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05/27/08 11:27 - 49ºF - ID#44463

Buffalo Public Schools

I tutor a young Sudanese woman who up until a year ago was living in refugee camps in Africa. It is absolutely my pleasure to help her with her homework. She's such a bright young woman. But I want to pound my head with frustration when she shares with me the obstacles she runs into at school.

Last night was the last straw for me when she explained that she needed permission to take a class textbook home to do homework or to study for a test. If she wants unrestricted access to a textbook, she may purchase a used copy from the school with permission from the teacher and counselor. It took her a really long time to explain this to me because I couldn't begin to comprehend this situation.

So I decided to compose a letter to the principal of her school politely explaining my concerns and asking for clarification.

[box]I am writing to express concerns that have been brought to my attention through tutoring a young woman in the eighth grade at (school name with held).

The young woman has explained to me that she does not have an assigned textbook for each of her classes. Instead, she must ask permission from her teacher to take a text book home and then she must return it the following day. If she wishes to have a book of her own without such restrictions, she may purchase a used book from the school if approved by her teacher and the principal. Is this information correct? Could you please explain your school’s policy on the use of textbooks? I am very concerned that this young woman and other pupils at this school do not have unrestricted access to textbooks for studying and completion of homework.

The young woman has also informed me that she participates in an after school activity on Tuesday for assistance with homework. She has indicated that this after school program is little more than students “running around, yelling, and eating”. From her viewpoint, there seems to be no structured activity to this program. This young woman can use any extra assistance available, so I’m concerned that this after school program is not fulfilling this need.

Finally, I would appreciate information on the process of determining the need for summer school. This young woman informed me that she is not eligible for summer school because science is the only subject in which she is deficient. After assisting her with a science assignment, I am concerned with the decision that she does not require summer school for this subject. Who is the appropriate individual with whom to discuss the issue?

I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you in advance for taking the time to respond to my concerns.

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Permalink: Buffalo_Public_Schools.html
Words: 466
Location: Buffalo , NY

05/20/08 11:26 - ID#44399

Vive La Revolution

My sociology antennas perked up when I read this article. I remember something about Marx predicting that in countries like America, the middle class would assist the proletariat in overthrowing the government by providing the financial, educational, and leadership capital to do so.

While I don't think we can expect a bloody communist overthrow, I wonder if the declining condition of the middle class will lead to a bloodless democratic socialist overthrow. When middle class people are living homeless in their cars .... when the middle class takes all their retirement savings to pay their kids way through college .... when the middle class is bankrupted by medical bills....
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Permalink: Vive_La_Revolution.html
Words: 117
Location: Buffalo , NY

05/13/08 07:23 - 63ºF - ID#44329

Help a friend of a friend??

I have a friend going to Greece for two to three months starting tomorrow. Her catsitter JUST bailed on here. Anyone willing to take in a cat for 3 months?

Please let me know ASAP.
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Permalink: Help_a_friend_of_a_friend_.html
Words: 34
Location: Buffalo , NY



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