Saturday, July 12, 2014

Testimony to the Lauderhill City Commission about support for a charter school in a Warehouse / Light Industrial zoning district

If you support alternatives to the traditional "big box" high school, please come to the Lauderhill City Commission meeting on July 14 at 7 p.m. to stand in support of iGe
neration Academy's request for approval.

5581 W Oakland Park Blvd, Lauderhill, FL 33313
(954) 730-3010
Commission address:  5581 West Oakland Park Blvd.

Agenda Item

In 1995, Dennis Littky opened a school in Providence, Rhode Island, with the idea of matching high school student with local businesses.   The school's mission is described in a book by Littky in 2004  CLICK HERE  << The goals of education  << Teach one student at a time

iGeneration Academy goes one step closer to this mission:  The students are in a Light Industrial zone so that they can easily find their own mentors and businesses where they can find internships.   Some students at the Littky school travel 35 or 40 minutes across the city to get to their internships;  iGeneration Academy students can walk to nearby businesses.

The Academy gives teachers the opportunity to link real world problems to the academic work.  Students can bring information from their internships into the classroom.

Here are some screenshots from Littky's school website

Other web links:  Real World Learning

Work/Study programs:  
Switzerland and Germany

A special system of apprenticeship called Duale Ausbildung allows pupils on vocational courses to do in-service training in a company as well as at a state school.[3]

From an article about academic links to work in German schools

The well-documented report from the Planning and Zoning Division of Lauderhill focuses on issues that aim to separate education from commercial and economic work.  The Euclidean goal of planners is to separate land uses so that residential areas don't have smells and noises of industrial zones.  (Euclid, Ohio, was one of the first examples of separating land uses into zones that resulted in litigation)

NOTE:  Village of Euclid, Ohio v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365 (1926), more commonly Euclid v. Ambler, was a United States Supreme Court landmark case[1]argued in 1926. It was the first significant case regarding the relatively new practice of zoning, and served to substantially bolster zoning ordinances in towns nationwide in the United States and in other countries of the world including Canada.

This "zone" approach leads to creating schools that are isolated from the economic world.  One of the principal benefits of teaching at Mavericks charter school (454 West Sunrise Blvd.) was the workshops across the street (in the 500 block of West Sunrise Blvd.).  Such "incompatible" uses (education and light industrial work) led to discussions in my classes of how to measure materials that needed to be cut and assembled.   

Bullying:  "The way to handle bullies is to keep the bullies away from the potential victims."  This appears to be the standard way of preventing incidents.   The mentality of the bully remains untouched.

Alternative:  Make "safe schools for all" the watchword of the school's culture.   an article about anti-bullying programs

From an anti-bullying article
In short:  The school's teachers can create a 
climate with the students for non-bullying.

A Poster in my classroom:  Trust. Truth. No putdowns.
Active Listening.  Personal Best

From in St. Louis, Mo.
Link to the report

"We don't do that here" is how Littky's schools operate.    There is evidence that older students can be near-peer mentors to younger students.

A report about High School students as mentors for "littles" (elementary school students)



Here are selected excerpts  from the Planning and Zoning Division's report to the City Commission.   CLICK HERE to see the full collection of excerpts that I selected for comments.

RESPONSE:  A charter school has been here before.  
Why not let the school operate?

RESPONSE:  (1) MIXED USE:  There are 
educational advantages to allowing students to 
conveniently observe the cycles of local businesses. 
(2) SPACE:  A charter school does not need 30 acres to deliver services.  The shorter school day 
means that recreation takes place after 
school or before school.    
Why not let the school operate?

RESPONSE:  A five-foot or a four-foot sidewalk?   Is that difference enough to stop the transformation of education? Can we find a creative solution?    Perhaps by creating a pathway called "step on the painted squares"?

A popular smartphone app is called "Don't Tap the White Tile"
What if the school has a coordination test painted on the side walk to encourage students to walk single-file, each taking turns to step on the painted squares?

(5) Loss of Real Estate Taxes:  perhaps this
"economic loss" can be thought of as 
"investment in our future" with the
valuable curriculum of the Global Studies program and
free SAT / ACT / PERT test prep that will be offered. 
(6)  Police:  The argument is that 200 students 
will create the need for police response. 
An alternative:  The culture of the school might
be built where police presence is not required.  

RESPONSE:  (7)  Bullies need to be kept away from middle school students.   
This concern is addressed by having separate entrances at opposite ends of the school building.
In Littky schools, the people who provide catering, transportation and janitorial services also participate in  mentoring of students.  

Do you really want to keep janitors away from the students?

If you support alternatives to the traditional "big box" high school, please come to the Commission meeting on July 14 at 7 p.m. to stand in support of iGeneration Academy's request for approval (item number 18 on the Agenda).  5581 West Oakland Park Blvd.

This is the action that the
Planning and Zoning Division recommends

To grant a special exemption, four out of five votes are needed.  Here are the participants:

Mayor Kaplan, Vice Mayor Bates, Commissioners Benson, Thurston, and Berger

Here are some letters of support that have been received so far

Gordon Dryden Sun, Jul 13, 2014 at 6:41 PM
Cc: visual active
To Principal Latoya Robinson 

Dear Latoya 

Best wishes for planning approval for your academy.

The biggest single problem in the word of education right now is simple but appalling: 75 million youth unemployed between ages 15 and 24; many of them with advanced university degrees.

One of the big solutions is what you are proposing: a school with a 21st-century program to combine great learning methods with an allied program to for students to share hands-on jobs in 21st-century industries in the same area.

My new iBooks (one for the Apple iPad, based around the Apple model for the future; the other for Google-Android, based around their open-source model), should be completed by the end of this year.  The format for both is covered in the enclosed attachment.

Both are based on a completely updated concept of the original Aha game I invented to teach entrepreneurship and innovation at middle, high school and college level (copy of the original board game attached).  You'll notice the 144 new examples, around which booth the books and digital-visual games are based, have been completely updated.  But the same rte aching and learning principle applies: for each student to begin with his or her own talent, strength or passion – and to then throw two dice twice in each of the 12 numbered sub-sections; then to use the resulting examples as the basis for personal innovation programs.

More importantly (to link in with your new schools) this provides the opportunities for every strident to:

1. Start with each one's individual talent, strengths and passion.

2. Link that together with other students into multi-talented teams.  And then

3.     Use new technologies and templates to provide true principles of imagination, ideas and innovation to reinvent every aspect of society.

Feel free to use the concepts free of charge.

Best wishes.

Gordon Dryden

Gordon Dryden
The Learning Web Ltd
P O Box 16384
Bethlehem, Tauranga
New Zealand 3147


To Whom It May Concern
Agenda Item #18
City of Lauderhill
In support of iGeneration Academy

Dear Ms. Robinson:

My name is Mario Llorente, and I have heard, through Steve McCrea, of your efforts to gain a special exemption from the City Commission to open your school.

I absolutely support  small schools. I believe they are the only foreseeable future to our children's needs. Such settings offer a  strength that can outdo any other weaknesses.

I plan to attend the meeting on Monday at 7.00. It will be a pleasure to get to meet you in person,

Mario LLorente

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