Year-Round Schooling Is Voted In Los Angeles



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Year-Round Schooling Is Voted In Los Angeles



 

The L.A. board of education, has voted to put all its schools on a year-round schedule. This decision does not necessarily increase the number of school days, but it is expected to save money on new construction and allow more efficient use of ex­isting school facilities. Students would go to school for the same total 180 days a year, but they would have more, shorter vacations. In crowded schools, vacations would be staggered to ease the demand for space. Educational experts would study closely whether the benefits of a year-round program are worth the sacrifice of the traditional summer vacation. If it is proven that test scores of students are improved and performance is up, other cities win emulate the program.

The supporters of year-round education believe educators simply cannot justify that long three-month summer vacation any more. The nine-month schedule was never designed for education. It is a 19th century agricultural-economic schedule. Supporters, many from Hispanic and black inner-city areas, contend that the year-round schedules are the only economi­cally practical way to cope with continuing influx of new stu­dents into schools that are already strained beyond capacity.

But there is a lot of opposition simply because it's a change. It's a deep-seated tradition that kids don't go to school in the summer and teachers don't teach.

 

The decision in Los Angeles was driven primarily by a need to alleviate overcrowding in the schools. Besides many educa­tors also back the theory that children learn and retain more when breaks from class-room work are shorter and academic performance often ijhpcoves in year-round schools. The exact calendar to be used is still under study, but most students will either go to school on a cycle of 60 weekdays of class followed by 20 weekdays of vacation, or 90 weekdays of class followed by 30 weekdays of vacation. For example students would have one-month vacation in August, December and April. In most crowded schools students would be broken into "tracks", or groups that would follow overlapping schedules to ensure that school facilities are in constant use with a minimum of over­crowding.

Parents in Los Angeles had jammed hearing on the issue for several years with many protesting that vacations would be hard to coordinate, especially if children in different schools were in different schedules, and that it would be difficult for older children to find summer jobs. Others say that they would just as soon have vacation time to ski in the winter as they would have time off in the summer.

 

b) The issue of putting your school on a year-round schedule is to be debated at the sitting of the school board of education. Pair work. Enact a dialogue between a parent and a teacher on the issue offering valid arguments noted down from the text above.

 

c) Work in groups of 3 or 4 (buzz groups) and assign one of the views on the issue of a year-round schooling to each group.

 

d) Spend a few minutes individually thinking of further arguments you will use to back up the opinion you have been assigned.

 

E) Enact the debates on a year-round schooling at the sitting of the school board of education. Do your best to support those who share a similar point of view and try to persuade those who disagree (use phrases of persuasion and agreement/disagreement given in the Appendix).

 

8. Below are the extracts bringing out some problems American higher education is faced with at present. Read the selections carefully and comment on the way constitutional statement guaranteeing the theory equality of educational opportunities to the people of the USA is carried out the practice:

 

1. "After ten years of affirmative action and federal legislation prohibiting sex discrimination, women are still second class citizens on the campus, but women are a new advocacy group — this is how we have to think of ourselves in the 1990s."

 

 

2. "Having come with too little too late to the slums, our country has failed to provide lower educational resources through which many of our young black Americans may realize their potential. We have failed to provide adult-learning institutions effectively addressed to the backwash of racism and slavery."

3. "... Deep split in American life transcends black and while, rich and poor, educated and ignorant, slum and suburb.

Black America is the testing ground for our moral crisis. There is no more prevailing American tradition than having our black do the dirty, messy, difficult business of society. In those institutions where people can be hurt — in bad schools, in inferior and demeaning occupations, in wars — the black people have manned the front lines."

 

9. Group discussion. Read the following selections. The issue discussed is the role of the student in the university. Consider each ot the categories presented below and discuss the position of the Russian students at the institute in view of the recent changes in the Russian system of higher education:

 

1. "Is the student's role similar to that of an apprentice — studying the master and gradually becoming a master? Or is the proper relationship one of a ward of the university, which is responsible for the student's welfare and moral and intellectual training? Or is the student a client of the university — where the student seeks out professors to help in areas of interest and need?

 

2. "It is probably safe to say that in England, Canada and the United States, until recent years, there has always been a sharp distinction between the role and status of the teacher and the role and status of the student — a simple recognition of the fact that the former by virtue of his knowledge, age and experience should exercise some domination and direction over the latter."

 

3. "A person's role in any given situation is defined not only by the individual but by other people and institutions in the en­vironment. Up to 1950 there seemed few differences in the views of students, professors, or the university in respect of the stu­dent's role in the university.

Quite clearly the student was not a member of the universi­ty if membership is defined as having a shared responsibility for the program, regulations, welfare of the institution. In these respects the student was without status or recognition.

 

The attitude of the university was paternalistic and authori­tarian; this was accepted by all concerned."

