Thoughts on School District Practices

Two seats are open for the November 2018 election. Last year’s candidates spoke about testing, teacher retention and academic achievement.

My thoughts:
1. Testing. Standardized testing is a money maker under the guise of being an assessment to ensure students are learning content. There is no application component. We are not teaching our students to be complex thinkers. We are giving them practice in being assembly line “yes” people. True assessment, called authentic assessment, includes students presenting portfolios and research-action projects.

2. Teacher retention. The assessments created for rating teachers is also not authentic. The National Board Certification process is more thorough, but even then, it is a series of hoops to jump through, to be eligible for a bonus check in October. Are there some reasonable and useful components? Yes. But to have been a teacher in the classroom for 20 years, kneel down to speak with a student on hownto improve their writing, and then to be marked down on an evaluation for not recognizing student needs? Absolutely ridiculous and frustrating for the teacher. How do we increase teacher retention? We treat them as professionals. We give them the ability to use personal days and sick days as mental health days. We give them the ability to donate sick days to colleagues. We give them the ability to purchase products through “non-approved vendors” like second hand stores where you can get a steal on previously owned items. We give them student aides and foster grandparents for classrooms. We support them when they send a student out of the classroom. We give them time for properly preparing for their lessons. We give them professional development opportunities over the summer in areas of interest, in partnership with Universities, to earn continuing education units. We give them opportunities to advance in their teaching posts. We provide support people — translators, counselors, aides, tech support. We listen to teachers’ ideas.

3. Academic Achievement. Learning how to fill in a bubble is easy. And boring. We must challenge our students. We must listen to their interests. We must be teacher facilitated, and student centered. We must not only focus on STEM programs, but we must also provide home economics, social and political awareness and engagement, community projects. We must commit to helping our children become complex thinkers, self-motivated learners, effective communicators, responsible citizens, able to work with their community, and research the better solutions. We must commit to teaching and modeling compassion and empathy. We must commit to common sense, outside the box, inside the box, no box, individual perspectives. We must help our students understand that we are each a piece of this puzzle of life.

Viva! (La revolucion)
❤ Felicia
#DontThrowTheBabyOutWithTheBathWater #LearnFromMistakes #LetsGo

Reflections on CPARB and TPD

I served on the Citizen Police Advisory Review Board (CPARB) for four years beginning in 2011, first as a non-voting advisory member, then a regular member, then the vice-chair, and the chair.

As a member of CPARB, I learned a lot about the Tucson Police Department (TPD) — its successes, and its needs.  I learned about the Chain of Command, the disciplinary matrix, and what it was like to be on duty (Board Members were required to participate in two ride-alongs per year).

I learned about the equipment, the resources, and the facilities.

I learned that the Department is understaffed and overworked.

This was all significant to me becaue I had personal experiences with TPD — both positive, and negative.

As a volunteer member of the Board (all members are volunteers), I reviewed an average of three closed internal review cases per month (selected by the Chairperson of the Board), attended monthly meetings, participated in ride-alongs, and monthly dialogues with a senior member of TPD.

Because of my personal beliefs that there should be increased transparency, I identified additional ways to let members of the Community know about meetings, and the existence of the Board,  by creating a Pro-active Outreach Possibilities (or “POP”) sub-committee.

I also worked to have reports included on the CPARB website, and ensured the website was updated with current contact information.

And I worked to educate community members about the importance of providing compliments and complaints to TPD.

As an educator of 25 years, who uses restorative practices and continuous improvement strategies and techniques I believe it is important to thank and compliment others, and also to follow processes for developing new habits for unsafe behaviors.

My hope is for the following:

1. The Citizen Police Academy returns and is available to the public;

2. Increased involvement and relationship building between officers and the community;

3. Increased use of the online compliments and complaints system;

4. Increased and continuous transparency of TPD;

5  Understanding that TPD is a piece of the puzzle for a happier, healthier, safer community, and work towards making it so.

Raw

Good morning, world.  Buenos dias, ohayoo gozaimasu, zhou sun, do sin, bon matin, k:odon a’wa dewa’kya…

The past 48 hours:

Guest teacher in a high school classroom. Senior English where I told students don’t listen to their teacher when they say something will happen… check out their claim and find evidence.

Then 9th Grade English where there were wiggly squiggly worms in grown up sized bodoes, with sass and snark, and unsure of why they had the sass and snark when questioned.

