to pay more to compensate for their school districts improper education strategies.  All this, in light of current special education enrollment at 10–12 % and rising rapidly, due to epidemics of allergies and autism.  

As I listened to this show I developed a feeling of unease.  I always thought that school district administrative personnel were working with the best interests of educating the child.  I now question the validity of that feeling.  I think all of us should explore if the administrators in our school districts have lost touch with that goal.  This is a difficult issue to visit.  We all want to trust.  We all want to believe.  

To gag or not gag, that is the question.

‘Quality Counts’ is the comprehensive annual survey of education in the 50 states of the U.S.  It compares reading and math scores as well as a number of additional factors such as funding, education gap, opportunity gap, chances of success in school, and then grades the states on these criteria as well as many others.  The study is produced by the Research Center for Editorial Projects and Education, a non-profit arm of the publishers of Education Week.

To help me grasp the dimensions of the data, Chris Swanson, the Director of the Center joins me to share some insights.  A new feature this year is the ability to adjust the weighting of each of the factors so the viewer can see the data based on their own priorities.

Chris and I discuss some of the funding inequities that effect education, after school programs, education reform, decreases over time in reading scores, and of course everyone’s favorite, “No Child Left Behind”.  While some of the numbers are troubling, it becomes apparent that there is a need for a universal intake assessment tool for children when they first enter school.  This type of assessment would give educators a sense of how much the child has developed to date and what areas need to be addressed.  Such assessments can also give us a yardstick in evaluating the effectiveness of preschool education from year to year.

When we first met Senior Dad-to-be, Bob Brockob, he was filled with the anticipation of impending fatherhood.  On this his forth visit to our show we have a 10 month check in with Bob to find out how this minimalist architect and education chair of OceanFilmFest.org is adjusting to being the dad of Max and how it has changed his life.
What if all your family’s medical history could not be accessed? Not for you parents, nor your grand parents.  It would definitely make it difficult to figure out to which illnesses your child is susceptible. Unfortunately, this is what has happened to medical research and illness data in this country.  Derva Davis, author of “The Secret History of the War on Cancer”, and is the Director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, talks with Senior Dad Stan Goldberg about the negative effects of censoring and withholding information by our Federal Government.  She describes the very real risks we face as we follow this dangerous policy.  Are fear, intimidation, and donor profits now the main driver of government funding?  How can we change the course?  Derva Davis- A voice of courage.

When a parent like Katy Franklin, who has a child with autism, donates time to aid other parents, it is a gift. 

Time is at a premium in her life. She is helping other parents navigate the special needs program of the San Francisco Unified School District.  Katy is a member of the Community Advisory Committee on Special Needs of the San Francisco Unified School District School Board.  The Committee sends out a newsletter twice a year from the committee to the parents of extra needs children in the district, that is distributed by the San Francisco Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA).

One issue was sent out, and then the difficulties began. 

When given the second newsletter in July 2007, the SELPA manager David Wax assured the Committee that it would be translated into two languages.  This took until January 2008 but came back without any translation. A further delay was caused when the Committee was told there were “issues” with the ‘frequently asked questions’ section of the newsletter. 

Katy had included the questions the Committee members are continually asked by parents in an effort to increase the knowledge of the parents.  It became an issue for SELPA because these questions and answers educated the parents on their rights in getting an equitable education for their child.

At that point, SELPA and David Wax sent a letter from a law office telling the committee that they were not allowing pages two and three to be sent out (including the question/answer section). This is a case of a government agency censoring, without authority over the Committee, but it gets worse.

Under the guise of investigating a complaint of Katy’s, SELPA sent a lawyer to Katy’s son’s school to investigate his homework and all communication between Katy and her child’s teacher.

It gives you goose bumps.

You can download the newsletter and the letter from the law office and see for yourself what SELPA doesn’t want parents to know.

After you listen to the interview that Senior Dad Stan Goldberg has with Katy Franklin please listen to the closing segment as Katy perhaps provided us with the clue for us to tease out an answer as to why some autism numbers in the SFUSD appear so out of proportion. 

Do we have freedom of speech in schools? Over the past several years we have seen an assault on free speech.  Onerous censorship not only gagged the mouths of our scientists, but perhaps more troubling, there is a pervasive involuntary censorship that citizens have placed on themselves for fear of speaking out. What are students and parents rights to speak out at school? Can someone edit your email? Can your viewpoint be censored in committee? Can a student article in the school newspaper be censored? Will the IRS take away the tax status of a 501(c)3 because of something said on non-profit’s listserv?  Should free speech of members be restricted?  Senior Dad Stan Goldberg is joined by David Greene, Executive Director of THE FIRST AMENDMENT PROJECT, Mike Hiestand, Legal Consultant for the Student Press Law Center and Rachel Norton, Mother, Listserv Moderator and newly announced candidate for School Board

Every parent wants to have a happy child.  Some are born happy and some are not and that’s that.  Maybe not.  Christine Carter, Director of the Greater Good Science Center at University of California at Berkley, shares techniques that you can use to make your child happier.  A child’s feelings of happiness can be adjusted as much as 40%. Senior Dad Stan Goldberg chats with her about happiness habits, the happiness set point, learning how to correct a child’s mistakes without damaging the child, how to raise emotionally literate children, and benefits from altruism.

