Events, STEM, test refusal, mindset, bond publicity…discussed

Parents held a meeting at the Davison school library. In an informal atmosphere, we reflected on the past events and discussed upcoming events. The Family Craft Night this Friday, December 9, was one of them. No teacher was present at this meeting.

Mr. Benfante demonstrated, on a case of 15-year old student, what happens when the mind is set passionately on improving continually “your project.” Persistence pays off. (There are several video clips available of the same TED talk, but I think Mr. Benfante projected this one. -10 min.) The discussion transitioned into “failing forward”— a concept how to implement a failure to the learning process; how to learn from it to come up stronger. Basic explanation of “failing forward” is available here. Continue reading

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The MUFSD STEM family night

The Malverne UFSD held its first ever STEM family night and many families took advantage of the opportunity to tour the ground floor of the high school where all activities were concentrated. The STEM is popular. SDs are implementing variations of the STEM. Some SDs collaborate on its implementation. For example, I posted about it here and here. In recent years, the STEM was enriched by letters A and R, creating acronyms STEAM, and STREAM.

Parents could notice that all the three acronyms appear in various Malverne UFSD promo materials. They were displayed on a table right at the entrance. The students handed them to visitors while greeting them and inviting everybody to the upcoming bond vote taking place on Wednesday, November 16th. Continue reading

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Party first, substance later, …really?

Traditionally, the media have been framing issues to fit the two-party system with the emphasis on the frame. First, they create the red and blue frame, then try to fit issues in that frame. Let me illustrate my point on the recent article Control of New York State Senate. . ., published by WSJ on October 31st.

The frame

The article sets the frame—Republican vs. Democrat.

“. . .races in Nassau County on Long Island could help decide which party controls the New York state Senate, where Republicans wield control even though the Democrats hold a razor-thin majority.”

“. . .seat had been held for three decades by former Republican. . “

“if the Senate Democrats want to make up ground, this is crucial district for them to win.” [emphasis mine]

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Welcome to the transformation

Following the twitter feed on the first day of school was an exciting and energizing experience. It’s awesome that the Malverne #gomules team attracted few more twitter players this year. Twitter is a wealth of information. Searching for answers to a task? Go to Twitter and you’ll find out that the “wheel has been already invented.” Not only that. You’ll also discover that the “inventors” are willing to help you with your application.

The numerous tweet-wishes to a successful school year and the two Welcome letters I received—one for each kid (Davison and M.W. Downing schools)—enticed me to write the following welcome letter from a parent’s perspective. Continue reading

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Regents assessments rule MUFSD evaluations in 2016-17

As it is almost a routine, the New York State department of education changed regulations how it evaluates schools and teachers. For the next 4 years, the results of state standardized assessments administered in grades 3 through 8 will not count toward HEDI, the supposed “measurement of teacher effectiveness.” Continue reading

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Garn Press event about public education and corporate education reform

On Sunday, August 28th, I attended an event at the Dolphin Bookshop in Port Washington. The poster advertised the event as the Garn Press Author Celebration: “Writing for Parents and Teachers about Public Education and Corporate Education Reform.” From the panelists listed on the poster, I knew only the teachings of Anthony Cody. Through his blog, Living in Dialogue, I learned about the educational paradigm for 21st Century, as Yong Zhao and Will Richardson among others formulated it. I mentioned the paradigm in my previous posts here. Continue reading

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Malverne UFSD common core initiatives 2015-16

At the BOE meeting in May, the Malverne UFSD Common Core department summarized the initiatives management and educators conducted during the school year 2015-2016. Ms. Rachel Gross, the cheerperson for Common Core K-6, compiled the initiatives in a 9-slide presentation.

“She brought things down to them [students]. It is now wonderful and the elementary schools have just flourished for it,”

introduced the presenter and the initiatives Mrs. Ricca, the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

The initiatives, ordered chronologically on separate slides, starting with the fall, continuing through winter, and ending in the spring, didn’t offer a clear understanding in what areas the initiatives affected the students. In order to visualize those areas better, I compiled the initiatives into a single “slide” (below) and rearranged them into a chart encompassing possible areas/subjects. Continue reading

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USED proposed regulations your child, school are facing

The summer has just started. Few parents are thinking about the school at this moment, but bureaucrats do. They are paid for doing so. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into the law last December, replacing the No Child Left Behind (NLCB). The new law assigns more responsibilities to individual states, shifting more power to them, and away from the federal department of education (USED).

In May, the USED chief, John King, the former NY education commissioner, issued regulations (interpretations) that are trying to assert the grip of the federal department. The Congress will discuss the proposed regulations and vote on adopting them. Like with the NCLB before, it’s in the interest of every parent to be informed how the ESSA will be interpreted on the local level, in each school, and for each student—your child. Take few moments and make yourselves familiar with the proposed regulations and also with recommendations of other parents and educators. Continue reading

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Doshi STEM program at the end

At the May, 2016, BOE “meeting in public,” Mr. Gilhuley has been appointed as Ass. Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. Mrs. Ricca will retire at the end of the school year.

Doshi STEM program at the LIHSA, BOCES magnet school, ends this year. I covered Malverne district’s involvement in the program in several posts, for example here. The management is working on accommodating currently enrolled Malverne district students in a STEM program that they have been developing in-house for the past year. Possibly, also students from other districts will be able to enroll for a fee. Continue reading

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