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Welcome to EduIssues.com, a site to discuss education issues facing the area around San Mateo, CA.  Please read the Welcome message for more details about this site.  All discussions are moderated as explained in the Welcome message.

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Most Important Articles for new Visitors to this Blog

  1. Raising our Children – American Society Reflects our Values and Choices
  2. 2019-2020 High School Class Sign-up Time – Please Read This Article First!
  3. It’s AP ex(sc)am time again!
  4. Never Believe Educational Experts (or Me)!
  5. “Mutual Assured Destruction”
  6. My SMUHSD Board Report on NGSS – A Lot of People of Good Will Trying to Deal with a Tough Problem
  7. Info from UC Berkeley confirms why students should not skip from Precalculus to Calculus BC
  8. Pros and Cons of the CPM Math Textbook Series
  9. Why Can’t We Teach Mathematics Properly?
  10. A Hole in the Aragon Math Curriculum
  11. How Students are “Accelerating” in Math at Aragon
  12. How to Interest Kids in Science, Engineering, and Math
  13. How to Get in to Harvard

 

Recent Topics

(Click on any topic title below for all articles in that category in reverse chronological order – only the most recent or important articles are listed below)

Education News

  1. Raising our Children – American Society Reflects our Values and Choices
  2. What Kind of Society do We Want to Have? (plus an important addendum on “Back to School Night” and textbooks)
  3. 6 Dutch parenting secrets to raising the happiest kids in the world
  4. California’s Charter School Morass
  5. Why a “Sage on the Stage” in a Classroom is not always a Bad Thing
  6. My SMUHSD Board Report on NGSS – A Lot of People of Good Will Trying to Deal with a Tough Problem
  7. How the College Admissions Scandal was Uncovered
  8. NY Times: “Justice Department’s largest ever education prosecution”
  9. Aragon Accelerated Math Class Drop Rate Controversy Has Been Resolved
  10. Alarmingly High Drop Rate for Aragon’s Accelerated Math Classes??
  11. 2019-2020 High School Class Sign-up Time – Please Read This Article First!
  12. NGSS Impact on the 2018 SMUHSD AP Physics 1 Scores?
  13. Rewriting Your Child’s Science Curriculum – the Bold NGSS Experiment

 

Issues in Teaching Mathematics     

  1. Why a “Sage on the Stage” in a Classroom is not always a Bad Thing
  2. Senior Dilemma: What to Take – AP Statistics or Calculus BC?
  3. Aragon Accelerated Math Class Drop Rate Controversy Has Been Resolved
  4. Alarmingly High Drop Rate for Aragon’s Accelerated Math Classes??
  5. How Students are “Accelerating” in Math at Aragon
  6. STEM Class Issues from the 2017-2018 Aragon School Year: Part 2 – AP Statistics
  7. STEM Class Issues from the 2017-2018 Aragon School Year: Part 1 – Precalculus (with an aside on Multivariable Calculus)
  8. Pros and Cons of the CPM Math Textbook Series
  9. Why is 10^0 = 1 ???
  10. Why Can’t We Teach Mathematics Properly?

 

AP Class Crisis

  1. Raising our Children – American Society Reflects our Values and Choices
  2. 2019-2020 High School Class Sign-up Time – Please Read This Article First!
  3. Senior Dilemma: What to Take – AP Statistics or Calculus BC?
  4. Aragon Accelerated Math Class Drop Rate Controversy Has Been Resolved
  5. Alarmingly High Drop Rate for Aragon’s Accelerated Math Classes??
  6. NGSS Impact on the 2018 SMUHSD AP Physics 1 Scores?
  7. How Students are “Accelerating” in Math at Aragon
  8. The Fine Art of Delay – An Open Letter to the SMUHSD Board
  9. STEM Class Issues from the 2017-2018 Aragon School Year: Part 3 – Physics
  10. “Mutual Assured Destruction”
  11. Attention SMUHSD Parents! State Mandated Testing Negatively Impacts Aragon’s Physics Program
  12. Taking the Fight to Harvard
  13. It’s AP ex(sc)am time again!
  14. A Hole in the Aragon Math Curriculum
  15. very unfortunate local test practice that I think is hurting students.
  16. How to Interest Kids in Science, Engineering, and Math.
  17. Confirmation from UC Berkeley on problems with AP classes

 

Teacher Salaries

  1. Before You Vote on Upcoming School Ballot Measures, Please Read This!
  2. IMPORTANT – SMFCSD Seeks Community Input on School Finances
  3. “I’ve Ended Many School Days Crying in My Car”
  4. SMFCSD Settles Contract Dispute with Teachers, But What Comes Next???
  5. SM Daily Journal: Battle over teacher pay gets worse

