"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

From Hitler to Prophets of Doom

The posts I have been seeing on Facebook do not paint a good picture of how we are responding to the nagging challenges of basic education in the Philippines. The Alliance of Concerned Teachers has now likened the management style of DepEd secretary Luistro to that of Hitler while Luistro apparently has been quoted by Radio Veritas as calling critics of the new curriculum "prophets of doom". The issues plaguing Philippine basic education warrant a serious reflection from both sides. The discussion really needs to be elevated to a higher level, one that actually weighs the merits and weaknesses of both arguments.



The lack of seriousness in dealing with the real problems of basic education is unfortunately matched by how clueless most of the public are with regard to the new curriculum. Such is illustrated in the following letter from concerned parents of students enrolled in Manila Science High School:

Above copied from the
Alliance of Concerned Teachers

I am an alumnus of Manila Science High School and to me, it was clear from the very beginning of the phased implementation of DepEd's K to 12 that the curriculum would be drastically different from what I went through. The spiral progression in the math and the sciences alone is incompatible with the old special science curriculum that I took during which I was taking for example full-year courses of chemistry and physics simultaneously as well as linear algebra and calculus. DepEd's K to 12 assigns a spiral approach to earth science, biology, chemistry and physics during the first four years of high school. It is only in the additional two years of high school where a strand especially designed for the sciences becomes available in one of the tracks.

A major part of the misinformation regarding DepEd's K to 12 is its narrowed focus on the two additional years. Even the letter above from the parents illustrates how much the public fails to see that the new curriculum really starts at kindergarten. Drastic changes have already occurred for the past three years. Those changes include a spiral progression in all subjects, short instructional hours, mother-tongue based multilingual education, and discovery-based learning. Children are now taught oral fluency only in the first-grade as noted on a post on this blog a couple of years ago:


And sadly, one can add the following ingredient to this hopeless mix. Those who actually have the influence or power are able to send their own children to schools that do not follow DepEd's K to 12. The following is a book list from a private school in the Philippines for the first grade:

Above copied from Cris Jason Santos
Unlike children enrolled in DepEd's public schools, students in this school are already being taught to read in English. They even have science in first grade.

Philippine basic education would continue to have Hitler and "prophets of doom" if the discussion is not elevated into one that tackles what is really going on inside classrooms. The problems can be solved but not with propaganda or by coaxing teachers, students, and parents to sign a pro-K to 12 document. The problems can only be faced properly by looking at the evidence from the ground while being guided by published research.



Blogger Tricks

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Perverted Assignment of Roles

Imagine this scenario: A physician spends his time and effort finding funds to support the infrastructure and meet the operating expenses of a hospital that answers to the healthcare needs of poor indigenous people while the government takes the role of determining what medical advice, treatments and procedures should be given. This would be considered absurd in the medical field yet this is the current predicament of basic education in the Philippines.

The following is a post on Facebook from a member of Congress in the Philippines:



This is not the spirit of bayanihan (communal unity and cooperation). Instead, this is a demonstration of a perverted assignment of roles. Teachers are supposed to spend their energy and time teaching children. Teachers know their students so they must be the ones deciding what needs to be taught. Teachers need the ability and responsibility to decide how they should teach. Teachers are the ones in a much better position to choose learning materials as well as strategies. Teachers need not be told how to assess their students with memos that dictate up to the second decimal place how grades should be assigned. It is the government which takes taxes from its citizens that should be responsible for ensuring that resources are available for education. A government which takes enormous loans from foreign banks or institutions should be the one building classrooms. Yet, in the Philippines, the government seems more preoccupied in dictating how students should be taught instead of making sure that classes could be held. It is indeed heartbreaking. Sadly, it is also mind-boggling that we do not see what is really wrong....



Friday, May 22, 2015

Copying What Works

There is nothing inherently wrong in copying what other countries do to address challenges in basic education. Even Pasi Sahlberg of Finland acknowledges this in an article published in the Washington Post. The following innovations from the United States are mentioned for their effectiveness in other countries: 1) more observation and description in secondary school science lessons; 
2) more individualized reading instruction in primary school classrooms;
 3) more use of answer explanation in primary mathematics;
 4) more relating of primary school lessons to everyday life; and
 5) more text interpretation in primary lessons. Ironically, the United States has not gained so much from these innovations because of its current obsession on accountability and standardized testing.

