On August 25, 2008, two little boys walked into public elementary schools in Southeast Washington, D.C. Both boys were African American fifth-graders. The previous spring, both had tested below grade level in math.
One walked into Kimball Elementary School and climbed the stairs to Mr. William Taylor’s math classroom, a tidy, powder-blue space in which neither the clocks nor most of the electrical outlets worked.
The other walked into a very similar classroom a mile away at Plummer Elementary School. In both schools, more than 80 percent of the children received free or reduced-price lunches. At night, all the children went home to the same urban ecosystem, a zip code in which almost a quarter of the families lived below the poverty line and a police district in which somebody was murdered every week or so.
At the end of the school year, both little boys took the same standardized test given at all D.C. public schools—not a perfect test of their learning, to be sure, but a relatively objective one (and, it’s worth noting, not a very hard one).
After a year in Mr. Taylor’s class, the first little boy’s scores went up—way up. He had started below grade level and finished above. On average, his classmates’ scores rose about 13 points—which is almost 10 points more than fifth-graders with similar incoming test scores achieved in other low-income D.C. schools that year. On that first day of school, only 40 percent of Mr. Taylor’s students were doing math at grade level. By the end of the year, 90 percent were at or above grade level.
As for the other boy? Well, he ended the year the same way he’d started it—below grade level. In fact, only a quarter of the fifth-graders at Plummer finished the year at grade level in math—despite having started off at about the same level as Mr. Taylor’s class down the road.
This tale of two boys, and of the millions of kids just like them, embodies the most stunning finding to come out of education research in the past decade: more than any other variable in education—more than schools or curriculum—teachers matter. Put concretely, if Mr. Taylor’s student continued to learn at the same level for a few more years, his test scores would be no different from those of his more affluent peers in Northwest D.C. And if these two boys were to keep their respective teachers for three years, their lives would likely diverge forever. By high school, the compounded effects of the strong teacher—or the weak one—would become too great.
I used to believe that this would set a bad precedent and would fracture the Philippines; but recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that if we want to survive the modern world as a nation we better really learn to embrace our differences while we embrace our similarities. I use to doubt we could. I do not know what has changed either within me or outside of me but I am more hopeful now that we can.
Good job PGMA , we almost never see eye to eye but praise to whom praise is deserved.
These movies all had the mark of excellent reporting, from a director who, at the time, was in his mid-30s. It seemed he listened to us, took notes, reflected it back. These movies look like the ’80s because it was the ’80s. The teenagers in “Sixteen Candles” look like teenagers because Hughes, for the most part cast teenagers — instead of 26-year-olds — to play teenagers. All the facts check out: The clothes are right from the mall. The soundtracks are like mix tapes from God. School looks like school, with all its cliques tagged and categorized by species, the way Principal Ed Rooney’s secretary, Grace (Edie McClurg), describes them in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off“: “The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies . . . they all adore [Ferris Bueller]. They think he’s a righteous dude.”
And yet, for all the universality in the Hughes high school movie, there were people who went to high school in the ’80s and did not always see themselves reflected therein. His world was white, suburban, middle-to-upper class, a place that had not yet undergone the diverse corrective of, say, “Clueless” or “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.” It was a world where parents left teenagers at home over the weekend and everyone drove drunk. This was not a perfect place, no matter how much perfect nostalgia we ascribe to it.
But it was “our” place, whomever “our” means. Years after the ’80s, a friend and I wondered if the popular kids had liked John Hughes movies, too, the way we had. How could they relate, after all, when the popular kids in those movies were portrayed as the enemy?
At the 20th reunion, I realized something: Everyone related. It turned out no one had felt cool in high school, not really, and that’s the story John Hughes told best.
Wow, this really hit home, part of me at least accepts that a big part of who I am now is till because of things that happened as far back as 7 years old. Hope the society I grew up in is much worse than the society that people growing up now is going to be exposed to.
Second, it is very difficult to have a great deal of power in this society if you are not exquisitely well-prepared to compete when you are 25–which requires that you have or be able to rapidly acquire patrons and that you went to and took advantage of a good college or did something else functionally equivalent, which requires that you applied yourself in high school, which is very hard to do unless you got a solid foundation in terms of basic skills and study habits in elementary school. This means that i people who are scared off from going to college because of the debt it incurs have a very small shot at large amounts of upward mobility, and ii the decisions people make when they are seven about how to spend their time shape their lives for the next seventy years. In even a half-good society, one should not be able–it should not be the rule–that one can greatly narrow the possibilities for one’s life by what one does or fails to do at seven.
from here http://classicalgeektheatre.blogspot.com/2009/06/eastside-of-la.html
The folks representing the “true” Eastside have harassed CGT in the comment sections in the past and I’ve paid them no heed. Neighborhood beefs and turf wars are small-minded and silly. It reminds me of when I was in high school and the “Class of ’99″ felt they needed to protect their identity from my “Class of 2000″. These kinds of things are always self-manufactured wars of identity waged by insecure people who need a contrived structure to measure themselves against others.
