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December 16, 2013

Partnership Teachers Embark on Teaching Fellowship in the Middle East

A colleague once remarked to me that teaching is about enabling connections. We work to connect students to the content, to ourselves, or to their classroom peers in an effort to engage their minds in learning. As educators, we should similarly connect ourselves in as many ways as possible to those who can help us further refine our craft. One way of enabling this is by traveling abroad and fostering relationships with educators of different nationalities. Not only do we gain insight into how different cultures approach the central problems in education, but we see our own society's approach to education with fresh perspective. Such a trip is invigorating both on personal and professional levels.
A TEACHING FELLOWSHIP TO BAHRAIN AND QATAR
Partnership teachers at the site of the first oil well in Bahrain
In June 2013, I traveled to the Persian Gulf on a teaching fellowship through the Bilateral US/Arab Chamber of Commerce. Accompanying me were two fellowship leaders and nine teachers from across the United States, including two other Partnershipteachers, Joy Lee and Fred Simmons, who teach math and biology at Roosevelt and Mendez high schools, respectively.

Over eight whirlwind days, we met with educators and students, visited numerous schools and historical sites, and took in as much culture as possible in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Qatar.

The fellowship's mission was to foster ties between educators from the United States and the Arab world, which took place through sharing methodology, best practices, and classroom experiences with our Arab counterparts in education.
HISTORY AND HOSPITALITY IN BAHRAIN
Fellowship members meeting with the president
 of Gulf Petrochemical Industries
Our stay on the small island country of Bahrain (pop.: 1,200,000) commenced with visits to two of the most significant historical and cultural sites in the capital city, Manama: the archeological site of the Bahrain Fort, an ancient fortress with a stunning panoramic view of the Persian Gulf, and the equally beautiful, albeit more modern, Bahrain National Museum

While visits to museums can be impersonal and leave a traveler feeling detached from the people and society of a country, our hosts made sure that we enjoyed the full embrace of Bahraini hospitality. The management executives at GPIC, one of Bahrain's flagship petroleum companies, welcomed us to their country and corporate campus with a warm reception. And before leaving the country, we enjoyed a traditional meal of fish at the home of one of our Bahraini hosts, a highlight of the trip.

QATARI EDUCATION AND GEOGRAPHY

The fellowship group upon reaching the Gulf on the desert excursion
We continued our tour through the Gulf by visiting more schools and universities in Qatar, including an international K-12 school run by the petroleum company RasGas, and an expansive multi-university campus known as Education City.

For some high-level perspective on education in Qatar, we met with officials at the Supreme Education Council. In an impressive board room, complete with UN-style language translation functionality, our group engaged in a question & answer session with a handful of the leaders who craft country-wide education policy. While the entire nation has as many citizens as LAUSD has students, our education systems share many of the same challenges.

To escape the congested streets of Doha, Qatar's rapidly modernizing capital and regional economic hub, we took to the empty deserts to the south. Qatari drivers led us on a wild excursion over and across seemingly endless sand dunes until we reached a small barbecue spot on the beach. With the Persian Gulf in front of us and the sun setting into the dunes at our backs, it was a supremely tranquil capstone to an otherwise frenetic, but phenomenal, trip.
For more insight and pictures please visit http://plastravels.weebly.com/ 
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September 21, 2015

MSTMA Receives Honors from Supervisor Solis

Posted 14:36PM on September 21 2015 | User Comments (0)

Earlier this month, 30 Math, Science & Technology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt High School (MSTMA) students and two teachers were invited to attend the County Board of Supervisors meeting to receive a recognition from Board Supervisor Hilda Solis. Students were recognized for being the first California school to receive the Student Voices award from the State Education Technology Directors.

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September 08, 2015

Culture & Climate Corner: Restorative Communities Grow to New Heights

Posted 19:56PM on September 08 2015 | User Comments (0)

What began thousands of years ago is growing to new heights at the Partnership in 2015. Restorative justice in schools is based on indigenous practices like holding circles to build relationships, discuss issues and heal harm. Borrowing from the Maori in New Zealand and the First Nations in Canada, school districts in the United States are adopting restorative approaches to address discipline and to strengthen school culture and classroom climate.

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February 10, 2015

Culture & Climate Corner: Illuminarte - Building Community Through Art

Posted 12:53PM on February 10 2015 | User Comments (0)

On Saturday, January 24th, dozens of students, families, and community partners with the Building Healthy Communities – Boyle Heights Health Happens in Schools Workgroup participated and facilitated at “Illuminarte,” an all-day community event at the General Hospital Wellness Center. 

Thanks to our funding for restorative justice from The California Endowment, we were able to participate in the planning and execution of the festivities. Several of our students from Roosevelt and Mendez created and led carnival-style learning games on the School Climate Bill of Rights (SCBOR) and Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). 

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October 10, 2014

Show, Don’t Just Tell: Restorative Practices Learning Visits

Posted 19:05PM on October 10 2014 | User Comments (0)

We don’t just tell people about our work with restorative practices; we open our doors and invite them in. We welcome visitors to participate in circle, interview our students and staff, and engage in deep conversations about the lessons we’ve learned. On September 18th, Roosevelt, Gompers and Markham had visits from two school networks and several community partners eager to see our implementation of restorative practices in action.

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September 09, 2014

School and Classroom Environments Shine with Collective Action

Posted 15:04PM on September 09 2014 | User Comments (0)

Something’s different this year. Walking down the halls of our schools, there’s something notably different about the school and classroom environments. It’s not just the summer deep cleaning or the freshly waxed floors (though they help); there’s something collective about our environment expectations that has shifted the way schools and classrooms look and feel across the Partnership network. 

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August 21, 2014

Reflections From Partnership Summer Interns

Posted 15:07PM on August 21 2014 | User Comments (0)

This summer the Partnership once again welcomed several interns to work alongside our staff to learn more about our turnaround efforts. Interns came from all over the State including Berkeley, CA. Partnership summer interns participated in everything from family and community engagement to assisting the CEO and the executive team. We asked our interns to reflect on their time at the Partnership.

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July 23, 2014

Culture and Climate Corner: Restorative Justice at Three Partnership Schools

Posted 15:41PM on July 23 2014 | User Comments (0)

With the generous support of The California Endowment and the technical assistance of the California Conference for Equality and Justice, Roosevelt High, Markham Middle and Gompers Middle Schools each received a Restorative Justice coordinator to develop and implement restorative practices this past school year.

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December 16, 2013

Partnership Teachers Embark on Teaching Fellowship in the Middle East

Posted 00:00AM on December 16 2013 | User Comments (0)

A colleague once remarked to me that teaching is about enabling connections. We work to connect students to the content, to ourselves, or to their classroom peers in an effort to engage their minds in learning. As educators, we should similarly connect ourselves in as many ways as possible to those who can help us further refine our craft. One way of enabling this is by traveling abroad and fostering relationships with educators of different nationalities. Not only do we gain insight into how different cultures approach the central problems in education, but we see our own society's approach to education with fresh perspective. Such a trip is invigorating both on personal and professional levels.

read more »
November 05, 2012

Like Everything About LA, Being Education Mayor Is Different

Posted 00:00AM on November 05 2012 | User Comments (0)

It's been almost eight years since Antonio Villaraigosa moved into LA City Hall and announced fixing the public schools would be a hallmark of his administration -- even though he had no formal control over the school district. Cynics scoffed and advisors cautioned, but the new mayor was on a mission and the behemoth Los Angeles Unified School District, or LAUSD, would never be the same.

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