4. "It was obvious in the seventies that student protest had altered the ethos of the campus in many significant ways. There was, for example, the relaxation of admission requirements, the adoption of pass-fail grading in many courses, the increasing provisions for independent study, the emphasis on creative art; the growth of work-study programs, the free choice of a wide variety of subjects.

There was now no argument: students did share the power. The vital question was to what extent and in what areas?

But in respect of the student's role in the university, a signifi­cant point in the history of the university was turned. Students could no longer be considered children, they were adults with responsibility for their own behaviour and conduct; they were franchised members of the university with voting rights on some issues and potentially on all issues within the university com­munity."

 

10. Enact a panel discussion:

 

A panel discussion programme appears on TV. Four members of the public are invited to give their opinions. The questions for discussion are sent in by the viewers. The chairperson reads out the questions and directs the panel.

 

a) Open the group discussion by describing the members of the panel and the chairperson.

 

b) Split into groups of four students. Pretend you are the TV panel. Elect a chairperson and decide which of the four roles each of you will take: Mrs/Mr Terrie/John HilI, the academic vice president: Mrs/Mr Lilian/Joseph Ubite, a professor in the department of education; Mrs/Mr Denis/Gary Bell, a grad stu­dent in education: Florence/Donald Burrel, an undergraduate.

 

c) Consider the questions under discussion and enact the panel:

 

1. How should higher education be organized, governed, directed? How much, if any, freedom and autonomy should there be for universities and institutes? 2. Students should share the responsibilities in a university and enjoy equal rights with the faculty. The vital question is to what extent and in what ways? 3. Pros and cons of written and oral examinations.

 

11. Do library research and write an essay on one of the given topics:

 

1. Education for national minorities. The problem of bilinguism in the USA and Russia.

2. The principal tasks of higher education.

3. Teacher training in the USA.

4. Problems in higher education in the USA and in Russia.

 

Unit Two

 

TEXT

From: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

By Harper Lee

 

Harper Lee was bom in 1926 in the state of Alabama. In 1945-1949 she studied law at the University of Alabama. "To Kill a Mockingbird" is her first novel. It received almost unanimous critical acclaim and several awards, the Pulitzer Prize among them (1961). A screen play adaptation of the novel was filmed in 1962.

This book is a magnificent, powerful novel in which the author paints a true and lively picture of a quiet Southern town in Alabama rocked by a young girl's accusation of criminal assault.

Tom Robinson, a Negro, who was charged with raping a white girl, old Bob Swell's daughter, could have a court-appointed defence. When Judge Taylor appointed Atticus Finch, an experienced smart lawyer and a very clev­er man, he was sure that Atticus would do his best. At least Atticus was the only man in those parti who could keep a jury1 out so long in a case bite that. Atticus was eager to take up this case in spite of the threats of the Ku-Klux-Klan.2

He, too, was sure he would not win, because as he explained it to his son afterwards: "In our courts, when it is a white man's word against a black triad's, the white man always wins. The one place, where a man ought to get a "square deal is in a court-room, be he any color* of the rainbow, but people a way of carrying their resentments right into the jury box. As you grow

________

 

* Please note that the American spelling is used throughout the text. However, in the questions and exercises the British spelling is retained and it is recommended that you continue to use this.

 

 

older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don't you forget it — whenever a white man does thatto a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family hecomes from, that white man is trash...

There is nothing more sickening to me than a low-grade white man who'll take advantage of a Negro's ignorance. Don't fool yourselves — it's all adding up and one of these days we're going to pay the bill for it".

Atticus's son Jem aged thirteen and his daughter Jean Louise, nicknamedScout, aged seven were present at the trial and it is Jean Louise, who describes it...

 

Atticus was half-way through his speech to fee jury. He had evidently pulled some papers from his briefcase feat rested be­side his chair, because they were on his table. Tom Robinson was toying wife them. "

"...absence of any corroborative evidence, this man was in­dicted on a capital charge and is now on trial for his life..."

I punched Jem. "How long's he been at it?"

"He's just gone over fee evidence," Jem whispered... We looked down again. Atticus was speaking easily, wife the kind of detachment he used when he dictated a letter. He walked slowly up and down in front of fee jury, and fee jury seemed to be attentive: their heads were up, and they followed Atticus's route with what seemed to be appreciation. I guess it was be­cause Atticus wasn't a thunderer.

Atticus paused, then he did something he didn't ordinarily do. He unhitched his watch and chain and placed them on fee table, saying, "With the court's permission —"

Judge Taylor nodded, and then Atticus did something I never saw him do before or since, in public or in private: he unbuttoned his vest, unbuttoned his collar, loosened his tie, and took off his coat. He never loosened a scrap of his clothing until he undressed at bedtime, and to Jem and me, this was fee equivalent of him standing before us stark naked. We ex­changed horrified glances.