I don’t want to sound ranty but why does the insecure lead the pack? because the non insecure (at least least insecure) really have no need to feel part of the pack. I woke up at 2.30 pm after sleeping around 9am because I had massive migraines. Sorry for being ranty, but I love my family, I love my friends, and I feel for most people, I don’t need petty incidents reformatted as news to feel a commonality with other people.
I buy and read a lot of books, my friends read and buy a lot of books. I’ve mostly weaned myslef from needing to own the books, I only have a handful of books consider keepers and most are books that you read once or twice and pass on. This prompted us to think of creating a mini library where we could donate our books, and maybe solicit books from friends. This “dream” is still far from happening too many things have to fall right into place. The depressed me trying to cheer myself up found myslef googling public libraries in qc. found the site for the city’s public library volunteers and I think that this is good enough for now.
Hope I can really volunteer some time and mind power in trying to do my share in trying to improve whatever can be improved etc etc.
I usually treat people when I’m depressed, think this is more productive.
(Fuck I am wallowing in self pity damn!)
Ways to help the library
Posted by qcpl on July 21, 2008
The library, especially the branch libraries, are always in need of volunteers and supporters. Here are some ways you can help.
Adopt a branch library
a. Donate computers
The Main Library and Novaliches Branch are now fully computerized. The said libraries have an OPAC (online computer access catalog), 2 mbps internet connection, 7 computer units for academic research and free encoding for public elementary and high school students. We wish to replicate this to the remaining 19 branches.
You may donate working computers or support by donating any amount of money that will be used to purchase necessary equipment.
P 30,000 covers 1 computer unit
P 1, 000 covers 1 month subscription to the internet
P 7,000 covers 1 dot matrix printer
P 325 covers 1 ink for dot matrix printer
P 200 covers 1 ream of paper
Any amount, when pooled together will go a long way to help the library users in their research and academic needs.
We have prepared a feasibility study on the benefits of an interconnected library here.
b. Donate books
We want also our branch libraries to be complete in the best books, not just children books and textbooks.
To know what are the library’s present collection just go here.
To know what books we need, go here and here.
c. Subscribe to magazines
Be a Volunteer Storyteller or Tutorials Teacher
Teach the students the love for reading. Be a volunteer storyteller for a day. Organize storytelling sessions near schools that will promote a branch library.
Be a teacher for tutorial classes. Subjects will be basic computer skills, information literacy and other school subjects. This program is in the planning stage and is suggested for those who have weekdays to spare. This can be done during Saturdays on the following branches: Main, Novaliches, Project 4 and Galas.
Be a Friend of the Library member
We welcome idealistic and energetic people who want to put their talents to good use whether as a writer, events organizer, fundraiser and friend-raiser to let more people know about what the library is doing.
Thank you very much for your interest and we hope to see you in the future. Please email us at quezoncitypubliclibrary(at)yahoo(dot)com or qcplvolunteers(at)gmail(dot)com
via QCPL Volunteers.
I come from a very religous family , I have friends from both spectrum of religousity /belief . What I find that is grating me personally is that need by a lot of people to assert their correctness by tearing the other guy a new one. I used to feel that need when I was younger , but with age comes nonchalance, you just realize that people live within their own worlds and the true miracle is that any group of people exists as a group.
What helped me get to this is the realization that although “Good Ideas Need To Be Nurtured, They Don’t Need Anyone Trying To Shove Them In Anybody’s Throat”.
Although, based on what little I pretend to understand of the mathematics of evolution, the goodness/fitness of an attribute over that of the norm does not mean it would be carried over in successive generations, it depends on how well it helps the species survive. Which I interpret to mean in the case of ideas : How right an idea is does not mean that an idea would survive, it is how well an idea gives rise to other people believing in the idea. In some ways what my analysis is pointing me towards the feeling that their strategy is counter productive; as I believe the quoted article is saying.
With religion, I think atheists have the same dissonance going on. If they really think the world would be better off without religion, they shouldn’t hate religion and call believers fools. Any successful new belief system must appreciate the beauty of what it’s replacing and strive for backwards-compatibility. If Matthew 1:1-16 hadn’t explained how Jesus’ lineage fulfills the prophecy in Isaiah 1:1-5, it wouldn’t have gotten where it is today.