There are practices that work and there are those that do not. What is obviously important is that one copies only the proven ones. And as important, from the lessons learned in the United States, focusing on those that work is key. A wrong emphasis or preoccupation can thwart even the best innovation. Practices that work often target specific problems. Thus, copying what works can be facilitated by looking at those which address similar challenges.

It is now clearer than ever that poverty is a huge challenge to education. The Philippines with its very high poverty incidence cannot deny this very important challenge in its public school system. It is therefore heartbreaking that instead of looking for practices abroad that specifically address poverty, the country has chosen to adopt spiral progression, learning styles, discovery-based instruction, and other questionable innovations. The government in the Philippines has embraced global competitiveness while ignoring the huge inequity in its society. While aspiring for excellence, the country has failed in providing quality education for all. Poverty is not something that can be addressed by simply adding years to basic education or tinkering with the curriculum.

There is poverty in the United States. It is therefore not surprising to see schools in the United States that serve mostly poor children. Learning outcomes in these schools are often below average, but among these poor schools, there are a few high-performing ones. Thus, it is helpful to look at these high-poverty and yet high-performing schools to get a glance at what works in addressing poverty in basic education. An article recently posted on the ASCD blog nicely summarizes what practices have been proven to be effective in these good schools.


The proven practices are as follows (listed with the challenges addressed):
  • providing students while they are in school access to a dentist, physician, optometrist, and counselors (physical and mental health)
  • addressing and improving the school climate (absenteeism, truancy, bullying)
  • use of advisory periods, small learning environments, and culturally-relevant curricula (lack of engagement)
  • mentorship programs (lack of support outside school)
  • challenging coursework with support (lack of access to quality education)
Of course, one must keep in mind that these are schools in the United States, which are quite different from those in the Philippines. What one can easily copy from the above is the perspective that effective solutions really come from those that address specific problems. The above challenges are not exclusive to the United States. These challenges exist inside Philippine schools. DepEd's K to 12, with its spiral progressionlearning stylesdiscovery-based instruction, and other questionable innovations, does not really address these challenges. Poverty is a huge factor in Philippine basic education. We can learn from other countries. But this will only happen, if we acknowledge what our real problems are.



Thursday, May 21, 2015

K to 12: DepEd's Wrong Priority for Public Basic Education

A very strong argument against DepEd's K to 12 curriculum is its poor quality based on what we know from education research. Another equally strong case against the new curriculum is DepEd's clear lack of competence and capacity to implement the new curriculum. There is a third equally important reason: Focusing on the curriculum sets the wrong priorities for Philippine basic education. When it comes to priorities, who makes the judgment matters. With education, the voices of teachers should matter.

Here are the voices from two teacher groups in the Philippines, Teachers' Dignity Coalition (TDC) and the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT).

Teachers' Dignity Coalition
PRIORITIES

Teachers' welfare and salaries
Classrooms, facilities, learning materials

Alliance of Concerned Teachers
PRIORITIES

Classrooms, laboratories, books and modules, chairs, and sanitation facilities.
Teacher salaries

Both teacher groups are urging the government to address first the basic shortages as well as their salaries. Perhaps, one may accuse teachers of serving only their own interests although it is very clear that teachers are only asking for what is necessary for them to fulfill their obligations to society effectively. 

When basic needs are not met, there is really not much choice on how priorities should be set. But we could imagine for a moment a scenario where the above needs are already met. In fact, we actually do not need to imagine, we could learn from the priorities of the State Teachers of the Year 2015 in the United States. In a recent survey made by Scholastic, the top teachers in the US were asked which areas should education funding go. In the US, basic shortages and teachers' salaries are not on top of the list in the minds of these excellent teachers. Thus, their priorities are quite different.

State Teachers of the Year Survey 2015
PRIORITIES

Anti-poverty initiatives
Early learning
Reducing barriers to learning (access to wrap-around services, healthcare, etc.)
Professional development/learning.

