Skyline club achieves goal!

Hi everyone, sorry for the cheesy headline…

Today at Skyline we hosted the national organization Invisible Children for an assembly. They showed a film about the role students played in fundraising creatively to end the civil war in Uganda through a program called Schools for Schools.

Skyline’s very own Global Awareness Club has been involved with this program for the past two years and has raised thousands of dollars. Personally, having organized this assembly I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. I now have a greater appreciation for the bureaucratic process… it’s not easy.

For those of you who attended, thank you so much and I hope you were inspired! For those that have never heard of Invisible Children, it changed my life, and I hope you take the time to look into it. Visit http://www.invisiblechildren.com and you’ll be amazed!

Sorry for the short blog, I just wanted to share how impressed I am with what students are capable of.


  • Skyline Teacher

    Two of my students told me they cried.

  • Nextset

    Here’s the skunk at the garden party again. Jesse – I have a problem with the school’s agenda of directing the students interests and efforts to social services of foreign places rather than their own needs and the needs of this nation.

    One of the important lessons the public schools are to cover is the duty of alligiance to this nation and it’s people – before the interests of all others. This lesson must be taught and learned if this nation is to survive and avoid balkanization. It used to be taught, and it is taught in our competitor and adversary nations such as China, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and everywhere else.

    Here we are very carefully teaching public school students anti-nationalism. We will be paying a dear price for this in the forseeable future.

    I note the words you have used in speaking of this program..”… it changed my life…” etc. What I see here is political indoctrination plain and simple. And not to the greater good of America or Americans.

    This is a public blog on education policy. I’m not trying to burst your bubble – though I have no problem doing so. I doubt that school would ever have allowed the students to consider the other side of the coin here. When you post for public discourse these stories – you will get the other side of the point. That’s what public discourse is.

    And that’s OK, you’re becoming an adult and you are taking your issues and life beyond the playground of the public schools into the world. It’s good to see you post, have a great weekend.

  • Nextset

    Skyline Teacher: They would cry. Good Propaganda has that effect on children and other susceptable people.

    Strange, I remember studying USSR propaganda techniques in Catholic grade School Class in the years following the Cuban Missle Crisis (The Nuns lectured and drew charts). It was mentioned that Madison Avenue used the same methods to great effect in selling merchandise. The most successful campaign would produce an emotional response in target audiences exposed in just the right way.

    This is all a very old story.

  • Sue

    Ummm, ‘scuse me, Nextset.

    Catholic schools used to send their kids out to raise funds to “save the pagan babies in Africa” (okay maybe it wasn’t Africa at your Catholic school, but it was at the one I attended). Wasn’t that the same thing that you’re now criticizing as anti-nationalism?

    You’ve provided nothing to support your opinion about the supposedly missing lessons. If both anti-nationalism (saving pagan babies) and pro-nationalism (USSR propaganda techniques) were taught way back when, why are you making the assumption that both are not being taught now?

  • Nextset

    Sue, you are right about the Catholic Schools. I didn’t meant to exclude them from propagandizing. They sure had a reason to do what they did because they were promoting allegance to the Pope above all else. And it is the same thing.

    Although with JFK as President the Nuns were over the moon – .

    And while, as you correctly point out – both things were taught in the early 60’s by the Catholics, I have no assurances that any nationalism whatsoever is taught nowadays in OUSD or most other Urban Schools. And it should be.

    Studying the Propaganda techniques – from Communist Party USA material to Madison Ave – is part of teaching critical skills. I am amused that the Nuns did so so long ago. Yes we – the students – immediately recognized it’s use by the Church.

    These kids today need similar training. Do they get it?

  • Jesse Dutton-Kenny

    Ugh, here I was thinking this was a happy occasion…

  • John

    Yes Jesse, It could be a happy occasion, but drinking isn’t good for the liver.

  • Sue

    Nextset says: “While … both things were taught in the early 60’s by the Catholics, I have no assurances that any nationalism whatsoever is taught nowadays in OUSD or most other Urban Schools…”

    I was asking for assurances, or just evidence that it is *not* taught. As I expected, you have none – you just made an assumption that’s based on … what? Nothing?

    I’m reading Jesse’s posts (and the other students who guest-blog) and I see in those posts pride in oneself, one’s school, one’s city, and without stretching credibility too much, I see pride in one’s nationality. This topic seems to me to be “We’re Americans, and even as teens we can help, and become part of America’s traditions of making the world a better place.”

    But I see the majority of your comments trying to crush that spirit and attitude – the same one our parents and grandparents called a “can do” attitude during WWII.

  • Nextset

    Sue: I don’t follow your logic. I think mine is simple to follow. It is political propaganization for the public schools to teach students – especially at K-12 level – that “making the world a better place” is a mission priority for them or the school. The “world” is really tired of USA meddling in their affairs, exporting our values, and we have neglected our own people, infrastructure and our economy to the point where we are about to have historic instability.