Atticus put his hands in his pockets, and as he returned to the jury, I saw his gold-collar button and the tips of his pen and pencil winking in fee light.

"Gentlemen," he said. Jem and I again looked at each other: Atticus might have said "Scout". His voice had lost its aridity, its detachment, and he was talking to fee jury as if they were folks on fee post office corner.

 

"Gentlemen," he was saying. "I shall be brief, but I would like to use my remaining time with you to remind you that this case is not a difficult one, it requires no minute sifting of com­plicated, facts, but it does require you to be sure beyond all reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the defendant. To begin with, this case should never have come to trial. This case is as simple as black and white.

"The state has not produced one iota of medical evidence to the effect that the crime Tom Robinson is charged with ever took place. It has relied instead upon the testimony of two wit­nesses whose evidence has not only been called into serious question on cross-examination, but has been flatly contradicted by the defendant. The defendant is not guilty, but somebody in this court is.

“I have nothing but pity in my heart for the chief witness for the state, but my pity does not extend so far as to her put­ting a man's life at stake, which she had done in an effort to get rid of her own guilt.

"I say guilt, gentlemen, because it was guilt that motivated her. She has committed no crime, she has merely broken a rigid and time-honored code of, our society, a code so severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit to live with. She is the victim of cruel poverty and ignorance, but I cannot pityher: she is white. She knew full well the enormity of her offense, but because her desires were stronger than the code she was breaking, she persisted in breaking it. She persist­ed, and her subsequent reaction is something that all of us have known at one time or another. She did something every child has done — she tried to put the evidence of her offense away from her. But in this case she was no child hiding stolen contra­band: she struck out at her victim — of necessity she must put him away from her — he must be removed from her presence, from this world. She must destroy the evidence of her offense.

"What was the .evidence of her offense? Tom Robinson, a human being. She must put Tom Robinson away from her. Tom Robinson was her daily reminder of what she did. What did she do? She tempted a Negro.

"She was white, and she tempted a Negro. She did some­thing that in our society is unspeakable: she kissed a black man. Not an old Uncle, but a strong young Negro man. No codemattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards.

 

 

"Her father saw it, and the defendant has testified as to his remarks. What did her father do? We don't know, but there is circumstantial evidence to indicate that Mayella Ewell was beaten savagely by someone who led almost exclusively with his left. We do know in part what Mr Ewell did: he did what any God-fearing, persevering, respectable white man would do under the circumstances — he swore out a warrant, no doubt signing it with his left hand, and Tom Robinson now sits before you, having taken the oath with the only good hand he pos­sesses — his right hand.

"And so a quiet, respectable, humble Negro who had the unmitigated temerity to 'feel sorry' for a white woman has had to put his word against two whjte people's. I need not remind you of their appearance and conduct on the stand — you saw them for yourselves. The witness for the state, with the excep­tion of the sheriff of Maycomb County, have presented them­selves to you, gentlemen, to this court, in the cynical confi­dence that their testimony would not be doubted, confident that you, gentlemen, would go along with them on the assump­tion — the evil assumption — that all Negroes lie, that all Negroes are basically immoral beings, that all Negro men are not to be trusted around our women, an assumption one asso­ciates with minds of their caliber.

"Which, gentlemen, we know is in itself a lie as black as Tom Robinson's skin, a lie I do not have to point out to you. You know the truth, and the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trusted around women — black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men. There is not a person in this court-room who has never told a lie, who has never done an immoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a woman without desire."

Atticus paused and took out his handkerchief. Then he took off his glasses and wiped them, and we saw another "first": we had never seen him sweat — he was one of those men whose face! never perspired, but now it was shining tan.

"One more thing, gentlemen, before I quit. Thomas Jeffer­son3 once said that all men are created equal, a phrase that the Yankees4 and the distaff side5 of the Executive branch in Washington are fond of hurling at us. There is a tendency in this year of grace, 1935, for certain people to use this phrase out of context, to .satisfy all conditions. The most ridiculous

 

example I can think of is that the people who run public education promote the stupid and idle along with the industri­ous — because all men are created equal, educators will grave­ly tell you, the children left behind suffer terrible feelings of in­feriority. We know all men are not created equal in the sense some people would have us believe — some people are, smarter than others, some people have more opportunity because they're born with it, some men make more money than others, some ladies make better cakes than others — some people are born gifted beyond the normal scope of most men.

"But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal — there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court. It can be the Supreme Court of the United States or the humblest J.P. court in the land, or this honorable court which you serve. Our courts, have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levellers, and in our courts all men are created equal.

