Lessons that COULD be learned from a year in a pandemic

For better or worse the past year has been a giant natural experiment in education. Some schools have been closed for in-person learning for more than a year while others have opened in some form. Some have provided the neediest students back on campus while leaving the more “self-sufficient” students to make do with ZOOMContinue reading “Lessons that COULD be learned from a year in a pandemic”

Community college: the hardest sector in Education

Community colleges were founded with the intention to provide college skills for student in preparation of transfer to four year post-secondary institutions.  Over the past century community colleges have evolved to play a vital role in the higher education landscape (Dougherty, 1998).  Community colleges are not just transfer institutions anymore. Their purpose is multifold: transfer,Continue reading “Community college: the hardest sector in Education”

It’s testing season, again.

Spring is here which means that the annual standardized testing season is upon us. Many students have not been a physical classroom in more than a year, and yet the powers that be at all level are “debating” whether they should bring kids in to test them. While standardized tests can certainly reveal a lotContinue reading “It’s testing season, again.”

Oh, those immigrant children?!

“Schools wouldn’t be closed if we didn’t have to pay for those immigrant children,” I recently read. I suspect the author of the quote actually means non-white and non-Asian children, but there is no way to know. The author of this quote lives in Palo Alto, an affluent neighborhood who spends $16,000 per student, wellContinue reading “Oh, those immigrant children?!”

The fallacy of policymakers: episode 1

This is the first in a series which highlights the failed understanding of policymakers in policy implementation, how schools work, and how to educate. It’s almost too easy to find examples of the disconnect between policy and implementation. Governor Newsom’s $2 billion reopening plan is just the latest in a failed attempt to address studentContinue reading “The fallacy of policymakers: episode 1”

The Intention to Destroy Teachers

I was a subpar first year teacher and a moderately decent teacher when I left the profession four years later. In my first year teaching I had 3 different preps. The man who taught next door to me had 1 prep, US History, which he had been teaching for more than twenty years. In myContinue reading “The Intention to Destroy Teachers”

The Imaginary Learning Line

I remember learning imaginary numbers back in intermediate Algebra. The concepts of a number that wasn’t real but allowed you to do complex operations was a little strange at the time. Potentially stranger to me is the imaginary line of learning that students “fall behind.” Summer school and extended school days or years are beingContinue reading “The Imaginary Learning Line”

What is the purpose of an educated population?

I recently had the opportunity to discuss the value of education with a bright college student. She was reading the Horace Mann’s writings for a history course. The students were asked to discuss why you might want an educated population. My young colleague, who grew up always thinking that education is important, was struck byContinue reading “What is the purpose of an educated population?”

Free College For All

Policy makers, educators, and researchers have tried and failed to figure out the parameters of making life fair by providing access to college. One of the big barriers to attending college is the soul-crushing cost. Tuition at public universities, while still less expensive for state residents than private institutions, has skyrocketed over the past decade.Continue reading “Free College For All”