There is likewise a new curriculum in math and language currently being implemented in most of the states in the US and, but in this case, an overwhelming majority (Ninety six percent) of the top teachers are in favor of the new curriculum, yet when asked where education money should go, their response only shows what is really important in their minds. Since the teachers in the Philippines are burdened with basic needs, it is not appropriate to ask what should come next on their list of priorities. But the survey from the US informs what excellent teachers think are necessary after addressing basic needs. The very first thing in their mind is the poverty of their students. Oftentimes, people think education is a solution to poverty. No, poverty is a serious problem in education. The health of students is crucial for learning. Early childhood education is likewise recognized as well as continuous professional development and learning of teachers. In the Philippines, where poverty is so much more widespread and child health care is often inaccessible, it would not be far-fetched to suggest that these likewise will show up next in the list of priorities of teachers in the Philippines. In fact, some teachers are already sacrificing however little they have to support their poor students. On the other hand, it is actually quite stupid to even suggest that the curriculum would be anywhere found in these priorities.




Wednesday, May 20, 2015

DepEd K to 12 Graduates Could Start Their Own Business, Seriously?

DepEd has been using catchy phrases such as "learner-centered", "holistic development", and "globally competitive" while it promotes its new K to 12 curriculum. Recently, DepEd has framed its advertisement in simpler terms. Jovic Yee of the Daily Inquirer quotes Undersecretary for Governance and Operations Rizalino Rivera as claiming that "students ... could also start their own business after graduating from the senior high school program". Rivera does start with the old lie that the new curriculum would improve employment opportunities but this entrepreneurship assertion is simply outrageous.


Above copied from the Inquirer
Teaching students to become self-employed is definitely not supported by evidence from research. The abstract of a paper published in the Journal of Small Business Management states quite clearly how much we know with regard to the effectiveness of entrepreneurship education in universities:
Does entrepreneurship education (E-ed) really work to create business enterprise? We conducted a comprehensive review and methodological critique of the empirical research on the outcomes of university-based E-ed. We identified every empirical study conducted over the past decade, and found 12 that minimally met our methodologically “robust” (Storey Steps 4–6) standard. Our systematic critique of the studies' research methods found a variety of methodological weaknesses, undermining confidence in the belief that E-ed can produce entrepreneurship. The implications for both practice and policy are discussed, and recommendations are made for conducting future E-ed outcome research.
This is in higher education where results are clearly inconclusive. Starting a business, of course, requires so many factors beside education. In "Why are some people more likely to become small-businesses owners than others: Entrepreneurship entry and industry-specific barriers", published in the Journal  of Business Venturing, the following table shows one of the important factors, capital:

Table A1.
Mean years of schooling and business equity by industry.

Industry characteristics

Sample mean

Years of schoolingBusiness equity ($)
Low-barrier industries13.131,354
 Repair services12.313,507
 Construction12.740,228
 Personal services12.917,691
 Food and child-care services13.03,305
 Transportation13.029,603
 Retail13.744,191
High-barrier industries15.349,562
 Manufacturing13.949,845
 Wholesale trade14.156,184
 Business services14.449,934
 Finance, insurance & real estate14.8131,669
 Entertainment services15.110,838
 Professional services16.828,060
Source: 1996 and 2001 SIPP panels.


Finding evidence that entrepreneurship education could be effective at the secondary level is even more difficult. The title alone of a paper published in the International Journal of Management of Education tells us that what we mostly know are failures:


DepEd has been defending its K to 12 curriculum against its critics. The defense is nothing but a misinformation campaign. DepEd secretary Luistro even goes as far as issuing the following challenge:
"We're building the classrooms now. What will we do with the 30,000 classroooms and the other classrooms that private schools have already built? I will ask those who will try to stop it to please solve the problem on how to address the investments that have already been put in."
Actually, these should not be perceived as investments. These are in fact the much needed resources of the old ten-year curriculum. Classrooms are not going to waste even if the new curriculum does not push through. The new modules and various mass training are indeed going to waste. These, however, have long been of no value since the modules are of poor quality and the training is largely ineffective.






Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cherry-picked Pieces of Evidence Supporting DepEd's K to 12

The public cost of providing two additional years of basic education is not insignificant by any measure. It is in fact a huge investment that requires nothing less than a thorough and thoughtful analysis of costs and benefits. Designing various tracks for these additional years likewise needs to be weighed against providing a general education for all. The largely assumed smoother entry into either the labor market or higher education provided by tracks can be fully canceled by significant disadvantages in later life.  These are questions that need to be addressed especially when such a curriculum is planned to be implemented on a grand scale.

