We're getting married
on June 18, 2016 in St. Patrick's Church
Our story - how it all started.
Public schools, in the United States, have a mission to provide every student a safe and caring learning environment in which to develop the skills and knowledge that are essential to live a productive, successful life in an ever-changing global community. The vision, of education, is to provide all students with access to develop higher-order thinking which will involve creative and critical thinking skills that are needed to solve real-world problems. The No Child Left Behind was an initiative by President George Bush in 2001 to ensure that every student in a public school was offered this opportunity. NCLB required that every state, school district and school follow the new guidelines in order to ensure all students are proficient in grade-level math and reading by 2014. This has led school districts to focus on the struggling and low-performing students and succumb to the myth that "Gifted Students Don't Need Help; They'll Do Fine On Their Own". Strategies that have been used in the schools (specifically middle schools) to help increase students' growth are extra math classes, remediation math classes, longer class periods, remediation and resource coaches who co-teach with a regular classroom teacher, differentiated instruction in regular classrooms, implementing the tools of technology or manipulatives. The majority of these resources have been aimed to help the struggling students reach proficiency; it has not been aimed at supporting the academically and talented gifted students at accelerating or developing higher-order thinking skills. In fact, these strategies are causing the academically and talented students to stagnate and lose their drive for knowledge. Gifted and talented students who miss out on accelerated learning opportunities still do well above average but may not accomplish as much later in life. That is the harm: we are losing our future Madame Curie or Thomas Edison, or Albert Einstein. If the goal of NCLB was to create access to quality education for all students to achieve proficiency or growth, then the focus of every school district and school should be just that. Currently, public school funding is focused on the students who are lower academically and lagging behind their peers. However, there needs to be a shift to include the gifted students in that funding. Schools need to change the schedules to block or hire more math teachers to be able to offer the mandatory "AIG math class". It seems more likely that schools would switch to a block schedule to lengthen class periods before they find money to hire more teachers. The need for AIG students to have access to adequate services in school is not just an issue of improving student achievement, it is about improving students' critical and creative thinking skills. This endeavor will require all stakeholders to buy-in and support the population that is thought to not need help because they will do fine on their own. The returns on investing in our AIG students to develop their higher order-thinking skills for the 21st century global community will benefit everyone in the global community. These students are the future; we as educators must make sure that they have every opportunity to develop their full potential. Jennifer Senter is is an AIG consultant for Cumberland County Schools. Jennifer is also currently enrolled in the Masters of Education Degree Program at Western Carolina University. Webmasters and other article publishers are hereby granted article reproduction permission as long as this article in its entirety, author's information, and any links remain intact. Copyright 2016 by Jennifer Senter.
Border Road Organization-Choose As a Career Option Border Road Organization is a multifaceted, modern construction organization committed to meeting the strategic needs of the armed forces. The role Organization is to develop and maintain the operational road infrastructure in border areas and It also contributes to the socio-economic development of the border states. It was raised in 1960 to carve roads through difficult Himalayas in North-Western and North-Eastern border areas of the country. Though for basic purpose it is a road constructing civil engineering organization - task function-wise similar to central and or state PWDs- yet in that of Corps of Engineers of the India Army. It constructs and maintains roads in virgin areas where other civil engineering works- executing agencies are unable to operate. The officers, supervisors and men required for maintaining this Force are drawn partly from the Armed Forces, especially Corps of Engineers, and partly enrolled/enlisted from open market exclusively for this force. A few officers, especially doctors, are drawn from Indian Air Force and the Navy also. The troops enrolled exclusively for manning functions of this organization are collectively known as General Reserve Engineer Force, or 'GREF'. The personnel drawn from other defence forces are considered on normal military duty. In other words while the phrase Border Roads Organization stands for the department as a whole, 'GREF' is the name of the collective body of the former's whole-time regular employees, recruited, maintained and deployed, exclusively on execution of BRO's projects/ works only. The technical head of the organization, located at New Delhi, named as Director General Border Roads, is a Lt. General from Corps of Engineers. The Border Road Organization is a potential employer not only for technically qualified/ trained professionals but also for semi skilled and unskilled youths having aptitude for outdoor life. Setup of Units The lower most independent working unit in is called Road Construction Company, or 'RCC'. Like a Division of the provincial PWD, an RCC is commanded by an officer of the rank of Executive Engineer or Major. It comprises of functional platoons like 'Formation Cutting Platoon' for cutting new roads; 'Permanent Works platoon' for construction of culverts, retaining and breast walls, drains and parapets, etc; 'Surfacing Platoon' for keeping the finished roads in good repairs. These Platoons are Placed under the charge of a Platoons Officer of the rank of Assistant Executive Engineer or a Captain, who reports to the Officer Commanding RCC for all executives, administrative and financial matters. A few RCCs make Border Roads Task Force, or 'BRTF', which is like a Circle of the provincial PWD or an Engineer Regiment of the Army. Earlier Task Force(s) an Engineer Regiment of the Army. Earlier Task(s) used to be commanding by a Superintending Engineer or a Colonel of Corps of Engrs. A few BRTFs put together form a BRO Project. A Project is commanded by a chief Engineer of GREF or a Brgadier of the Corps of Engrs. To assist the RCCs and BRTFs produce optimum results, the organization, has certain common service units like 'Engineer Stores supply & Transport Company' or for procurement, storage, issuance and transport of construction stores; 'Field Workshop' or 'Field Workshop Platoon' for maintenance and repairs of the departmental vehicles and assorted hill cutting/road building/maintaining machinery and Base Depots' for holding buffer stocks of stores and equipment. The organization in addition holds 'GREF Pioneer Companies, each having some 400 Pioneers, who are the organization's foot soldiers. They handle all kinds of manual tasks, which otherwise can't be got executed casual daily wagers. Border Road Organization also borrows a complement of Army Pioneer who are authorized and also fire arms for security duties with movement of cash, sensitive documents and or VIPs. These common service units are manned by officers having expertise in specific fields. Non-technical administrative officers command the GREF pioneer companies, who form bulk of the force. The Medical Staging Sections and Medical Inspection Rooms take care of the sick and suffering troops, while Dental officer and his team move from camp to camp for checking and improving the denture of the road building troops deployed in forward areas. While every Border Road Organization project has one Signal Officer for manning the wireless communications network, a Postal Unit is there to look after movement of official daak as well as the private mail of the troops. Provost unit is one more setup in a Project for taking care of the internal as well as external security in the organization. The GREF officers and men are simultaneously governed under two separate sets of rules. For the purpose of recruitment, leave, pay and allowances and retirement or discharge etc, they are governed under Central Civil Services Regulations. For the purpose of discipline, however, they are / can also be simultaneously governed under the provision of Army Act, 1950, with certain essential modifications, specially dove-tailed for GREF. The application of the Army Act entitles the GREF personnel, to a number of privileges like those entitled to the personnel of other wings of the Armed Forces. Cadres of GREF officers Many GREF officers are Civil Engineers, followed by the Electrical & Mechanical Engineers. Both these groups are constituted into Border Roads Engineering Services, or 'BRES'. Next numerically lesser strong groups are GREF Administrative Officers and Medical Officers. Categories of Tradesmen in Border Road Organization The bulk of working strength of GREF comprises of the roads and buildings. They are Pioneers, Masons, Drillers, Dozer Operators, Compressor Drivers, Mechanics, Electricians, Carpenters, Mates, Leading Hands, Overseers, etc. The aforesaid road making troops are supported by clerks, nursing assistants, wireless operators, safaiwalas, cooks etc., who are responsible for running the administration in offices and camps. Recruitment in Border Road Organization The recruitment of GREF officers is conducted by Union Public Services Commission based on the head of the organization. The BRES officers are recruited by the Union Public Service Commission through an All India Engineering Services Examinations. Officers of the other cadres are recruited by the UPSC through interview only. In addition, a good number of officers rise from and out of organization's serving lower ranks through departmental promotions. The recruitment of various categories of GREF subordinates is done centrally by the Commandant, GREF Centre and Records, located at Pune in Maharashtra. While the advertising of the vacancies in officers cadres is done by UPSC through leading newspapers of the country, that for the subordinates is done by GREF Records by inserting advertisement in the newspapers.