How Effective Is Your School District? A New Measure Shows Where Students Learn the Most

".....The data, based on some 300 million elementary-school test scores across more than 11,000 school districts, tweaks conventional wisdom in many ways. Some urban and Southern districts are doing better than data typically suggests. Some wealthy ones don’t look that effective. Many poor school systems do.....

 

But in this analysis, which measures how scores grow as student cohorts move through school, the Stanford researcher Sean Reardon argues that it’s possible to separate some of the advantages of socioeconomics from what’s actually happening in schools."- 

Psychology Today: Why Does My Child Hate Math?

 

 

In his recent three-part series for Psychology Today, Dr. Shanker takes on the topic of math from a Self-Reg perspective. 
In The Giant Leap, he discusses how math shouldn't be seen as merely a compulsory subject, but an enriching mental experience. In Is This Truly a Matter of Hatred?, he explains why so many children today are going into fight-or-flight at the mere thought of doing math. In What Can I Do About It?, he discusses how to help a child with a kindled math alarm

PART I: The "giant leap"

DOCTOR #1: Who are you? Why aren't you masked? Who are these people?
DOCTOR #2: I don't know.
DOCTOR #1: What the hell is that? What are you doing? 

McCOY: Tearing of the middle meningeal artery.
DOCTOR #1: What's your degree in, dentistry?
McCOY: How do you explain slowing pulse, low respiratory rate, and coma?

Continue Reading

PART II: Is this truly a matter of hatred?

Children are going into fight-or-flight at the mere thought of doing math. Self-Reg helps us to understand why this is happening and what we might do about it.

An alarmingly large number of early learners have come to abhor math by Grade 3: they have developed what is referred to as “High Math Anxiety” (HMA).

 

Continue Reading 

PART III: What can I do about it?

How can we help a child with a kindled math alarm? How can we prevent this from happening in the first place?

In his classic, The Myth of Laziness, Mel Levine made the critical point that when a young child gives up on arithmetic, it's a sign, not that he is not trying hard enough, but rather that he is trying too hard and expending too much energy.

Continue Reading 

DeVos Rescinds Guidance Documents for Disabled Students: What Does It Mean?

What does rescinding these guidance documents mean for the future of IDEA? Should parents and families, and educators expect new policy changes now for students with disabilities?

Recently, the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos rescinded 72 guidance documents from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). These guidance documents provide interpretation for the policies and regulations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act (IDEA). We talked to Professor Thomas Hehir about these changes and what they mean going forward for the administration, and for the parents and families of disabled students. Hehir, as former director of the OSEP from 1993 to 1999, was responsible for federal leadership in implementing IDEA, and wrote some of the guidelines that were rescinded by DeVos…..Continue Reading

Raising Kids

Math for Visual Learners

 

Muggins math board games and manipulatives are not only educational but make learning FUN! Built the old fashioned way with wooden boards and marbles, the games are great for family game night as well as for the classroom and after-school programs. Check out their products.

 

 

Why Students Forget- and What You Can Do About It

 

“In a recent article published in the journal Neuron, neurobiologists Blake Richards and Paul Frankland challenge the predominant view of memory, which holds that forgetting is a process of loss—the gradual washing away of critical information despite our best efforts to retain it. According to Richards and Frankland, the goal of memory is not just to store information accurately but to “optimize decision-making” in chaotic, quickly changing environments. In this model of cognition, forgetting is an evolutionary strategy, a purposeful process that runs in the background of memory, evaluating and discarding information that doesn’t promote the survival of the species.” Continue Reading 

 

Our Children’s Emotional State

The Silent Tragedy Affecting Our Children Today

There is a silent tragedy developing right now, in our homes, and it concerns our most precious jewels - our children. Talk to teachers and professionals who have been working in the field for the last 15 years. Our children are in a devastating emotional state!... Read More

 

Suicide in Children

It is terrifying to read the articles of young children, ages 10-12 commit suicide. We are terrified that as such young age they even know what means. But they do. And we must focus more on children's mental health and emotional wellbeing at home and in schools...Read More

 

For Teens Knee-Deep In Negativity, Reframing Thoughts Can Help

Parents can play a huge role in helping their children to develop a critical life skill: the ability to take notice of their thoughts, to step back and view the bigger picture, and to decide how to act based on that more realistic perspective....Read More

 

The War on Public Schools

The Atlantic

Public schools have always occupied prime space in the excitable American imagination. For decades, if not centuries, politicians have made hay of their supposed failures and extortions. In 2004, Rod Paige, then George W. Bush’s secretary of education, called the country’s leading teachers union a “terrorist organization.”

In his first education speech as president, in 2009, Barack Obama lamented the fact that “despite resources that are unmatched anywhere in the world, we’ve let our grades slip, our schools crumble, our teacher quality fall short, and other nations outpace us.” 

President Donald Trump used the occasion of his inaugural address to bemoan the way “beautiful” students had been “deprived of all knowledge” by our nation’s cash-guzzling schools. Educators have since recoiled at the Trump administration’s budget proposal detailing more than $9 billion in education cuts, including to after-school programs that serve mostly poor children......

Continue Reading,  ERIKA CHRISTAKIS The Atlantic 

Florida Education News

The Orange County School Board voted Tuesday to join a proposed lawsuit that will challenge the constitutionality of parts of a controversial education law the Florida Legislature passed this spring.

Orange’s board, which voted 8-0 to join the legal fight, is the 10th district to do so, deciding...Continue Reading

Two lawmakers have filed bills that could alter the way Florida's school boards operate in the future. One could potentially expand their powers. The other would likely decrease them. The first measure [SB 192] would codify in law that two or more members of a school board or other elected body may meet privately, and without any public notice, if no official acts or public business are to occur.  The second measure [SJR 194] would set term limits on elected school board members. Currently, board members can serve until ousted. The Tampa Bay reports  

Public Education Capital Outlay

Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO)

Late last week, superintendents learned exactly what their piece of the $50 million Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) allocation would be. For some of the larger districts, it might get them close to paying for a new classroom wing. In the smaller ones, it might not even pay for air conditioning repairs.- Jeffrey S. Solochek from The Tampa Bay reports