Then finding out that the bill I had written was not going to be continued, because there just isn’t enough time before the deadline.  And the frustration I felt with the system, because I realized the system does not support the voices of those who are uneducated — not because they don’t have the desire, but — because the system does not allow those who are poor to participate.

The system that keeps the poor people working, and unable to stop their jobs, because then they risk losing their homes, and having no food.

The story gets twisted: That the rich are taking bigger risks when they re-invest their wealth, and they could lose it all.  And this narrative perpetuates the cycle of poverty and crime.

I am now realizing that narrating all 48 hours is unnecessary, and perhaps distracting.  So I jump ahead to this morning, and a comment I wrote on a post I posted:

20180203_080032.png

My comment:

Thanks everyone for comments so far. I appreciate the different perspectives. We definitely need to lay the groundwork ahead of time that we do the best that we can, where we are, when we are.

We should not shame nor expect nor guilt others who are unable to speak up.

However, we have a very real problem and potential problem of people being lulled into the idea that it is okay to scream angrily at a video game: “WHAT THE HECK!! I HEADSHOT HIM WITH A REVOLVER! WHY ISN’T HE DEAD?!”

And we have a culture that has been blaming, shaming, and guilting parents, teachers, and others for our children’s inappropriate behaviors.

We must meet them where they are. We must help them process what they see.

And unfortunately, there are people of various ages in our community who have no empathy, or lack empathy, because of situations that were beyond their control.

We must teach self-control, and an understanding that there are areas we cannot control, and that it is NOT OUR RIGHT TO CONTROL OTHERS.

There are choices. Always choices.

VIVA LA REVOLUCION!!
❤ Felicia
Chewfortucson.wordpress.com

The other event over the past 48 hours is in regards to my music production efforts with my great genius producer.  I remembered:

The most beautiful moments are the raw ones, which we aren’t able to record…. because those are the magical ones that keep us in the present moment and connected with others.

Last thoughts for this morning:

I have suffered from not being able to work with many people long-term because I think everyone is out to get me; it is a result of being consistently in controlled relationships for a long time.

And that is why I fight.

 

What Does a Bill Look Like?

Here is the updated draft of the bill for Domestic Violence – Coercive Control and Child Welfare.

The entire sections are included as is. Additions are in ALL CAPITALS and deletions are struck through. Additions are also in blue for easier viewing online or with color machines.

20180122_09044720180122_09051220180122_09364720180122_09373120180122_09423020180122_09425120180122_09434320180122_09442720180122_09444420180122_09480420180122_09491120180122_094928


“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life.  Without each of us, our picture is incomplete.”


http://www.feliciachew.com/dvssarticles

Five to Fight For

Original post on September 3, 2017

Hello Friends!

Now that the Felicia Chew For Tucson City Council campaigning is timed out, what next?

For me, I keep keeping on.

After the official ballot counts were posted on Friday (9/1/2017) night, my son and I attended one of my best friend’s* weddings on Friday night here at Tucson’s Fraternal Order of Eagles Tucson Aerie Number 180.

I was reminded that we have choices, and that we can make change — and I was reminded of why I fight — for our future and our future generations.

Tucson, it’s up to us to help continue the fight. Here are five issues (there are others) I learned about while on this wonderful adventure, along with my two cents:

1. Tucson House. Please bring back human beings for entry rights (signing everyone in and out), instead of the computerized entry system. Folks who don’t belong are finding their way into the building, and causing problems for residents. Longtime residents no longer feel safe.

2. Bicycle Patrols. Please implement programs directed toward reducing crime in Ward 3. The District has officers on bicycle; areas of Ward 3 (like my area of Campus Farm, and the Samos Neighborhood), would definitely appreciate some bicycle patrols. Pilot program, for TPD?

3. N 1st Ave and Fort Lowell (Methadone Clinic). Many general complaints. My thoughts: All of us in Ward 3 need to realize that clients of the Clinic attend for various reasons, and we should not judge our fellow Tucsonans for attending the Clinic. We should suppprt them and their decision to attempt to take back their lives, by participating in treatment.

4. Vote By Mail Program/Voter Participation. The Vote By Mail (VBM) program is not equitable (please see my previous comments on this page). But more importantly, many Ward 3 residents don’t vote — for a variety of reasons:

–(a) Cannot vote — no rights due to previous felonies or citizenship status; not registered to vote because they are part-time residents, or just moved;

–(b) Do not know it is time to vote — busy with daily life (and dealing with crises and mini-crises) and time just gets away, including the voting window;

–(c) Do not care to vote — a huge “It won’t make a difference”/”No one cares what I think”/”Why bother? The City (Government) is just going to do what it wants to do. They don’t care what we say” sentiment exists.

