Friday, November 28, 2014

Common Core 101

If you want to get a good insight into the Common Core State Standards, check out the debate, "Embrace the Common Core," that took place on the website "Intelligence Squared Debates." It gives a great perspective from both sides. Here is an overview from the website:

"In K-12 education, there is nothing more controversial than the Common Core State Standards, national academic standards in English and math. Adopted by more than 40 states, they were developed, in part, to address concerns that American students were falling behind their foreign counterparts and graduating high school without the necessary skills for college and the workforce. But is this the reform we’ve been looking for? Has the federal government overreached and saddled our schools with standards that have been flawed from the start? Or will the Common Core raise the bar and improve the quality of our children’s education?"

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Smaller Class Size = Better Education?

When I read "By Trying to Reduce Class Sizes, We're Solving the Wrong Problem" by Sam Chaltain in the November 19 Huff Post Education blog, I immediately thought of Malcolm Gladwell's book David and Goliath, specifically Chapter 2 - "Teresa DeBrito 'My largest class was twenty-nine kids. Oh, it was fun.' " Essentially, the first part of his book is about the advantages of disadvantages. A great read, by the way.

The best part of Chaltain's piece was when I came to the part that stated:

“The University of Virginia's Angeline Lillard, a professor of psychology who has studied the extent to which [Dr. Maria] Montessori's century-old theories have been affirmed by 21st-century research, unpacks Montessori's preference for large class sizes a bit further. ‘She believed that when there are not enough other children in the classroom, there are not enough different kinds of work out for children to learn sufficiently from watching each other work, nor are there enough personalities with whom children can practice their social interaction skills.’

‘In traditional settings in which class sizes are reduced, Lillard explains, ‘when one person is teaching the whole class simultaneously, that person would have more attention to devote to each child, and fewer children would conceivably allow for better teaching.’ By contrast, ‘when children are learning from materials and each other, having more varied possible tutors and tutees, a greater variety of people to collaborate with, and more different types of work out (inspiring one to do such work oneself) might be more beneficial.’ ”

Friday, November 14, 2014

Lauren Living For Basketball

This is such a touching story about Lauren Hill a college freshman who is an inspiration to her classmates — actually, for all of us.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Independent By Design

Take a peek at my first book that came out yesterday. Independent by Design is a history of the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS).  Filled with historical events, best selling books and movies lists, and landmark educational events from 1947 (the organization's beginnings) to the present, the book makes for an enjoyable read. The book is available at amazon — in both print and Kindle versions.