Spring 2020 Social Foundations of Urban Education

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Updated Schedule and Assignments

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    Hello everyone. I am writing to let you know that the schedule has been updated on CUNY Commons. Please take the time to review it and let me know if you have any questions. Below I have outlined the plan going forward. I realize there is a lot here, but please read to the end so that you know what is going on and what is expected going forward.

    Weekly assignments and posts:
    We will continue using Commons to post reflections, though you will now be required to respond to each other’s posts. For most of the upcoming weeks I have given you a question or issue to think about as you read and/or watch the assigned videos. You should review the assignment for each week before you start in order to guide your reading/viewing.

    New “mid-term” and final paper:
    Rather than giving you one long paper as originally planned, I have created two shorter assignments. The new “mid-term” will be due before spring break. I will post the questions on Commons over the next few days so that you can start working on it. Your final paper is described in the assignment for May 12. It is a short policy paper on charter schools and school choice based on the readings and videos for that day.

    Class presentations:
    You should still expect to prepare a class presentation on the day you have been assigned. (Please check the schedule because I moved some dates around.) You can use the same guidelines posted on Commons, only instead of facilitating the class, you’ll be sharing your document with your classmates online. We will discuss this more as we go along.

    Alondra and Maryam, you are currently signed up to present together on May 5th. Now that we are doing this virtually, I would like you to split up. Either one of you can pick any of the days that does not have someone currently assigned.

    Weekly Live Chat:
    I have attached the results of the Doodle Poll regarding availability for the live chat. The 2:00 to 3:00 time slot was the most popular, so that is when I would like to run the chat. Sandy, Jonathan, and Alondra, please let me know if that doesn’t work for any of you. If you don’t have flexibility, we will work something out.

    We will conduct our weekly meetings using Blackboard Collaborate. It should be as simple as me sending you an invite via e-mail and you clicking a link to join the meeting. You do not need to be signed into Blackboard to join, and you can access it on a computer or phone.

    It’s simple, but I expect there to be technical glitches, especially in the beginning, so please allow extra time for our first meeting in order to work these out. Our first meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 24.

    E-mails and Communication:
    I cannot stress enough how important it is that we stay in contact over e-mail—especially as we get this new system off the ground. At a minimum I ask that everyone confirm that you have received an e-mail when I send one. In return, if you e-mail me, I will do my best to respond in 24 hours or less.

    Please take the time to review the new schedule and the information in this e-mail and let me know if you have any questions. Again, it helps me greatly if you confirm that you have received this message so that I can keep track of everyone now that we are not meeting face to face.

    Be well,

    Francine Almash

    Mellon Humanities Alliance Fellow
    PhD Student in Urban Education
    The Graduate Center-CUNY

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