So I put it to declared atheists– the ones who fly the flag about it, not the ones who are quiet or closeted: Do you think that most of humanity is A) hopeless and doomed to kill each other because of their stupid religious beliefs, or B) capable of coming to and benefiting from your views?
I think closeted atheists who participate in other religious activities are the future of atheism. They know that prayer feels good without a needing brain scientist to tell them, and they know you don’t need God to want to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and provide homes for the orphaned. What if they simply stopped reciting the words that they didn’t agree with during religious services, without calling attention to it? In many places I don’t think they would be kicked out or turned upon and beaten just for that.
AS for my views.; There is a certain rhythm to interacting with people. There is a certain rhythm in being friends with people. Honestly I had to learn that whole thing in college. Compare the highschool me and the me now, I was socially inept and something of jerk. Now I’m still a jerk, less socially inept , but this is mainly because I learned the types of people that I can interact well with.
And that is I think the thing, Because I am less scared with social interactions now I tend to meet more people now than I used to. I have to credit the understanding that people tend to be good. This knowledge help me to be less afraid of going to situations where interactions were totally not in my control.
How did I gradually become less socially inept?
-Striking up conversations with random people. Helped overcome this fear of talking with people. For me this is easier because I can make myself believe that even if I say something stupid, we are not going to see each other again.
-Striking up conversations with people not really part of your circle of friends but you see relatively often. After having a feel for small talk try talking with people you normally encounter, this may include the office security, custodians, or office mates from different departments.
-Going to clubs(not night clubs, hobby clubs etc)/meetups/organization. This might mean volunteering for something, or doing something together like hobbyist events. You get to meet like minded people, and chances are good that you have at least one topic of common interest!
-Reconnecting with peole form the past. This may mean a simple poke in facebook, or a private message in one of the tens of hundreds of social networks now existing. From personal experience this is best done when combined with actual face to face time. Like if you saw someone at a mall or a grocery but you can’t talk for some reason, or its his/her birthday. From the experience of a friend you may freak out some people if you suggest meeting up to catch up on old times, so this I believe is best done when there is an excuse, like homecoming etc.
-Face to Face meetups are important to personalise increasingly mobile/online connections. This must be done with care because as I stated earlier you may freak out some people. If you are meeting people you used to know well but has since lost touch with; best if you leave you old impressions of him or her ot turn your filter down a little. Remember that change is constant and some people reinvent themselves constantly. If you are meeting someone for the first time my advice would be leave your prejudice or what I call isms at home. Don’t judge people automatically or if you can’t do that at least try to act friendly towards everyone, Its easy to cutoff connections with people Its hard to create connections so don’t let superficial things get in the way of a possible real (not just online) friendship.
hope the few notes help my imaginary reader! have any more advice for people who are socially inept???
They find that each extra close friend in high school is associated with earnings that are 2 percent higher later in life after controlling for other factors. While not a huge effect, it does suggest that either that a) the same factors that make you popular in high school help you in a job setting, or b) that high-school friends can do you favors later in life that will earn you higher wages.
I’m digging through unpublished/drafts in the blog and I found this. Its march already and students are starting to deal with finals and afterwards graduations, and finally the drudgery of work for most other people! Thought provoking!
Finally, consider the hundreds of thousands of students who go to college just because they have had it pounded into their heads since childhood that the good jobs require a BA The wage premium that shows up in regression equations may or may not apply to them. In Real Education, I offer an extended example involving a hypothetical young man graduating from high school who is at the 70th percentile in intellectual ability–smart enough to get a BA in today’s world–but just average in intrapersonal and interpersonal ability. He is at the 95th percentile in the visual-spatial and small motor skills useful in becoming a top electrician. He is trying to decide whether to go to college, major in business, and try to become a business executive, or instead become an electrician.
Forgive me for the old they don’t make em like they used to rirades but they actually don’t.
Is college the new high school?
After too many years at this job (I am in my mid-40s), I have grown to question higher education in ways that cannot be rectified by a new syllabus, or a sabbatical, or, heaven forbid, a conference roundtable. No, my troubles with this treasured profession are both broad and deep, and they begin with a fervent belief that most of today’s college students, especially those that come to college straight from high school, are unnecessarily coddled. Professors and administrators seek to “nurture” and “engage” and they are doing so at the expense of teaching. The result: a discernable and precipitous decline in the quality of college students. More of them come to campus with dreadful study habits. Too few of them read for pleasure. Too many drink and smoke excessively. They are terribly ill-prepared for four years of hard work, and most dangerously, they do not think that college should be arduous. Instead they perceive college as an overnight recreation center in which they exercise, eat, and in between playing extracurricular sports, they carry books around. If a professor is lucky, the books are being skimmed hours before class.