April 2002 Newsletter

Director's Letter

The Bush Administration's education reform plan entitled No Child Left Behind stresses the importance of education for children in America that have been abandoned by the system. These children are separated from the educational system by low expectations, illiteracy, and self-doubt. Bush's No Child Left Behind plan was born out of disappointing education outcomes from students at all levels. These results have caused the federal government to get involved in the educational system – an arena that has in the past been primarily controlled by state and local government.

The No Child Left Behind plan includes the following ten areas:
Closing the achievement gap through accountability, high standards, annual academic assessments, and consequences for schools that fail to educate disadvantaged students.

Improving literacy by putting reading first, especially in early childhood and early elementary school.
Improving teacher quality by encouraging professional development.
Strengthening math and science education through partnerships between states and institutions of higher education in order to improve instruction and curriculum.
Moving students to English fluency by giving school districts more flexibility in using bilingual funds.

Promoting parental options and innovative programs by expanding school choice and funding progressive education programs.
Providing safe schools for the 21st century through after-school learning opportunities, drug and violence prevention activities, zero-tolerance policies for violent and disruptive students, gun law enforcement, and increased funding for character-building lessons in the classroom.

Enhancing education through technology by increasing funding for school technology.
Providing impact aid to schools that educate the children of parents who serve in the United States military and those that educate Native American children.
Encouraging both freedom and accountability in how states and school districts educate students, requiring and rewarding improved academic achievement.
The No Child Left Behind plan, if implemented and enforced with diligence, would be an important piece of educational legislation. However, it ignores existing federal programs that have been working with students abandoned by the system for years. Bush's budget states that the Upward Bound Program is ineffective, "Evaluation of Upward Bound found that the program had no overall impact on participant's grades, credits earned, high school graduation rates, or college enrollment rates" (Equality: Council for Opportunity in Education). This statement was based on a review of a 1999 report titled, "The Impacts of Upward Bound: Final Report for Phase I of the National Evaluation" which was submitted by Mathematica Policy Research Inc. to the United States Department of Education. This flawed report was based on false assumptions and is currently under analysis by research experts who are preparing a document to discredit this misleading report (Equality: Council for Opportunity in Education). It is inappropriate to judge the effectiveness of Upward Bound by review of this one document that greatly misrepresents the outcomes of Upward Bound programs.

TRIO's seven programs (Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math Science, Veteran's Upward Bound, Talent Search, Student Support Services, Educational Opportunity Centers, and Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalareaute Achievement) serve disenfranchised students of all ages, races, and socio-economic levels and have for years. Upward Bound is the foundation of the TRIO Program. It has built a solid track record of achieving its goals of recruiting, assessing, advising, counseling, tutoring, retaining, graduating, bridging, moving to postsecondary education, and following up with first generation and/or low-income high school students. Upward Bound Programs produce results and change student's, parent's, and educator's lives. Although positive changes in the education system such as those proposed by Bush's administration are certainly necessary, it should not be forgotten that Upward Bound programs have been leaving no child behind since 1964.
No Child Left Behind and Equality: Council for Opportunity in Education, February 2002.

What is Your Roommate Potential?

Whether you are participating in the Summer Residential Program in a few months or getting ready for dorm life next fall, find out if you have what it takes to be a great roommate! Circle the answer that is closest to what your actual reaction might be.

1) Your roommate needs to study for a big test and one of your friends calls to see if she can hang out at your place. You...
a. say, "Sorry, not tonight."
b. try to track down your roommate first to get her okay.
c. say, "Sure!" and invite some other friends over too.

2) Your roommate's decorating nauseates you. You...
a. compliment his creativity, and suffer in silence.
b. ask him, politely, to tone it down and to keep his stuff on his side of the room.
c. devise your own interior "statement" as revenge.

3) Your roommate begs to borrow 20 bucks. You...
a. give her the money, again.
b. give her the cash only if you can afford it and get a specific payback date, which you write down so neither of you forgets.
c. lend it to her, then spread the word about what a moocher she is when she inevitably doesn't pay you back on time.