The Philippines' Department of Education (DepEd), however, chooses to focus on examples that the agency has cherry-picked to promote its new curriculum. On its website, DepEd proudly shares stories of four recent graduates of a pilot senior high school program. Two are now currently working in a restaurant, one works as a secretary in a private company, and a fourth one is remarkably employed as a financial adviser in an insurance company, earning more than a public school teacher. It is obviously easy to find specific cases that demonstrate success in a program. Unfortunately, anecdotal evidences are totally inadequate in gauging whether a program works or not. On this aspect, similar to DepEd's lack of attention to research on the other parts of its new curriculum, published studies are ignored.

The Philippines can learn quite a lot from its neighbor Indonesia. For the past ten years, Indonesia has been trying to expand its vocational track. Thus, there is now longitudinal data from this country. David Newhouse and Daniel Suryadarma, in an article published in the World Bank Economic Review, provide the following conclusion:
Most importantly, the analysis provides little evidence to support the current expansion of vocational education, especially for men. The results fail to show systematic benefits for public vocational graduates compared to public general graduates, despite reasonably precise estimates. Furthermore, the wage penalty for male vocational graduates, in recent years, has increased dramatically.
The above view is not an exception. A study on Kenya offers the following observation:
Overall we do not find evidence that the program increased the probability of employment. Examining the extensive margin we do not find a significant increase in the probability of “not being idle”. We also do not see a significant decrease in the probability of our broad measure unemployment (which we define as working zero hours in self or wage employment and looking for a job). 
The above are not isolated cases. Erik Hanushek and coworkers have examined an international sample of labor-market outcomes for workers using data from the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) and found:
Vocational education has been promoted largely as a way of improving the transition from schooling to work, but it also appears to have an impact on the adaptability of workers to technological and structural change in the economy. As a result, the advantages of vocational training in smoothing entry into the labor market have to be set against disadvantages later in life.
There is opposition to DepEd's K to 12 for other reasons. For example, the following photo demonstrates how some student groups perceive the labor component of the new curriculum.

Above copied from Suspend K-12 Alliance
Nevertheless, what is patently clear is DepEd's lack of thoughtfulness. Such deficiency sadly is not limited to the two additional years. DepEd likewise demonstrates its recklessness in the ten-year curriculum as shown in the following test question:

Above copied from Renato Reyes, Jr.
The above question is asking children to categorize various tasks according to gender. Based on the manner the answers are graded in the photo, DepEd is teaching children that plowing a field and driving a jeep are only for males while cleaning the house, doing laundry, ironing clothes, and grocery shopping are female tasks. It is therefore not surprising to see how little attention DepEd gives to important issues concerning the additional two years when its failure in the first ten years is obvious.




Monday, May 18, 2015

DepEd's K+12: A Threat to the Teaching Profession

"Teachers must be included in the process of curriculum development, regardless of the group of players who are primary in the process. Teachers are the best source of information about what specifically will and will not work in a science classroom. They bring a strong note of reality to the process, through their familiarity with schools, communities, and the classroom environment."
The above is an advice from the National Academy of Sciences in the United States. This advice is often heard, but unfortunately, too frequently ignored.

Elizabeth Birnam and Debora Nary, after following a literacy reform in one school district conclude that "the power to effectuate change must come from the collective, unified voices of the teachers - the boots on the ground". In their book, When Teacher Voices Are Heard, they likewise identify the following as key to a successful education reform: transparency, open-mindedness, and the power of the collective.

When Teacher Voices Are Heard
The top-down dictated K to 12 curriculum from the Department of Education in the Philippines, on the other hand, exemplifies what exactly should not be done in reforming education. One could only lament while reading the following post on Facebook (COTESCUP group):