    Our schools would do well to concentrate on teaching their students language, writing and research skills (which we are doing poorly) and not indoctinating them in the values of Angelina Jolie & Madonna. The families and the society the students come from are the primary source of their values about charity – not a public school teacher. The public schools are installing a “we are the world” viewpoint that isn’t healthy. We don’t own the world and we have a duty to preserve and protect American Society. Or let’s put it this way. If we don’t, there will be a revolution where the people replace one government with another, a’la Weimar Republic.

    Civics and social issues taught by the schools should be “America First” – as is the policy of industrial powers that intend to remain so such as Japan, China, Russia, Germany, etc. Or maybe S. Korea. Of course you have a different viewpoint and that’s great. So do I. We disagree. You could be “right” whatever right means. I don’t think so, but that’s my opinion.

  • John

    Perhaps Skyline should start an “Oakland Awareness Club” and do some, or all, of the following:

    (a)Mayor Dellums could be invited (dragged) in to explain Oakland’s forty million plus dollar city budget shortfall and explain issues related to city government’s unwise management of city resources.

    (b) Students could learn about Oakland’s off the charts municipal executive, etc. salaries and how critical city services (especially in high property taxed neighborhoods) are being totally short changed. Students could organize a fundraiser and take turns dropping hard earned coins into Oakland’s bottomless money pit and listen for the clinking sound that never comes.

    (c) Oakland’s terminted city manager, Debora Edgerly, could be invited, along with her city employee family members, to talk about corruption at City Hall and what some of them might know, from personal experience, about Oakland gang culture.

    (d) Students could then ‘think globally’ about all the places around the globe that effectively manage their municipal piggy banks and take legislative measures aimed at making their municipalities safe and desirable places to live, work, and play.

    A Skyline “Oakland Awareness Club.” Sounds good!

  • Nextset

    John: Not only that, but if the OUSD would actually cover history – economic history, politically history and military history, the students would get some insight as to why some people are poor and why some people aren’t. Keeping these kids ignorant about how the world works make them more vulnerable to these one world con-artists and Socialist ponzi schemes.

  • Nextset

    typo again, that’s “political history”.

  • John

    Nextset: As we know environments like Oakland espouse a socialist agenda that encourages indoctrination over learning. In connection with your suggestion of what OUSD should be teaching, I have a friend who teaches military history at the Naval Academy. Students at a community college in his area requested a course on the military history of WWII. My friend was contracted to teach the course. The faculty vehemently protested that teaching “war” was not appropriate.

    It’s small wonder that an Iranian President can claim the Holocaust was a fake with hardly a brain cells worth of domestic student outrage. It’s small wonder that students don’t understand that unilateral disarmament equals unilateral capitulation that gives free reign to their enemies. But of course students shouldn’t talk about having “enemies,” It might hurt their grade. We don’t have enemies, we only have a “diversity” of global opinion, part of which defines ALL Americans as evil and a worthy target of destruction. Of course this is all America’s fault. If only we could “change” our attitude and “make love not war” all would be well.

    Stupid New World

  • Nextset

    There are winners and losers in the world. I see a lot of losers and I have no pity for them. With what is about to happen to the US, the losers and their children will have far more problems in the future than they have now.

    It is entertaining to see that the difference between somebody making it in life and not can be a very discrete thing – the influence of people passing through their lives, being in the right place at the right time – a well timed impulse to take a step.

    It’s still possible to make a difference in the fate of a person with education and exposure to – reality I suppose – at a crucial time.

    Things are about to get really interesting. The OUSD kids really don’t have much of a chance. If they don’t make the jump soon they will never catch up to their future superiors and rulers. The public schools will serve to choke off social advancement.

    Their “graduates” will not even learn to read, write and speak conversational english required to pass into the higher (professional-middle?) class. The public school mores will be so far removed from the higher classes there will be no fraternizing of the groups.

    I see this now in young people coming into the workforce. Middle Class wanna-bes who are not from a family of that rank and just can’t make the jump to middle class occupations. They don’t understand how to behave, how to think. They can’t fit in. They didn’t learn anything in school. At 18 they are full grown children who remain children.

    Children who have been taught nothing of duty, loyalties, boundries, authority, fidelity – and who have situational ethics. You see these people on Judge Judy a lot. They have been taught that if one need something, they have a right to it. And other people are to provide it for them. Right…

    Brave New World.

  • Jesse Dutton-Kenny

    For some reason whenever I post anything about Global Awareness it starts this little back and forth argument comment chain. I honestly have stopped caring, but for the record, dont expect many more of these. Frankly I’m sick of having to read ignorant responses from adults who have no respect for kids because they dont bother to ask us questions they just tell us how wrong we are. So thanks Nextset and John, you’re great at extinguishing the hopes of children.