 

College Admissions

  1. How to get in to Harvard
  2. How the College Admissions Scandal was Uncovered
  3. SAT Test Prep Recommendations

 

Top Ten Most Read Articles

  1. Pros and Cons of the CPM Math Textbook Series
  2. It’s AP ex(sc)am time again!
  3. Critical Warnings re AP Classes
  4. Info from UC Berkeley confirms why students should not skip from Precalculus to Calculus BC
  5. How to Get in to Harvard
  6. Back to School – Changes at Aragon HS
  7. “Educators laud test success” – Give me a break!!!!
  8. Why Can’t We Teach Mathematics Properly?
  9. How Students are “Accelerating” in Math at Aragon
  10. 2019-2020 High School Class Sign-up Time – Please Read This Article First!

 

Thank you for reading and participating on this site.  Together we can make a difference and improve education for our local students!

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Raising our Children – American Society Reflects our Values and Choices

This may be the most important article in my blog. Let us never forget – society is our creation – the sum total of our values and choices, beginning with how we raise and educate our children!

Continue reading “Raising our Children – American Society Reflects our Values and Choices”

What Kind of Society do We Want to Have? (plus an important addendum on “Back to School Night” and textbooks)

Thursday, 9/5/2019 – I’ve taken a break from blogging this summer due to the press of personal obligations, but recently posted a short note about Dutch parenting techniques.  The Dutch, according to UNESCO, supposedly raise the happiest kids in the world.  By contrast, last school year in the SMHUSD the month of September focused on suicide prevention.

I will contrast the article above about Dutch parenting to a book that I eagerly read several years ago entitled “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom” by Amy Chua.  As an interesting follow-up, here is a 2018 note from her younger daughter.  The two of them frequently engaged in screaming matches as described in the book.

A new documentary has also been recently released on Netflix entitled “American Factory” and I strongly encourage everyone to stop whatever you are doing and watch this film ASAP!!  It describes a former GM plant in Dayton, Ohio (this city was a recent site of yet another mass shooting), and the attempt to revitalize it as an automotive glass manufacturer as part of the Chinese company Fuyao.  The culture contrast is stark, and Americans have a lot to learn from this film.  Here is some initial Chinese and American reaction on Bloomberg News.

Finally I want to put in another word for a book that I have mentioned in the past as one of my favorites on education: “The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way.

I mention all of the above as a preamble to an upcoming review article, and I hope my readers will take the time to read/view this material first.

It is time for America to take a long hard look in the mirror… particularly before the next election!


One other short but important note – tonight is “Back to School Night” at Aragon High School.

School has now been in session for three weeks, and I still have students who have not received textbooks.  In other classes, students have been given textbooks but were told by their teachers that they will not be using them.

This is reflective of a growing trend of handing out xeroxed worksheets to students instead of using textbooks. I personally find this abhorent.

Sure, textbooks have become outrageously expensive in many cases, but a critical part of an education is to learn how to learn, and, despite technological advances, the vast storehouse of human knowledge is still in books.  I also believe California law requires each district to certify that their students have adequate textbooks.

I don’t care if the books are hardcopy or electronic.  I do most of my reading with the Kindle software these days.  That said, your children need to develop the skill of learning on their own by reading.  If they don’t, they will have been deprived of a critical component of their education.

If your child is in this boat, please speak up at Back to School Night and request that they be given textbooks!!

 

6 Dutch parenting secrets to raising the happiest kids in the world

I ran across the following interesting article during my early morning reading session.

Definitely a different approach to life than in our locale where during September 2018 the San Mateo Union High School District associated the month of September with s…cide prevention.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/06/dutch-parenting-secrets-to-raising-the-happiest-kids-in-the-world.html.html

California’s Charter School Morass

Abuse of public funds by segments of the charter school industry is a major point of contention between proponents of public education and those favoring greater privatization. The CA Department of Education recently created a committee to reform the charter industry. Has that committee been captured by the industry it should reform?

Continue reading “California’s Charter School Morass”

How the College Admissions Scandal was Uncovered

An article from the LA Times on the tipster who broke the college admissions scandal while trying to negotiate leniency for another crime:

https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-morrie-tobin-college-admissions-scandal-20190331-story.html

 

NY Times: “Justice Department’s largest ever education prosecution”

In case we need yet another wake-up call…

“The case unveiled Tuesday was stunning in its breadth and audacity. It was the Justice Department’s largest ever education prosecution, a sprawling investigation that involved 200 agents nationwide and resulted in the arrest of 50 people in six states.”