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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.

I would appreciate your support by signing up for email alerts for new posts. This can be done in the right sidebar (or scroll to the bottom in the mobile version).  Alerts will only be sent when new articles appear, not for comments unless you also request the latter.  Your email address will not be released or used for any purpose other than sending you article alerts.

 

Most Important Articles for new Visitors to this Blog

  1. 2019-2020 High School Class Sign-up Time – Please Read This Article First!
  2. It’s AP ex(sc)am time again!
  3. Never Believe Educational Experts (or Me)!
  4. “Mutual Assured Destruction”
  5. Attention SMUHSD Parents! State Mandated Testing Negatively Impacts Aragon’s Physics Program
  6. Info from UC Berkeley confirms why students should not skip from Precalculus to Calculus BC
  7. Pros and Cons of the CPM Math Textbook Series
  8. Why Can’t We Teach Mathematics Properly?
  9. A Hole in the Aragon Math Curriculum
  10. How to Interest Kids in Science, Engineering, and Math
  11. 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. Aragon Accelerated Math Class Drop Rate Controversy Has Been Resolved
  2. Alarmingly High Drop Rate for Aragon’s Accelerated Math Classes??
  3. 2019-2020 High School Class Sign-up Time – Please Read This Article First!
  4. NGSS Impact on the 2018 SMUHSD AP Physics 1 Scores?
  5. Rewriting Your Child’s Science Curriculum – the Bold NGSS Experiment
  6. Update on the NGSS impact on the Local Physics Curriculum
  7. How Students are “Accelerating” in Math at Aragon
  8. The Fine Art of Delay – An Open Letter to the SMUHSD Board
  9. The Aragon 2018-2019 School Year Begins – and so do the calls for help
  10. Will a Female Physicist Succeed Where Einstein Failed?
  11. STEM Class Issues from the 2017-2018 Aragon School Year: Part 3 – Physics
  12. Why U.S. Schools Should Not Be Like Shanghai!
  13. Before You Vote on Upcoming School Ballot Measures, Please Read This!
  14. “Mutual Assured Destruction”
  15. My Speech to the SMUHSD Board on NGSS

 

Issues in Teaching Mathematics     

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

 

AP Class Crisis

  1. 2019-2020 High School Class Sign-up Time – Please Read This Article First!
  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. NGSS Impact on the 2018 SMUHSD AP Physics 1 Scores?
  6. How Students are “Accelerating” in Math at Aragon
  7. The Fine Art of Delay – An Open Letter to the SMUHSD Board
  8. STEM Class Issues from the 2017-2018 Aragon School Year: Part 3 – Physics
  9. “Mutual Assured Destruction”
  10. Attention SMUHSD Parents! State Mandated Testing Negatively Impacts Aragon’s Physics Program
  11. Taking the Fight to Harvard
  12. It’s AP ex(sc)am time again!
  13. A Hole in the Aragon Math Curriculum
  14. very unfortunate local test practice that I think is hurting students.
  15. How to Interest Kids in Science, Engineering, and Math.
  16. 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. 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. Back to School – Changes at Aragon HS
  6. “Educators laud test success” – Give me a break!!!!
  7. How to Get in to Harvard
  8. “I’ve Ended Many School Days Crying in My Car”
  9. How Students are “Accelerating” in Math at Aragon
  10. The Aragon 2018-2019 School Year Begins – and so do the calls for help tied with the following:
  11. A Hole in the Aragon Math Curriculum

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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How to Get Into Harvard – II

Finally, as my last note in this series of articles before students sign up for next year’s classes, I would like to remind everyone of an article I posted here back on March 4th, 2017.  Newer high school students have probably not seen this article:

How to Get in to Harvard

It references an article written by another author who is a very intelligent, talented, and driven Chinese-American who “graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude and earned two perfect scores on the SAT (1600 in 2004, and 2400 in 2014) and a perfect score on the ACT.”  He says, “In high school, I got into every school I applied to, including Harvard, Princeton, MIT, and Stanford.”  He later joined an M.D.-Ph.D. program at Harvard Medical School and MIT.

His perspective runs counter to a lot of conventional high school counseling, but I found it extremely interesting, believable, and compelling.

As with anything worthwhile, his article is a lengthy read.  I list a few critical points in my synopsis which I urge you to read first before tackling his detailed text.

Senior Dilemma: What to Take – AP Statistics or Calculus BC?

This question arose in a NextDoor discussion the other day. Students who will major in science, particularly the physical sciences, or who will be required to take calculus at their prospective college, should stick with calculus as I explain below.

Continue reading “Senior Dilemma: What to Take – AP Statistics or Calculus BC?”

Aragon Accelerated Math Class Drop Rate Controversy Has Been Resolved

I am posting this short note to alert followers of my blog that the controversy regarding the reported high drop rate in the Aragon accelerated math classes has been resolved.  Additional information from a meeting I held on 2/15/19 with Assistant Principal Ron Berggren has been added to my earlier article Alarmingly High Drop Rate for Aragon’s Accelerated Math Classes??  Please be sure to read it carefully as it bears on a number of important educational issues.

Alarmingly High Drop Rate for Aragon’s Accelerated Math Classes??

The controversy first reported to me and expressed in the article title above has been resolved after I met with Assistant Principal Berggren. Please be sure to read my meeting report in the third Comment following this article.

Continue reading “Alarmingly High Drop Rate for Aragon’s Accelerated Math Classes??”

2019-2020 High School Class Sign-up Time – Please Read This Article First!

Each year I receive calls for help part way into the new school year from parents whose children signed up for too many AP classes. I usually can not help these students because my schedule is already full, so I wrote the following article to try to stave off these problems to the extent possible. This article is an update for 2019 of my experience with AP Science and Math classes. Most of my students attend Aragon, but the cautionary notes in this article should also be considered by those attending other SMUHSD schools.

Continue reading “2019-2020 High School Class Sign-up Time – Please Read This Article First!”

NGSS Impact on the 2018 SMUHSD AP Physics 1 Scores?

There were 95 more AP Physics 1 exams taken in the SMUHSD in 2018 than in 2017. This was a 31% increase, larger than in any other subject area that attracts a significant number of AP test takers. Of these 95 additional test takers, 47 or virtually half did not pass the test (score of 1 or 2) when a passing grade requires only about 40% correct answers! This may be due in part to counseling advice given Aragon students following the change of the regular physics program to the new NGSS standards.

Continue reading “NGSS Impact on the 2018 SMUHSD AP Physics 1 Scores?”

Rewriting Your Child’s Science Curriculum – the Bold NGSS Experiment

Five years after the Next Generation Science Standards were released, many districts still do not have NGSS textbooks according to Education Week magazine. Another bold experiment in education puts our kids at risk…

Continue reading “Rewriting Your Child’s Science Curriculum – the Bold NGSS Experiment”