Christine Carter- Teaching your child happy ways.

There was a time that Robyn O’Brien never gave a thought to what she or her family ate.  One day at breakfast, her fourth child ate a scrambled egg, turned red, started looking like a blown up balloon, and changed Robyn’s view of allergies and nutrition forever. Nutrition education became a basic of Robyn’s family. As Robyn learned more about how food is produced, she was alarmed by all the dangers we are never told about. She shares what she has learned in a conversation with Senior Dad Stan Goldberg, as they talk about what to feed your family, the links from genetically engineered milk hormones to breast cancer, prostrate cancer, and ovarian cancer. They talk about government penalties to organic growers, and about school lunches. Robyn O’Brien, “The Mighty Nutritionist”
Heddi Craft is an educator.  She has taught school on most levels K-6 and has been a consultant for the Curriculum Leadership Institute.  After moving to Santa Cruz, California, and beginning to raise a family she noticed how quickly her son learned the lessons from his $12-20 puzzles.  Looking around for a better solution than purchasing more learning tools at the pace of her son’s voracious appetite, she founded the Educational Resource Center of Santa Cruz, a membership based lending library of educational toys, games, and learning materials.  In conversation with Senior Dad, Stan Goldberg, she shares her ideas of “No Child Left Behind”, homework, teacher retraining and actions for parents.  Heddi Craft reaching children differently
Nancy Kalish is an education activist. She frequently appears on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times. She co-authored “The Case Against Homework” with Sara Bennett, a contributor to Senior Dad.  In conversation with Stan Goldberg she alerts us to a key reason our teens seem to be asleep the first period of the day.  After that she fills us in on what’s been happening around the country as homework policies change, including new ideas about school work at home and why some of our children are not learning to love to read.  These topics and more in “Nancy Kalish—Unvarnished Truth”
Lice.  Even saying the word can make your scalp itch.  I can remember that creepy feeling each time we received a note form school informing us that lice have been detected in our school.  Check the heads, wash the linens and heads with toxic soaps and think unkind thoughts about the children that brought that unwelcome vermin into our environment.  And then do it again 10 days later. Dale Clayton is an entomologist, a professor at the University of Utah, and he tells us new things about lice, and shatters common accepted beliefs about the little pest.  Dale teaches us that a new way to treat lice that can come to market in less than a year, with no consumables. A real money saver for schools as children don’t miss school and the per diem funding doesn’t slow down.  Dale Clayton, lousebuster. 
Amanda Cockshutt is a PhD, a university professor, a parent, and an advocate for parent’s rights. She lives in eastern Canada and has worked with her local schools to gain a voice for restoring family time.  We chat about language immersion programs, homework, child discipline, and teacher re-education.  Amanda exposes us to some evolutionary ideas and actions by some progressive educators.  Amanda Cockshutt, moving forward softly.
In the well-behaved community of San Marino California where 60-70% of the students have after-school tutors, there is discontent brewing.  Although the school district boasts the highest API scores in the state, there are rumblings that the high school students are not getting into the best colleges that their scores would indicate.  A relentless regime of homework has stripped away family time and enrichment.  Tracy Mason is upset about the effect that homework is having on her daughter.  Tracy made an in-depth analysis of all the available studies about homework and was startled to find that homework does not increase learning as it chips away at parental rights.  She has embarked on a project to change her school district’s homework policy.  At her first meeting over 20 parents attended. This is a school district that many families have cultural traditions that value vast amounts of homework.  She already has been threatened and verbally attacked for speaking out in this typically quiet community.  Tracy and the other parents who seek change will not cower as they show their children how to stand up for their parental rights.  Part one of a long journey.
Marcella Pixley was bullied when she was a girl in middle school.  She had a different developmental clock than the other girls her age, which exposed her to taunting.  As an adult Marcella teaches middle school and sees how much has changed and how much has remained the same. She views daily how preteens relate to each other.  Marcella wrote a hard hitting, truthful gritty novel about her experiences called “Freak” to help young girls and parents understand this difficult growth stage.  We talk with her about the book, how she writes and the effect writing the book had on her. She also shares her hopes about the effect of the book will have on parents and young people.

Sir Ken Robinson is one of the foremost critical thinkers in the world today in the fields of creativity, ingenuity, and education.  He is to those fields what Stephen Hawking is to physics. We learn Sir Ken’s views on the best direction for education to change, including No Child Left Behind, Inclusion, ADHD, education and the arts, education for the workplace and equality in schools.

Sir Ken has sampled first hand different types of educational methods.  He was born into a modest income family in Liverpool, the fifth of seven children. He contracted Polio when he was four and was sent to a school for disabled children. Later, he was included in a regular school, went on to university, and then on to an outstanding career in education.  We learn how his background shaped his ideas and provided the foundation for his insightful understanding of education and creativity today.

