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Teachers Network Leadership Institute:
Fair Share for Our Schools: A Multidisciplinary Curriculum: CFE v. The State of New York The Right to a Sound Basic Education
View the Short Video: Campaign for Fiscal Equality: Students Speak Out

Lesson Materials (word document)

Day 1

AIM
Students become familiar with the origins and history of CFE v. The State of New York. Students understand the right to a “sound basic education” and assess their own experience.

Standards
Standard 1: History of the United States and New York State
Standard 4: Economics
Standard 5: Civics, Citizenship and Government

Materials
CFE Timeline (see Lesson Materials), Surveys.

Do Now
Students have 5 silent minutes to answer the following question:
Imagine you are our school’s principal. You are given extra money from New York State. What is the one best way you could spend the money to improve learning at our school?

Mini Lesson
Teacher uses the CFE timeline to engage students in a brief discussion of CFE v. The State of New York.

Activity: Students are divided into 3 equal groups. Each group is assigned an area of central importance to a “sound basic education” (As defined by the New York State Court of Appeals in June, 2003).

Group 1: High-quality teaching.
Group 2: Small class sizes.
Group 3: Adequate classroom supplies, textbooks, libraries and computers.

Students then conduct interviews with their classmates. Each group is given a question concerning “what does this right look like?” Students have 15 minutes to interview a minimum of 5 students from the other two groups and record their responses.

Interview Questions:
Group 1: What does a “high-quality teacher” look like? What do they do?
Group 2: What does a “small class” look like? How many students should be in each class in order to give everyone a “sound basic education?”
Group 3: What do “adequate supplies” look like? What items must a school have in order to give everyone a “sound basic education?”

Homework
Students must interview a minimum of 3 more students outside of the class and record the results.

Day 2

AIM
Students understand the right to a “sound basic education” and assess their own experience.

Standards
Standard 1: History of the United States and New York State
Standard 4: Economics
Standard 5: Civics, Citizenship and Government

Materials
Poster paper, markers.

Do Now
Students have 5 silent minutes to answer the following question:
Based on the interviews you conducted, what do your classmates believe our school needs?

Activity
Students return to their groups to discuss the results of their interviews. Each group combines their results and agrees upon what their area “looks like.” Each group then discusses how our school measures up. Does our school fit the group’s definition of a “sound basic education?” Each group then discusses what our school needs in order to meet the requirement of a “sound basic education,” based upon their definition.

Each group then records their findings on a poster. Posters must be headed with their group’s assigned area and divided into 3 sections: What does the right look like? What does our school have? What specific things does our school need or need to do in order to meet this requirement (not just “more money,” get specific)?

Share
Groups present their findings to the rest of the class and discuss what they observed and what our school needs.

Teachers are encouraged to display student posters in common school areas.

Subject Areas:
Social Studies

Grade Levels:  6 - 8

About the teacher:

Samuel V. Stoddard received his Bachelors degree in Philosophy with minors in Politics and Sociology from Ithaca College in 2002. He joined New York City Teaching Fellows in 2003 and received his Masters degree in Teaching from Pace University in 2005. In 2003, Sam began as a middle school mathematics teacher at the Secondary School for Law in Brooklyn, New York. He has taught sixth, seventh and eighth grade mathematics. In addition to his teaching duties, Sam is the coach of the Secondary School of Law’s High School Mock Trial Team. Sam serves as the seventh grade advisor and Sam’s work with PBIS has included the development and management of a disciplinary referral system. This system is designed to monitor, address and correct problematic student behavior and spur greater academic accomplishment through increased teacher and parent involvement. Sam has also managed a 2004 voter registration drive and created a study aimed at reforming the state indigent defense system.

svs413@yahoo.com



 

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