With regard to the new curriculum in the Philippines, teachers' voices are apparently muted. Teachers feel afraid to voice out their concerns in fear of retaliation from the administration. With bonuses determined by students staying in school, teachers even feel that mass promotion is now encouraged. The worse part is that teachers are unable to provide the much needed feedback on what is lacking or what is wrong with the new curriculum and its implementation. This is a precarious situation. As noted in When Teacher Voices Are Heard, it is important that feedback is readily available in an education reform:
"Oftentimes, when a "hole" is discovered in the curriculum, teachers will be the first to recognize that, and they are holonomous enough to fill in that hole and make sure others have the updated information they need to properly address the standard."
While the direct consequences of shutting down criticisms are quite obvious, future repercussions on the teaching profession are devastating. An article published in the Harvard Educational Review highlights what happens with educational reforms that are technically and moralistically controlling:
If dissent offers a place for learning, what does this say about the future of teacher professionalism in a climate of instructional control that suppresses dissent? Are the new teachers in our study like the proverbial canaries in the coal mine, giving us early warning signs about threats to the profession?...
...As Ingersoll (2003) keenly observes, “Having little say in the terms, processes, and outcomes of their work may undermine the ability of teachers to feel they are doing worthwhile work — the very reason many of them came into the occupation in the first place — and may end up contributing to turnover among teachers”.... 
The Philippines like other countries is in great need of effective teachers. The silencing of teacher voices only erodes further the teaching profession. Slogans that claim two more free years of basic education are truly empty if the price to pay is the death of the teaching profession.




Sunday, May 17, 2015

How to Think: Where Should We Begin

The myth of learning styles and illusions of competence are manifestations of how little we understand how we actually learn. Both experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience have already provided important findings but these are often overlooked in education reform. William Klemm, a professor of neuroscience at Texas A&M University, helps remind us of some of the salient points now established by research on how we learn:

  1. We need to know when a piece of information is reliable or not.
  2. We must accept the fact that multitasking is not possible.
  3. We cannot build complex knowledge without information in our working memory.
  4. Stress is bad for learning.
  5. Focus is important so distractions need to be removed.
  6. Testing is good when it helps students to recall what they know and makes them aware of what they do not know.
  7. Working memory can easily get overloaded.
Reforms in education need to be guided. Unfortunately, most reforms are not. The reason why reforms are not based on evidence perhaps lies in another discovery made by educational psychologists. Klemm talks about this in a blog post five years ago:


Receiving 27 likes on Facebook underscores one of the paragraphs in this article:
This may also relate to an observation that has puzzled me ever since I wrote my original book on memory improvement. Students have not been as interested in what the book had to say as I expected. Nor do they show as much interest as I anticipated in attending my lectures on the subject. At one unversity where I recently gave a well-advertised talk on how to improve memory, not one student showed up -- only faculty. Older adults, in general, seem to realize they need to work on their memory. Students tend to think they are either just fine as they are or can't improve.
The study Klemm describes in this post comes from Kornell and Bjork, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. The following is one of the figures from this study:

Above copied from
Kornell, N. and Bjork, R. A. 2009. A stability bias in human memory: overestimating remembering and underestimating learning. J. Exp. Psychol. 138 (4): 449-468.
The study participants are college students. Students are shown a set of paired words and are asked to predict how well they would remember the second word when cued with the first word on a later test. Students are likewise given the opportunity to study the paired words between each test. As shown in the above graph, the students are in fact improving in their performance with each study and trial. These are the points labeled "Actual". On the other hand, the graph also shows how poorly students perceive their learning. These are the points labeled "Predicted". At the beginning, there is clearly overconfidence. Students overestimate their ability to recall. This, however, is not the only problematic issue. Students are likewise not giving any credit to repeated studying. Students predict no improvement in their performance yet the test results are showing otherwise. We study to learn. This is a simple statement that is perhaps universally accepted, but when it comes to real practice, as shown in the study of Kornell and Bjork, students do not believe that studying enhances learning.

We are often overconfident in our initial capabilities and worse, we do not see how practice can improve our performance. Our own biases are usually the starting point in our thinking. Obviously, the first step in learning is realizing how unreliable our first source of information, our own self, is.




Friday, May 15, 2015

What It Takes to Help Teachers Teach Science

There are two types of classrooms in basic education. One type has children as students. The other has teachers as students. In the Philippines, overcrowding and insufficient learning resources continue to hound classrooms where children learn. The travesty is that the same actually holds for rooms where teachers are trained.

Above copied from the Division of City Schools, Quezon City
Almost a thousand teachers are trained on a new curriculum in two batches, each one covering a period of five days. In addition, five hundred private school teachers are given a one-day orientation on the implementation of the new curriculum in grades 3 and 9. Seeing this piece of news and its accompanying photos makes it quite clear how much (or how little) thoughtfulness and attention DepEd gives toward the implementation of its new curriculum.