4) Your roommate comes home decked out in your favorite outfit. You...
a. say it is okay and compliment how it looks on her.
b. calmly ask her to take off your clothes and explain that next time, if she would ask first, she might be able to borrow a few things.
c. attempt to rip the clothes off her shouting, "Get that off now!"

5) You notice your food has been disappearing from the fridge and you are not the one who has been eating it. You...
a. start hiding your food in a secret place.
b. explain to your roommate that it is okay if he eats some of your food, but you wish he would ask first and / or replace the food.
c. get even by eating a bunch of his food.

6) Your roommate is a total slob. You...
a. make it into a contest and let your stuff pile up too.
b. firmly tell him to clean up his act.
c. dump all of his stuff on his bed.

7) Your roommate's taste in music clashes with yours, to say the least. You...
a. let her play what she wants, but clearly show your disgust each time.
b. devise an acceptable play list for when you are both in the room.
c. blast your own music whenever she puts in a CD.

Your Score

If You Selected Mostly As: Doormat in the Making
You are decent roommate material, but you are shortchanging yourself. Make sure you are not hiding your true feeling for fear of confrontations. Be open and honest with your roommate when something is bothering you and you will both be much happier.

If You Selected Mostly Bs: Model Roommate
You have sense, sensitivity, and patience. You respect your roommate's needs and privacy, but you are not a pushover either. Keep up the good work!

If You Selected Mostly Cs: Home Wrecker
When a problem crops up between you and your roommate, you are likely to behave in a mean or sneaky manner. Try to put yourself in your roommate's shoes or start saving for a single room!
Futures. Maura Christopher, Ed. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1998. 67.

Strategies to Beat Procrastination

It is sometimes difficult to get started on a project, paper, or chore that you are not looking forward to doing. The following are suggestions for how to start doing what you know needs to be done.

Acknowledge the Problem
Admit that you are stalling and that you need to begin working.

Get Psyched
Remind yourself how great you will feel when the project you have been avoiding is completed.

Break Up the Task
Divide the work into smaller, more manageable chunks. Take a short break after completing each section of the task.

Begin with the easiest part of the job and work on it for half an hour. At the end of the time, decide whether you should keep going with that job or switch to another one.

Reward Yourself
Do something nice for yourself when you have completed the task. Go to a movie, relax, hang out with friends, read a good book, or do anything that you would consider a treat.

What Every Student Should Know About Time Management. Deerfield, MA: Channing L. Bete Company, 1999. 14.

Words of Wisdom

"If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavours to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
- Henry David Thoreau

"The main thing in one's own private world is to try to laugh as much as you cry."
-Maya Angelou

Words to Watch for in Essay Questions

The following words are commonly found in essay test questions and directions for writing scholarship and college entrance essays. Familiarity with these words is essential to constructing an essay that thoroughly and accurately answers the question.

Analyze: Break into separate parts and discuss, examine, or interpret each part.

Compare: Examine two or more things, identify similarities and differences.

Contrast: Show differences, set in opposition.

Criticize: Make judgments, evaluate comparative worth.

Define: Give the meaning, usually a meaning specific to the course or subject, explain the exact meaning. Definitions are usually short.

Describe: Give a detailed account.Make a picture with words. List characteristics, qualities, and parts.

Discuss: Consider and debate or argue the pros and cons of an issue.Write about any conflict. Compare and contrast.

Enumerate: List several ideas, aspects, events, things, qualities, reasons, etc.

Evaluate: Give your opinion or cite the opinion of an expert.Include evidence to support the evaluation.

Explain: Make an idea clear.Show logically how a concept is developed.Give the reasons for an event.

Illustrate: Give concrete examples.Explain clearly by using comparisons or examples.

Interpret: Comment upon, give examples, describe relationships.Explain the meaning. Describe, then evaluate.

Outline: Describe main ideas, characteristics, or events.Do not necessarily have to write a formal outline.

Prove: Support with facts, especially facts presented in class or in the text.

Relate: Show the connections between ideas or events, provide a larger context.

State: Explain precisely.

Summarize: Give a brief, condensed account.Includes conclusions. Avoid unnecessary details.

Trace: Show the order of events or progress of a subject or event.

Ellis, Dave. Becoming a Master Student. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000. 172.

Written and Edited by: Amanda Graeber