The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Congress to stimulate CSUN

Looks like teachers will be students again. Yesterday, Congressman Brad Sherman announced that Congress has approved $570,000 in federal appropriations funding for two programs in California.

One program will train teaching professionals in new techniques and the other will introduce children to the performing arts.

The funding is included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2009, which passed the Senate yesterday and has since been signed by President Obama into law, said Matthew Farrato, communications director and senior advisor for Congressman Sherman.

‘These funds are critical to our efforts at California State University, Northridge to break new educational ground and provide rich educational opportunities that reflect and incorporate the diversity of our surrounding community,’ said Cal State Northridge President Jolene Koester. ‘We thank Congressman Sherman for his dedicated service to the Valley and to our mission,”

‘This (bill) makes a lot of sense,’ Congressman Sherman said. ‘It’s a tremendous addition to the valley. These funds demonstrate the Congress’ continued commitment to ensure that the next generation of Valley school children have opportunities to learn and grow’ Sherman added.

‘I believe in any funding for education,’ said Cheryl Etting, who works in early childhood education and special education.

Charles Hanson, professor of educational psychology and counseling, says it’s a good idea but it depends on the type of training. ‘If you are providing info, new tools, support, opportunities to observe and give feedback, that works,’ he said. ‘It is not just telling people how to do their job.’

The appropriations bill awarded the university $285,000 for a one-year demonstration project to develop and implement a new clinical training model to assist new teachers, said Sherman.

‘It benefits students and parents,’ said CSUN Vice President Harry Hellenbrand.

‘This benefits students at Eisner School, and the children that teachers will teach through their careers,’ said Sherman.

CSUN students agree. ‘It’s awesome, it should be done because in order to have good students, you need good training,’ said Lashay Clifton, a freshman.

‘It’s investment in the future,’ said Rodney McCormick, a freshman music major.

The university also received $285,000 for a K-12 arts education program. The funds will be used to provide live performance experiences and performing arts instructional programs in dance, symphony, popular music, theater and opera for promising students enrolled in Title I public and charter schools in the San Fernando Valley.

The program will be administered by CSUN, under the joint backing of staff assigned to its new Center for the Performing Arts, the College of Education and the College of Arts Media and Communication.’

‘There are two benefits to the performing arts programs. One, it employs people and second, we can reopen the performing arts building,’ said Hellenbrand.

Those concerned about the money going to teacher training have questioned what the bill will accomplish. ‘At the very least it will help fund the school of education,’ said Sherman. It benefits knowledge nationwide to know how teaching teachers affects the kids. Does it produce good outcomes?’

‘Universities largely lacked financially (in education),’ said Hellenbrand. ‘This money will help to get things on track.’

Hanson said, ‘If a student gets three good teachers, the students performs better. If a student has three bad teachers, the student does not.”

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