–(d) Don’t feel educated to vote. Despite attempts at hosting many forums, and providing newspaper coverage, many voters were not able to attend or view the forums.**

The largest turnouts were 75 or 80 audience members (many groupies).

Voter turnout for the City: 20%.
— One out of 3 (33%) women will experience Domestic Violence in her lifetime;
— One out of four (25%) men will experience Domestic Violence in his lifetime;
— One out of four Tucsonans (25%) lives in poverty (http://www.kvoa.com/story/33283962/tucson-poverty-rate-relatively-unchanged-over-three-years)

So, the 20% voter population (one out of five) does not speak to the general population (please bear in mind that Ward 3 has one of the highest numbers of reported cases of Domestic Violence).

As a Victim Advocate in the Courts, we advocate for the victim speaking, to share the true story and true problems that exist. In spite of how hard others may try to speak “for” the victim/survivor, there are gaps that frequently get overlooked, simply because it is hard work to communicate everything the victim/survivor has to say.

So please — have conversations with neighbors to develop a trust that is so sorely needed in our community!

My two cents: An olde town monthly fiesta that included Candidate and Issues Forums, food, information about what’s going on in Tucson, food trucks, music, food, speeches by candidates, food, games for all ages, food — Tucson, that could go a long way. Tucsonans like (love!) Festivals and Second Saturdays!

5. Transit, Transportation, and Walkability. I was asked at a Forum how I rated Walkability in Ward 3. I gave ratings across the board (because quite frankly, some areas in Ward 3 have more improvements than others — areas due to Resident Action and Participation).

We are improving, but we need to continue improving our transit system, fewer potholes, more bicycle lanes, and more pedestrian (and skateboard, longboard, roller skate, wheelchair, stroller, limited mobility) friendly paths.

*****

Kalamajong***, Tucson! Viva! (La revolucion!)

Felicia 🙂 ❤

*Amber and Raymond, go make your luck!)
**Shout out to Daily Star Reporter Joe Ferguson who was at all but two that I attended; and shout out to groups who livestreamed /recorded the forums — Forums and recordings available on the Campaign site chewfortucson.wordpress.com — You can create your own free website at wordpress.com
***Make it so!

“Lunch Shaming”

There’s a new bill out addressing lunch shaming.  I am concerned that the time spent on this bill is causing us to lose valuable time by treating a symptom, not the root problem.

Let’s do something that addresses the root problem of shaming.

If a child has asthma, giving cough medicine helps some, but finding ways to address the cigarette smoker’s addiction solves the root problem.

Re-post from earlier comment:

To consider:

1. The shaming isn’t in the act of getting the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The shaming is when children (and adults) are allowed to talk bad about a parent of a child. If adults and children stop “talking bad”, and the issue is addressed, the shaming does not exist.

2. We must teach mindfulness, self-control, self-responsibility, and social responsibility to #EachOfUs and #AllOfUs.

3. In cases of divorced parents, we must ensure the correct parent is receiving the bill.

4. The parent should be responsible for footing the bill; the child should not be the one working in the cafeteria. Most schools have systems for parents putting money directly into a child’s account; if they do not, they need to implement a system, knowing that some parents work non-traditional hours, and do not have credit cards (and schools should not complain about the parents who work non-traditional hours and have no credit cards).

*****

The problem is due to limited perspectives on what the “right way” is. We MUST become aware of our implicit biases, of our fears, and of how our environment affects our behaviors and actions.

We must say “Enough!” and realize that our children are watching.

Viva! (la revolucion)
❤ Felicia
http://www.chewfortucson.wordpress.com

*****

Viva! (la revolucion)
❤ Felicia
http://www.chewfortucson.wordpress.com

“Make America Better”

This is a re-post of a comment to a comment to a post regarding the recent overruling of the banning of MAS in the Tucson Unified School District (Tucson, Arizona)

*****

Comment above states: “DA Morales I want to have kids have equal opportunity for success not be relegated to being a victim with no opportunity. That’s what education does. I am the first person in my family with a college degree. We were taught hard work in my family, but we started close to the bottom. Doesn’t matter where you start in America you can get ahead.”