  • Nextset

    Jesse: You just don’t get it. The “hopes of children” as you put it – the children of OUSD and Skyline – are supposed to do with completeing their own education and finding a place for themselves in their families’ society and the US economy. Not worrying about the children of sub-sahara Africa.

    We – I suppose, John and I – are deeply worried for what waits for you and your classmates in the next 5 to 10 years. You have to get through your occupational training – whatever that can be – and find a comfortable place for you here. We question your preparedness because we know the quality issues of your school, and this issue gives us no further reason to believe you are being prepared by your school for your immediate future.

    And we’re only preaching because we’ve been there, not so long ago. Our points have nothing to do with the urchins of the world whom I’m sure are very saintly people. It’s about you and the competition that awaits you for anything in American Life – school, employment, spouse, health coverage, happiness.

    I don’t believe you are really aware of the challenge you face nowadays for what I took for granted – Tuition at UC was $600/yr when I went. UC Law School was $1200/year. And there were more seats – they have been cut back since.

    My father had a Masters’ degree in Chemistry. I liked my Chemistry instructor in High School. We called him by his first name and he was hip. Dear Old Dad was home when I had friends over who were in chemistry class one November. None of us knew what a mole was. We all liked the instructor. Dad got on the phone and called some of his other Dr friends who had kids in that high school – and they all called the school board. The Chemistry instructor was let go.

    Our parents would attack anything that they deemed in the way of our progress – and my younger brother did take Chemistry at that school and go on to become a physician. The other families also got at least one child into and through med school.

    We were unhappy with their meddling – and we learned a lot from the parents. It was no accident that they became lawyers and physicians – or that their children advanced also.

    This is no different. Enjoy your school – you’re young. Let them take you by the hand and explore all those emotions that go with alturism and “feeling good about yourself”. But don’t be surprised when my generation looks at your school and your fun the way we do. You only have so many years to compete with the best that Beverly Hills/Los Angeles has to offer for limited seats on the train to higher education. We want you ready. We don’t care a fig for sub sahara africa.

  • Nextset

    Jesse: Thought about your earlier post overnight – Something I should add. It’s not your interest in foreign affairs that triggers my earlier comments. I like foreign affairs and support our students taking an interest in foreign affairs.

    Some schools promote foreign travel and have students interning in businesses and agencies that deal with foreign affairs (anything from the state dept to trade organizations to medical relief flying surgical centers). I think that is great. In the case of the flying surgical center, a local 16 year old I’m referring to was flying around on a large jet into Africa and serving as a surgical assistant for Cataract Surgeries in the on-plane operating room. So he had something to discuss on his college application essays when he wrote them – then went to on UC for undergrad.

    It’s one thing for for an education program to push a student to get hands on experience in foreign travel, language and eye surgery.

    It’s another to involve high school students in propaganda & political projects involving abstrict altruism and political meddling with foreigners. I see a big difference and I am satified I know why it’s being done. And it takes time and study to appreciate why it’s being done – done to you.

    Thus my reaction, and my story about the hapless friendly chem instructor that wasn’t instructing very well as we all had a good time. The various parents who were trained in Chemistry realized at once what was going on and put a stop to it.

    I’m not your enemy – the posters who take the time to post the contrarian views have life experiences that underlie their points of view. When you post in public discourse – you get to hear points of view you never would have heard as all your family and friends pat you on the head. That’s why public discourse is so valuable and not always very pleasant.

    Take whatever you want away from the exchanges. I know it’s unsettling to hear the other side of the situation. It is the most unsettling if the other side has a point.

  • turner

    I’m really surprised by Jesse’s reaction.

    Jesse, you are a child. You have no clue how an effective education system is run. You should listen to those who went through one when one existed.

    Back in the day, they never asked for our opinion or how we felt about what was being offered. They knew what kind of professionals the country needed. They built an education system that produced those professionals. That led to a strong and very competent workforce that allowed the United States to maintain its position as the most powerful country in the world.

    When these people talk, you should listen to them and think about what they are saying. You do not have to agree with what they say but you shoudl appreciate their insight and perspective that comes from experience and wisdom. Even I am learning from John and Nextset yet I have been there!

    Your reaction sounds like one of a spoilt brat. I have really enjoyed your blogging so I am shocked to see that kind of response from you.

    It just shows that you have not yet grown up.


  • Nextset

    Turner: Your comments are way too harsh. Of course she’s not yet grown up – she’s in High School. Jesse’s reactions are to be expected and are certainly not offensive. And we’d better not be easily offended or we are all posting in the wrong place.

