Student Performance

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MONEY WILL NOT SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS

Millions of Americans play a game of financial roulette with their meager wages, a game called “The Lottery.” Even though 82% of all lottery tickets are purchased by low-income minority men, these low-income players continue to buy tickets. And after years and years of buying tickets, some of these people finally get their wish and win their millions. However, over time, the money doesn’t stay around. 65% of all lottery winners go bankrupt in less than 15 years. It is a sad reality that so many poor people play such a statistically foolish game, and furthermore, those who win the game still end up loosing.

The problem is that these people thought money would fix their problems. They thought that if only they had more money, they could finally “make it”. But in reality, money didn’t fix the problem. Adding more money only proved what had already been demonstrated: they were not good at keeping money around. They didn’t understand how money behaved, and unless they got their act together, the sudden influx of money, ultimately, was destructive.

With the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, an extra $80 billion will be appropriated towards education in just a few short years. Education in America has just won the lottery. And that concerns me. Read more »

TEACHING ≠ LEARNING

I have had the privilege of observing many teachers in my time in education. This was borne out of necessity because of the fact that I wanted to improve as a teacher but I had no idea what to do! So, I would just go around and observe any and all teachers. Sometimes I would ask permission and sit in on their class during my prep, and other times I would stalk outside their classroom and listen to what was happening and occasionally sneak a peak through the door or window. After conducting so many planned (and unplanned) observations, I have discovered that the ONLY variable that matters when evaluating the efficacy of a teacher is... Read more »

LOSING WEIGHT AND STANDARDIZED TESTS

I know people who use their weight as the lone indicator of their health. They want to be “healthy”, and in order to reach “healthy”, all they look at is their weight. They focus on just a number, their goal weight, and they do everything they can to attain that weight. These people are “health nuts”, but instead of becoming healthy, they become some of the most unhealthy people that I know. The problem is that they have an inherently flawed vision of health and their goals are distorted from the beginning. They equate “health” with some arbitrary value of “weight”, and they only consider themselves “healthy” when they are at this arbitrary weight. Focusing solely on some arbitrary number, they completely neglect their cholesterol, blood pressure, mental stress, and their relationships. They become obsessed with the number but subsequently fail to attain their ultimate goal in the process.

What does this have to do with standardized tests? Read on… Read more »

THE WORST LEARNING DISABILITY: APATHY

The worst grade I ever received in college came from my Computer Animated Design class. I had a professor who had a “magic” briefcase, and out of that briefcase would pop up the most random overhead transparencies. He would pull one out, look at it like he hadn’t seen it in a year (because he truly hadn't seen it in a year) and then briefly scan the contents as he was placing it on the projector. I would always have to brace myself for what would come next… Read more »

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