How Students are “Accelerating” in Math at Aragon

Two weeks ago I posted an article requesting more information about reports regarding an increasing number of freshmen and sophomore students at Aragon who are already enrolled in calculus.  This is what I learned.

Continue reading “How Students are “Accelerating” in Math at Aragon”

The Aragon 2018-2019 School Year Begins – and so do the calls for help

Each school year seems to bring a new set of intriguing questions.

This year Aragon apparently has a fairly large freshman class according to my tutoring students.  As the school’s “best in the district” reputation spreads, it becomes increasingly popular, and everyone wants to transfer their child there.  I am concerned that this is starting to stress the teaching staff.

Even more interesting to me is that, according to student reports, there are a significant number of freshmen and sophomores who are already enrolled in AP calculus.  I wonder how they progressed so far, so fast.  Russian School of Math??  How is this impacting older students in what are already challenging classes?

Finally I have been told that several of the math classes are full, and that students who bit off too much and tried to drop back from Calculus BC to AB found very few, if any, available spots for them.  Meanwhile, I am getting the usual calls for help, but my schedule for this school year filled up as always by early June.

I am trying to get more detailed information on the items above, and have placed some calls.  If any parents of Aragon students, or students themselves, can relate their experiences, either by contacting me privately using the Contact page on this website or via the public Comments section of this article, that would be greatly appreciated.

Note added early AM, 9/17/2018:  As of now, this article has been read 176 times since it was posted on Saturday.  The comments that I have received have all requested anonymity and this will be honored.  I’d appreciate your help shedding light on the questions raised above and will write a follow-up soon. Thank you!

In the interim I would like to remind parents of two of my blog articles written some time ago that are still relevant:

Critical Warnings re AP Classes

Info from UC Berkeley confirms why students should not skip from Precalculus to Calculus BC


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STEM Class Issues from the 2017-2018 Aragon School Year: Part 3 – Physics

This is the third and final article in a three article series.  The first article was about precalculus at Aragon.  The second article focussed on AP Statistics.

In this article I comment on Aragon’s regular and AP physics program. Continue reading “STEM Class Issues from the 2017-2018 Aragon School Year: Part 3 – Physics”

STEM Class Issues from the 2017-2018 Aragon School Year: Part 2 – AP Statistics

This is the second in a three article series.  The first article was about precalculus at Aragon.  The third article is about Aragon’s physics classes.

AP Statistics is taught by possibly the best math teacher at Aragon, Mr. Shahrvini.  That is a big plus, but this article is intended to provide information to students and parents about what the class entails.

Unfortunately Aragon counselors often portray the class as an “easier alternative to AP Calculus.”  In my experience (and, of course, others might disagree), it is more accurate to describe AP Statistics as being “different” from AP Calculus.  Depending upon a student’s abilities/habits the class might be easier, or it could turn out to be very hard and frustrating. Continue reading “STEM Class Issues from the 2017-2018 Aragon School Year: Part 2 – AP Statistics”

Before You Vote on Upcoming School Ballot Measures, Please Read This!

Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford professor often acknowledged as the most influential educator researcher in the U.S.A, has written an extremely compelling article about the state of American education.  I urge all of you to read it (it is not a lengthy article), particularly before you vote on your next local school tax measure:

“What Teacher Strikes Are Really About.”

An excerpt follows:

“A nation that under-educates its children in the 21st century cannot long survive as a world power. Prisons — which now absorb more of our tax resources than public higher education did in the 1980s — are filled with high school dropouts and those with low levels of literacy. We pay three times more for each prisoner than we invest in each child’s education annually. With an aging population and only three workers for every person on Social Security, the United States especially needs all young people to be well-educated enough to gain good work in the complex and rapidly changing economy they are entering. Without their ability to pay the taxes that support the rest of society, the social contract will dissolve.”