To illustrate how inadequate this mass training is, a recent study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology captures what it really takes to help teachers teach a new curriculum. The paper entitled "The Effects of Expert Scaffolding in Elementary Science Professional Development on Teachers’ Beliefs and Motivations, Instructional Practices, and Student Achievement" and authored by German researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education and the University of Muenster describes the results of a training that involves eighteen teachers and takes place over 38 hours (6 days) on a single topic in Grade 3 science, floating and sinking. The training not only involves emphasis on content, but also includes student's possible misconceptions, how students think, and instructional strategies. With active learning in mind, the teachers during the training are likewise given ample opportunity to experience what their students would experience with the new curriculum. The study essentially demonstrates what is needed to help teachers move into a curriculum that is constructivist, one that considers how a child learns by experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. Constructivism is one of the highlights of DepEd's K+12 curriculum so this particular study which illustrates what is essential in teacher training really warrants attention.

Above copied from Dimaano's presentation
Assessing the effectiveness of a constructivist curriculum is not a straightforward test in which a student is simply required to provide the correct response. The test must take into account students' prior misconceptions and demonstrate a student's adoption of new scientific explanations. Such an assessment measures a student's integrated conceptual understanding (ICU). A student gets a point only if the student shows evidence of adhering to a scientifically acceptable conceptual framework that does not simultaneously include misconceptions. The possible range for a student's ICU scores in this study is 0 to 14. The results of the study are summarized in the following graph of students' ICU scores:

Above figure based on data provided by 
The Effects of Expert Scaffolding in Elementary Science Professional Development on Teachers’ Beliefs and Motivations, Instructional Practices, and Student Achievement.
Kleickmann, Thilo; Tröbst, Steffen; Jonen, Angela; Vehmeyer, Julia; Möller, Kornelia
Journal of Educational Psychology, May 11 , 2015, No Pagination Specified. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/edu0000041
In the above graph, "No Expert Scaffolding" corresponds to students taught by teachers who only received the educative curriculum materials but were not specifically trained by an expert in science teaching. The above difference is significant. It displays an effect size of 0.78 (Students whose teachers are properly trained score on average 0.78 times a standard deviation higher).

One should note that the educative curriculum materials used in this study have been extensively piloted, reviewed and have subsequently gone through iterations or improvements. For a taste of what is usually inside these curriculum materials, a page from Kathleen Roth's "Foods for Plants" is reproduced here:


With the above example, educative curriculum materials are clearly not just plain textbooks or modules. Educative curriculum materials intrinsically need to be based on research and data from classrooms since these materials seriously take into account how students actually learn. With regard to the topic of "sinking and floating" the German researchers specifically mention that "Teachers’ satisfaction with the materials concerning usability, comprehensibility, and congruence to teachers’ learning needs was high."

DepEd's materials, on the other hand, are often unavailable and of course, if available, have never been piloted nor reviewed. The average pre-test score (before being taught) in the study is 3, which is only one standard deviation lower from the score of students taught by teachers who have received the curriculum materials. Add training from a science teaching expert, the scores go up by another standard deviation. Excellent curriculum materials and adequate teacher training therefore are the factors that can contribute to better learning outcomes. Thus, there is really not much to expect from what DepEd does. Lack of materials and inadequate training can only mean a waste of taxpayer's money with no gain in student learning. It is not the curriculum that will improve education, it is only the proper implementation that can.



Thursday, May 14, 2015

When an Educational System Fails

Ted Lieu, a representative in the US Congress from California, vividly describes how education often fails society.
"I think it's easy for people like you and me, who wear suits and ties and work in offices, to cast aspersions on those with 10th grade educations. And I certainly hope you're not saying that only those with college degrees or high school degrees should be eligible for federal benefits.

But let's talk about some of these folks with the 10th grade educations, such as Maria Isabel Jimenez. She was a farm worker, 17 years old. She worked for nine hours one day on a farm near Stockton in brutal heat, without shade or water, and then she collapsed. She was taken to the hospital. Her body temperature was 108.4 degrees. She died two days later.
 
When I was in the California state legislature, I had the opportunity to meet — over many years —many farm workers who've had families die in brutal conditions in the heat, so that you and I can have less expensive orange juice, cheaper artichokes, less expensive garlic.

And I just want to suggest that people like Maria Isabel Jimenez... that her net contribution in dying so that you and I can have cheaper grocery bills so that we can spend less, she's given far more to American society than you or I ever will."