If being a teen is so hard, why does it have to be hard for the parent as well? Dr. Anthony Wolf is a nationally known author and child psychologist specializing in Teens. We discuss some of the behaviors we can expect from our children as they become teens, why they appear to hate us and what conflict is going on within the teen.  We also discuss a parent/teen education program that Anthony is working with to engage parents and teens in discussing risk behaviors centered around driving.
The divorce rate among parents with children with extra needs is reported to be 85% within the first five years of diagnosis. Mary McFarland nationally know Oakland California based Psychotherapist discusses these startling figures. We explore the possible reasons for this and actions that couples can take to reduce the chances of divorce.  Although this show focuses on parents with extra needs children it can apply to all parents.
Mel Levine didn’t do well in elementary or grade school.  He had a sense of humor and made his classmates laugh. When his classmates came to his house to play he told his mother to tell them he wasn’t home.  He would rather play with his animals and play in his own mind.  His older brother got into Harvard and had Mel visit him on weekends. These visits excited Mel’s mind and he became an A student from then on.  Mel’s brother found the way in to help Mel learn. Mel graduated first in his class at Brown, became a Rhoades Scholar at Oxford, went to Harvard Medical School and is now the Director of the University of North Carolina Center for the Study of Development and Learning.  Mel is one of the leading figures in the world in the study of the different ways that people learn.  Mel doesn’t believe that one way or 5 ways or 10 ways fits all. There is a way to reach every child we just have to follow the clues.  Mel spurns labels like “Autism”, “Bipolar”,  “ADHD” and likes to visualize the child as they will be at 24.  Mel founded the All Kinds of Minds Institute and has changed the way we view learning, all because a kind older brother took the time to find the way in. We learn who Mel is and what he thinks of the world around him.
One of the founders of the modern day small schools movement Deb Meier looks back at the small school movement and sees dangers she never envisioned.  Still a supporter of small schools she sees nonetheless a possibility for oppression.  Deb tells us what she thought when she started the modern day small school movement years ago in Harlem.
Holly Seerley is the mother of a child with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and Dyslexia.  She faces the issues that normally confront a parent with a child with those conditions, but when he was in middle school, a new condition arose; Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS), and Holly’s challenge was intensified.  We’re all venerable to having a child or parent with PTSS.  Holly shares what it is like.
Bill Glasser is a psychiatrist who developed Choice theory he also has a position on redefining mental health. There are 12 schools in the country designated as Glasser Schools which means the teach the Choice theory as part of their curriculum.  Bill is truly one of the great creative thinkers of our time and in this first part of our multi-part conversation with Bill we learn some of the events that shaped his thinking.
The environment that a child learns in can determine outcome.  At school how we treat the child not only effects how the child learns but also teaches the child how to treat others. If a teacher uses power, force or abuse to teach, that is what a child will learn. The Grand Traverse Academy in Traverse City MI uses none of these. It is a Bill Glasser inspired school and it uses "a gentle way to teach". Kaye Mentley the superintendent of the school district tells us how they do it
Ingrid Shafer has team taught at the college level for 40 years at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. She is a Professor of Philosophy and Religion and more degrees to boot.  She is a new friend and I asked her how we should teach our quicker learners. That's where our conversation started.  I hope you enjoy listening to Ingrid as much as I enjoyed thinking with her.
Briefing Room- Barry Blesser is a retired MIT professor. He is creative, innovative and one of the creators of digital sound in computers. Barry now directs his energy towards teaching parents how to save their children's hearing while there is still time.  Hear the always interesting Barry Blesser.
David Elkind Internationally renowned child psychologist and author joins us for a  conversation. David is most direct and shares the best way to give your child a great advantage.
Ellie is an advocate for healthy schools. She is on the Board of the Massachusetts state PTA, is an author, lecturer and a tireless fighter for a cleaner environment. She is based in Newton Massachusetts.
" The quality of education a child with a disability receives is directly related to the advocacy skills of the parent".  Say's Pat Howey a parent whose child's illness turned her into an advocate for children with extra needs. Pat tells us how to become advocates for our children
John C Dvorak is a leading Tech reporter, editor, writer, media star,blogger (Dvorak.org/blog) and has been a curmudgeon for years. John shares his views with us about parenting.  John is a vocal supporter of home schooling.
Joan Williams-Director, Center for WorkLife Law University of California, Hastings has made a study of arbitration's related to discharges because of mandatory overtime and family emergencies. We all could be one sick child away from being fired.
Jose Barillas is the Principal of Thurgood Marshal Middle School in Chicago IL and is a hero.  I thought about our conversation for 1 month after we recorded it before I could edit it. His story so gripped and troubled me I needed the time to gather perspective. He has taught for 30 years. His school which is a small school (400 students) has been selected one of the “Schools to watch”.  Now in the sunset years of his career he looks at what has changed and what needs to be done. Jose’s school has 97% free lunch and 85% Latino.  Jose helps us understand what is happening with parental involvement at his school and how it affects the children.