"I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and in the jury system. Gentlemen, a court is no better than each man of you sitting before me on this jury. A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the men who make it up. I am confident that you, gentlemen, will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family. In the name of God, do your duty."

Atticus's voice had dropped, and as he turned away from the jury he said something I did not catch. He said it more to himself than to the court. I punched Jem.

"What'd he say?"

"In the name of God, believe him, I think that's what he said."...

What happened after that hada dreamlike quality: in a dream I saw the jury return, moving like underwater swimmers, and Judge Taylor's voice came from far away and was tiny. I saw something only a lawyer's child could be expected to see, could be expected to watch for, and it was like watching Atticus walk into the street, raise a rifle to his shoulder and pull the trigger, but watching all the time knowing that the gun was empty.

 

 

A jury never looks at a defendant it has convicted, and when this jury came in, not one of them looked at Tom Robin­son. The foreman handed a piece of paper to Mr Tate who handed it to the clerk who handed it to the judge. ...

I shut my eyes. Judge Taylor was polling the jury: "Guilty ... guilty ... guilty ... guilty..." I peeked at Jem: his hands were white from gripping the balcony rail,and his shoulders jerked as if each "guilty" was a separate stab between them.

Judge Taylor was saying, something. His gavel was in his fist, but he wasn't using it. Dimly, I saw Atticus pushing papers from the table into his briefcase. He snapped it shut; went to the court reporter and said something, nodded tp Mr Gilmer, and then went to Tom Robinson and whispered something to him. Atticus put his hand on Tom's shoulder as he whispered. Atticus took his coat off the back of his chair and pulled it over his shoulder. Then he left the court-room, but not by his usual exit. He must have wanted to go home the short way, because he walked quickly down the middle aisle toward the south exit. I followed the top of his head as he made his way to the door. He did not look up.

Someone was punching me, but I was reluctant to take my eyes from the people below us, and from the image of Atticus's lonely walk down the aisle.

"Miss Jean Louise?"

I looked around. They were standing. All around us and in the balcony on the opposite wall, the Negroes were getting to their feet. Reverend Sykes's voice was as distant as Judge Taylor’s: "Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passing."

 

Commentary

 

1. a jury: a body of persons, in the USA and Great Britain, 12 in number, who have to decide the truth of a case tried be­fore a judge. The jury brings in a verdict of guilty (not guilty). The verdict is valid only if the decision of the jurors is unani­mous. If not, the jury is dismissed and a new jury is made up. That procedure may be repeated several times until the jury comes to the unanimous decision.

2. Ku-Klux-Klan: a reactionary organization, was formed by Southern planters when slavery was prohibited throughout the United States by the thirteenth (1865) amendment to the Con-

 

 

stitution of the USA (which was ratified in 1888. More than 20 amendments have been adopted since that time. The first ten amendments are commonly referred to as the Bill of Rights). Members of the K.K.K. met in secret places. They wore white robes and white masks through which only the eyes could be seen. They lynched blacks on the slightest suspicion without any trial. The organization was so ferocious and aroused such terror and indignation that it was outlawed. But every now and then traces of its activities can be seen even nowadays.

3.Thomas Jefferson:(1743-1826), third President of the USA (1801-1809), drafted the Declaration of Independence, which was adopted and proclaimed on July 4th, 1776 to the whole world that a great new nation was born after a heroic peoples' War for Independence that lasted more than six years. The former 13 English Colonies had won their independence and set up their new United States Government.

4.Yankee:originally, this term meant "a native of New En­gland". During the Civil War, however, the Southerners used it to refer, often derisively, to inhabitants of any Northern States. Nowadays the term is used outside the US to natives of the US. In the South of the USA, it is still used (derisively) to refer to Northerners, and in New England it is still used in reference to Native New Englanders (non-derisively).

5.the distaffside: the female branch in a family as opposed to the male branch. The Executive branch is the legislative body of the government. Here, the distaff side means the wom­en members of the US government, the more sentimental and moralistic part of the staff, who are fond of hurling the phrase "all men are created equal" in order to be brought to the notice of the public.

 

SPEECH PATTERNS

 

\

1. a) Whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who heis,... that white man is trash.

No matter who the man might be, you had no right to act in this way.

No matter who the boy is, they shouldn't have been so rude.

No matter who she is, she oughtn't to have done it.

b) No matter whatshe says, don't take it for granted.

No matter what she said, they seldom agreed.

 

 

No matter what Betsy may suggest, they usually find fault with it.

No matter what he might do, you shouldn't interfere.

c) No matter howhard the boy tried, he could find no job.

d) No matter howdull the book seemed, he always read it through.

 

2. I have nothing butpity... for the chief witness for the state.

He deserves nothing but sympathy.

We heard nothing but a slight noise.

He felt nothing but despair.

Mary's son gave her nothing but trouble.

 



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