Why Social Justice and Community Development?

Many current and incoming students have asked for a description of the differences between the Social Justice and Community Development tracks of the MASJCD. In the past, I have answered this question in a kind of shorthand: Social Justice “thinks globally”; Community Development “acts locally”. Here, I attempt to put more meat on those bones.The biggest idea behind the creation of the MASJCD was to join the theoretical and theological study of social justice to a place-based practice and policy approach to change in urban communities. While the study of social justice leads toward action, the study of community development provides effective and proven tools for action. So, another formulation might be that the study of social justice reveals why we must act and the study of community development shows what we can do.It can also be said that community development is a form of social justice. Our religious traditions speak clearly about the injustices of poverty, of war and of oppression of the powerless. Answering this call often leads students to involvement in justice issues like eliminating poverty and hunger, ending wars, empowering women or welcoming immigrants. Community development-building strong and liberating communities in which the economy is available to all, in which every member is a valued contributor, and in which access to health care, education and secure housing is a mandate-fulfills the social justice vision.CD also concerns itself with systems-their analysis and the ways in which they must change to become equitable and sustainable. Understanding housing policy and the details of housing production are essential to changing the housing system. Knowing the economics and politics of food production is necessary to work to provide local communities with access to healthy food. As one Chicago community developer often says, “We need to discover ways to make big systems work for small places.” Studying community development leads to that discovery.In the end, an argument can be made that significant knowledge of both areas is essential to real and lasting change, and that is why there is an MASJCD. Toward that end, we do not require students to declare a track until one full-time semester has passed (one year for part-time students). And we highly recommend that students take courses in both tracks early in their studies and even after they have chosen a track-a sort of major/minor arrangement. The best mix of theory and practice, of global issues and local systems will produce the best agents of social change-the goal of our program.

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An Introduction to Homeschooling Laws

Numerous parents, for several different reasons, make the decision to homeschool their children. Homeschooling allows for a particular educational experience intended to fit your child’s specific needs and, in numerous cases, goes above and beyond what can be achieved in a public or private school system. If you make the decision to homeschool your family, it is important that you do so legally, and recognize the laws in your area. It is absolutely crucial that you do this, because if you fail to meet statutory standards when homeschooling your children you will inadvertently rob your children of postsecondary educational opportunities.

Homeschooling laws vary from situation to situation, so you have to look up the precise laws in your home state. The foundation of state laws on homeschooling is the result of truancy laws that order children to be present in a day-school. The fundamental idea is that these laws prevail to tell apart a homeschooled child from a child that is merely not going to school, which is of course against the law. Ordinarily, states will require that you submit a “notice of intent” to homeschool your children before the upcoming academic year. The state will then respond with the proper paperwork for you to fill out.

Besides familiarizing yourself with the particular laws of your state you should also consult a homeschooling organization for advice. In various cases parents will be dealing with school officials who want to dishearten them from homeschooling, and in these situations it is important that you understand your rights. In the state of New York, for instance, parents are not required to meet with school officials. School officials may request a meeting with the parents in order to consult on homeschooling, but the state may not revoke the right to homeschool if the parents refuse this meeting.

It is also required that your child take standardized tests. This is so the state can legally allocate your child to a given grade level. The laws vary from state to state but in most cases you will have a certain amount of leeway in non-standardized tests. New York allows for non-standard tests every alternate year between grades 4 and 8, for example.

Though it may seem intimidating at first, homeschooling your children legally is, in the end, not that complex. You just have to make certain that you follow every step, and don’t neglect any paperwork. While several state restrictions or protocol may seem unnecessary or cumbersome, in the long run you’ll save yourself a ton of headaches if you fill everything in properly and on time.

The first thing you can do when you start to homeschool your children is to consult different homeschooling parents and advocacy groups. Looking up legal vernacular online can be confusing, but any homeschooling group will supply you solid, plain-English advice on how to properly and legally set up homeschooling for your children. Remember: it’s impossible to overestimate the importance of studying your state laws in regards to homeschooling – if you overlook or disregard any of them, you could lose your right to homeschool altogether.


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Identifying the Best Online Business Opportunity for You

While there are so many online business opportunities available today, most aspirant internet business owners find the many choices a bit overwhelming and confusing for them. Also, even though the online platform of operating businesses is highly rewarding, there are so many scams that make people a lot more fearful of earning a living working online. As such, identifying a potential online opportunity becomes a difficult task in its own right. However with proper guidance you can still be a guru in this arena and pursue one of the most successful business opportunities.First, it is essential that you review yourself by taking a personal analysis that will help you identify your current position and what you want to achieve by starting an online business. Also, you will want to have an idea of which business opportunities you can engage in which should be done by analyzing each one of them critically. And finally, it is essential you come up with strategies and techniques of making the business a profitable and successful online enterprise. While these are some easy things to do, it can be hard for you if you take a wrong approach of tackling them.Online businesses have varying levels of challenges and it is essential to ensure that you are capable of managing your preferred business at ease. For this reason, it is essential to consider your level of experience and knowledge before taking up any of these opportunities. In case you are just starting out in this field, it is a good idea to search for a business that you can access continuous guidance and training until you have fully mastered and grasped the concept of handling such a business online.It is also essential that you have a mentor to offer you the much needed guidance in this field of business especially for beginners. Before you venture in any online business opportunity, get to know how much amount of time you are willing to spare for the business especially if you intend to be working on it part time. Actually, one of the major causes of unsuccessful online businesses is failure to avail sufficient time to the business and some people tend to think that two hours are enough to make them walk to the banks smiling the next day. Essentially, it is important that you evaluate the kind of commitment your chosen online business needs and then adjust yourself accordingly to meet and satisfy its demands.Lastly, once you have identified an online business opportunity that fits you, search for information on how you are going to market it to make the business more competitive and boost your income.

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