I used to believe in the “pull yourself up by the bootstraps through education” story as well. Ironically, it is through education that I learned about the glass ceiling and implicit bias. Yes, everyone *can*”get ahead” … but…

Here is a perspective that I do not see taught regularly: Getting ahead can be going in a straight line, but imagine that you are on a sphere. Eventually, getting ahead brings you back to the same point on the sphere. Now consider standing on the sphere, but moving in a spiral, up, away from the sphere. The final destinations are countless. That’s the difference — most minorities and women are kept on the sphere, and there is a “glass ceiling” that keeps them there.

I have no problem with a policy that states: “No hate crimes, equal opportunity.” and that is what the policy states. My concern is that society creates victims and the cycle ensures there are always victims (cycle of domestic violence, cycle of poverty).

We have fears that someone else getting “ahead”, (e.g. the piece of the pie) means that we don’t “get ahead” (any pie, when there are other bakeries right next door.) We limit others because of our perspectives.

We see “hard work” as completion of Tasks A, B, C. We don’t recognize those who accomplish the same goal by accomplishing Task Z.

We must be mindful, letting go of our egos. We must recognize that our perspectives are limited.

The English teacher in me asks that we remember the stories we hear and movies we watch, when we shout: “Don’t open that door!” because we know what is on the other side, and that help is in the way.

I suppose that is what teaching six years of “Romeo and Juliet” — while listening to student perspectives and encouraging questions –does to a person; that is what 20 years of teaching young people to think, apologizing for past wrongs of society, and encouraging “alternative” pathways.

Tucson, we can do better.
America, we can do better.
World, we can do better.

“Make America Great Again”? No… “Make America Better”.

Viva! (la revolucion)
❤ Felicia
www.chewfortucson.wordpress.com

Summer Meal Programs Reinstated

“As Councilwoman, going to work would mean advocating for, and ensuring City Programs to be implemented the way they were intended to work for you.”

*****

KIDCO is a fantastic program.  The summer program is one of the most affordable programs in town, and the staff is energetic and involved with the kids.

Over the summer, the KIDCO Summer Meal Program was cut.  After contacting KIDCO and Tucson Unified School District Food Services (who was contracted by ADE to provide the meals), I was informed that the program had been cut by ADE, due to sites not meeting the required minimum number of participants.

Realizing that many of the sites would not be able to meet the minimum number requirement, and this requirement was standing in the way of the intent of the program, I reached out to ADE, hoping to inquire about an alternative participant count option — having sites grouped together for the count — but when my phone calls were not returned, I reached out to Tucson News Now.

With Angelica’s help, the meal program was re-instated.  Through persistence, having conversations, and thinking outside the box, we were able to provide healthy meals to participants, and assist families through providing breakfast and lunch to their children.

The story doesn’t end there.  I hoped that my son would be able to attend the KIDCO after school program.  Unfortunately, there is no transportation from his school to the program site.  I began communicating with Parks and Rec, and SunVan, who was interested in starting a pilot program, but was unable to continue with the process due to having to return to work.

As Councilwoman, going to work would mean advocating for, and ensuring City Programs to be implemented the way they were intended to work for you.

When the time comes to vote, know that a vote for Chew is a vote for you!

#EachOfUs #AllOfUs #OurTucson #ChewForWard3Council #ChewForTucson

 

December 1, 2017 – First Fridays with Felicia

Thanks for coming out tonight to join me at First Fridays with Felicia. Thank you for sharing stories — accomplishments, challenges, hopes, and resources.

Highlights included a visit from Santa, enjoying homemade hummus, and sharing streudal and wine.

Celebrations include, a birthday, a 501(c)4, being connected with one another.

Our stories demonstrated the desire to bridge the gaps that exist in #OurTucson —
1. The need for policies for all people.
2. The desire for our children to have stories that grow them into good people.
3. The need for U of A students to vote (in Tucson).
4. The need for for tweens and teens to have something to do in Tucson.
5. The need for transportation system that is equitable for people, regardless of physical and mental capabilities.
6. The need for more responsive and attentive local government.
7. The hope for a teen center in Tucson.
8. The hope for more gun sense in America.
9. The hope for a more sustainable Tucson.
10. The need for more conversations and mindfulness.

I look forward to next month’s First Fridays with Felicia.

I say “Viva!” You say “La revolucion!”

Viva!
❤ Felicia