    You seem easily offended. What’s your background here?

  • turner

    Nextset, I have been a long time follower of OUSD issues and this blog. I’m interested in the perspectives that students like Jesse have to offer. They are great! They allow us to view OUSD from several points of view. Jesse has posted many interesting blogs that have generated wonderful back-and-forth. I assumed she was wise beyond her years. I guess I was wrong.

    I’m not offended. I just thought her reaction was not mature and said so. The sarcasm was not necessary. There was no need for atiitude. I doubt you are extinguishing the hopes of children in OUSD. Is that your goal?


  • Nextset

    I think that within OUSD there are students that can be placed into professional occupations – and other occupations where they will operate in top levels. Yes I think there is talent in the pool. Not an awful lot of it perhaps – I don’t know.

    I don’t think the OUSD kids are getting anywhere near the quality of education that my cohort had in the 1960s. I think they are being coddled – being treated with kid gloves – being spoken too kindly and treated like breakable dolls. Simply put they are not being roughed up enough. I’m afraid they are so conditioned to stay in their comfort zone they can’t compete. They certainly dress comfortably.

    I’m afraid these OUSD kids will fall apart the first time they have to deal with a meter maid, a store clerk, a cop, an employer, or even worse, a Southern CA competitive student who wants the job/spouse/school slot or anything else our East Bay kids want.

    If I interview OUSD products and play with them at all they go nuts. They get emotional. They can’t take a position and defend it logically. They can’t write a business letter. They are trained NOT to think logically. They have poor verbal skills. Even worse is the lack of discipline – in their personal, social, financial & occupational affairs.

    I blame the schools for this – forget the parents. School is where a lot of these skills are developed. My schools – primary through college but especially high school – knocked the childishness out of us. I wonder if these schools are brave enough to order a kid into an assigned seat.

    You don’t have to have an IQ of 90 to have a lot of the skills I mentioned. And those OUSD kids who do have higher functioning – and I have relatives in OUSD – they are developing none of the above at school, and they are developing a toxic self esteem and political correctness which will not serve them well as the compete for college and careers.

    If they don’t learn the basics of what life is about in high school they won’t wear well in the next 5 years.

    Maybe I’m not the one to listen to because my cohort were among the first black students certain in East Bay public schools. We had to prove ourselves all the time – there were fights, physical and political. So we turned out harder than the current crop. We had to be at the top of the game to justify being around, plus our parents would kill us if the grades or scores slacked off. They had their own issues and we’d better not add to them. Our public schools were tough enough to turn my siblings and cousins into high earning professionals and I want that opportunity for Jesse’s generation also. And not just for the money, but for the working and living conditions and the ability to be creative and to set policy. It’s better than “will you have fries with that??”

    Back to the thread… Getting emotionally involved with a 3rd world civil war and it’s effects on the foreign children isn’t in the mix of the education needed. If they need to cry, I’d give them something more productive to cry about.

    Just my point of view. Just ignore it and form your own!

  • Jesse Dutton-Kenny

    I’m getting very tired of having to defend myself on this blog.
    It would be ideal if people would comment about the POST itself instead of the personalities of those who comment on it.
    Feel free to think I’m immature for being upset and annoyed every time I am criticized for having a “naive” opinion that there is more to this world than just living with what you see around you. As I said, I no longer take these ignorant quips to heart. You do not know me, you do not know my family, my background, my intellect. Please stop pretending that one angry comment from me defines my character.

    As for you Nexset, thanks for the defense, I’m just afraid we will hardly ever agree on much of anything. Perhaps when I “grow up”.

  • Nextset

    And I have heard that one before. People I have trained.. And I’m not training clones. I am not completely responsible for how these people turned out.

    I let them do a number of things (that wouldn’t kill someone) their way after a discussion of the pros and cons – then sat back and watched it blow up – then said “Told You”. They learned fast and they now get the results they set out to obtain for the most part. I was trained the same way. Maybe I have become the people who taught me.

    And Jesse – If you think what you’ve seen here is being “criticized” it’s not. You are too thin skinned – and that’s an observation, not criticism. You are the one who got this post started in public. This is what happens. No biggie. Deal with it.

    One day soon, and sooner than you think, you may be in an occupation or just in a situation where you hold the lives of other people in your hands, or their property. If you should perform less than standard, you will see what criticism is. All this, your life at Skyline – is part of your training for that day.

    Keep your posting up and don’t take any of this personally. It goes with the job you have undertaken of being a poster – and a representative of your class at Skyline. Imagine what Katy Murphy goes through at work, get a thicker skin and continue making your own points your way.

    And you don’t have to “defend” yourself – just explain your position and why it makes sense to you at this time. You are a high school student and you are not expected to agree with the rest of us most of the time. The trick is in how you communicate your point.