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“Students’ Loud Plea: Don’t Cut Colleges”

20080421__ecct0421protest2_gallery.jpgThis headline caught my attention today when I got home from school and glanced at the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle. It interested me because this decision will have a big impact on myself and others my age; and the headline picture consisted of students protesting at the state Capitol.

The picture reminded me of a previous heated debate over a blog entry about students protesting at the Olympic torch relay.

These possible budget cuts would raise the already high college tuition and also require colleges to cut down on spending, which sounds like bad news to me. As a junior in high school, college is constantly talked about, encouraged, and expected of me. I have no doubt that I will be able to get into a good college, but paying for it is another thing. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008
Under: college, finances, Isabel Rodriguez-Vega | 4 Comments »

Education: Then and Now

irodriguez2.jpgAbout every month or so in my U.S. History class we have class discussions, or what we call “open forum” about the book we are reading. The book is called “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn, and we basically spend the entire class period voicing our opinions about the recent chapter we read; whether or not we agree with Howard Zinn’s thoughts on certain aspects of our history.

A couple of days ago we had one such discussion. Someone brought up a very interesting assertion that Zinn makes, and it made me think about school. About why we go to school and why school was created. Now I’m warning you, at the end of this blog you might think me a skeptic, but I ‘m simply just throwing some questions out there. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, February 15th, 2008
Under: Isabel Rodriguez-Vega | 7 Comments »

Uniforms at Skyline High School?

irodriguez2.jpgThere has been a rumor spreading around Skyline High School recently. The administration is thinking about enforcing a uniform policy next year, and both students and teachers are doubtful.

I first heard about it through a student in leadership (student council) but didn’t take it seriously until I found out about a staff meeting held to discuss the idea. I don’t have many details about the proposed uniform policy, but I have heard from some teachers that Ms. Green (Skyline’s principal) is not encouraging staff to think about how on earth it would work, but rather if they think it would be a good idea.

Personally, I don’t think uniforms would be all that bad. I would no longer have to think about what to wear in the morning, and as long as they were not too hideous I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Some argue it reduces conflict within the school, makes students more focused, or gives the school a more organized, disciplined appearance.

But in reality, does a simple change of clothes really have this much of an effect? Can it solve all the problems at Skyline?  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, January 16th, 2008
Under: freedom of speech, high schools, Isabel Rodriguez-Vega, school reform | 82 Comments »

An OUSD education: “Like life out in the real world”

irodriguez2.jpgMeet another student blogger, Isabel Rodriguez-Vega, who discusses the merits of her public school experience.  -Katy

My name is Isabel Rodriguez-Vega, I am 17 years old, and I attend Skyline High School as a junior. I have been in the Oakland Unified School District all 11 of my academic years. First Montclair Elementary, then Montera Middle School, and now Skyline.

We were asked to write for the blog to give a student perspective on life in the OUSD, and I personally think it’s a great idea. The students are rarely asked about their views or experiences, but who would know better?

I know parents, teachers, or just people in the community all have questions about the education system in Oakland because, lets face it, it doesn’t have the best reputation. In all honesty, however, I wouldn’t trade my educational experience in the OUSD for the best education system in America. Well, I don’t know about that, but I do feel I have received a very good education in Oakland. In my opinion, better than any of my friends who attend private school. To me, private school deprives students of real life experiences or interactions that you would get from a public school.

For example, at the beginning of the year there were some serious scheduling mix-ups and it became the students’ responsibility to fix their own problems. Although administration problems within a school are not a good thing, it forces the students to develop problem-solving skills because we are pretty much on our own. I guess one could say life in the Oakland Public Schools is like life out in the real world, or close to it.

What comes to mind when thinking about Oakland Public Schools? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, December 17th, 2007
Under: Isabel Rodriguez-Vega | 7 Comments »