Ricardy’s Platform for Fairfax Schools

RICARDY FOR SCHOOL BOARD·TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2019 Ricardy J. Anderson, Ed.D. To ensure that Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) offers opportunities for and equitably serves all students, I will initially focus on the following priorities: · Strategic Implementation of One Fairfax: I want to make One Fairfax a reality for Mason Kids by equitably equipping our teachers and staff with needed resources to facilitate the delivery of personalized and individualized instruction to students in 21st century facilities. We must stop the practice of asking our PTAs/PTOs to provide funding for essential resources and services to schools. We must establish the expectations that research based and effective strategies will be provided at all schools across the county. · Protect Needs-Based Staffing: We must ensure Title I and other needs-based funding are aligned with Mason District needs. · Teacher and Staff Compensation: Teacher quality significantly impacts student achievement. We must in…

Whom Should We Elect to the School Board? Ricardy Anderson

Electing an individual to the School Board is similar to asking the question "What should funders fund?", a question recently discussed by psychologist Daniel Willingham in his blog Science & Education. Initially, Willingham's "knee-jerk" response to this question is "funders need to stop being idiots". He then explains that what he really means is that nowadays, most programs not directly linked to an improvement in student learning are often funded. He offers the following to explain how we can influence student learning:

Federal à State à District à Principal (Admin) à Teacher à Student Learning

Obviously, the sphere of influence becomes smaller as we go from Federal down to a State, down to a District, down to a Principal, and finally to a teacher, who probably influences the learning of only about 25 students. Naturally, we are then attracted to the level that can bring the biggest impact. A principal, for instance, can influence not just one …

In the Philippines, Some High School Students Cannot Read

The previous Aquino administration in the Philippines had this dream, "Every Child a Reader by Grade 1". Dreams, however, become reality only with correct actions and genuine effort. And in education, such goals can only be reached with adequate resources. For instance, when schools are forced into multiple shifts because of congestion, instructional time is severely compromised. The shortage can be exacerbated by adding more years to basic education and at the same time, imposing a performance merit system based on mass promotion. Years after the introduction of K to 12, Kara David documents a disconcerting situation in one of the high schools in the capital region of the Philippines: Students currently enrolled in seventh grade cannot read.

The documentary shows high school students who are struggling in phonetics in their mother tongue.

One child tells the story of lessons on basic reading being rushed through third grade as the cause of being left way behind. One can th…

Reason for Non-Vaccination: "Mother Was Busy"

Outbreaks of measles are being reported worldwide. Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease so its resurgence can be attributed to "gaps in vaccination coverage". Hundreds of cases of measles have already been confirmed in the Philippines, and some are quick to blame the dengvaxia fiasco as the main culprit behind why a significant number of children have not been vaccinated against measles. It may be true especially in Europe or in the US that parents have been refusing to have their children vaccinated for fear of side effects, but this is not necessarily true in the Philippines. In fact, a much more logical conclusion is the the Philippines' Department of Health not simply doing its job. Indeed, this is the real reason based on data collected by the Department.

The above two figures show that more than two-thirds of measles cases involve individuals who have not been vaccinated and of these two thirds, the primary reasons for non-vaccination are: (1) not eligible for …

We Need to Pay Attention to Details

When something involves several factors, we need to be careful in drawing conclusions. In the physical sciences, experiments are designed to focus on one factor at a time while controlling others when the object of the investigation is multivariate. Basic education is an example of a complex system. For this reason, before we declare that we have found a silver bullet, we need to pay attention to details. Megha Satyanarayana wrote recently an article in the Chemical and Engineering News that shared an apparent successful innovation in chemistry undergraduate education at the Michigan State University. In "Stop. Draw. Discuss: How high school approaches are helping fix undergraduate chemistry", the following comments from a 20-year old student are highlighted:
“It was interactive. We could talk to the people sitting next to us. It’s not like learning facts. It’s more like common sense, or reasoning,”
Helping students to become more engaged with what is being covered inside th…

Manila Bay: A Lesson Worth Repeating

In a previous post, Do Not Use the Word "Trash": A Lesson On Water Pollution, I wrote, "While it is straightforward to see why floating trash in our rivers is bad, it requires much more to appreciate how nitrates and phosphates from the fertilizers we use can have a significant impact on water quality. It is not as obvious as throwing a plastic bag into a river, but the effects can be as devastating with pollutants that we cannot see." I should add that we also need to worry about bacterial coliform that come from both human and animal waste. Picking up solid waste from a body of water is easy, removing invisible water pollutants which can be more harmful than the visible ones requires much more time and effort.

Social media have been flooded with pictures from Manila Bay showing how people working together have miraculously transformed its trash-filled shore into something less obnoxious to the eye.

Indeed, this is worth celebrating. However, one must be reminded …

No Wonder We Are Discriminatory and Inequitable

All of us do learn first at home, but we get our first glimpse of society when we enter school. No one should therefore underestimate the impact of schools on how we view ourselves as members of a community. What we often learned easily in schools are not the lessons in reading and math, but how we picture ourselves in relation to the teacher and the other pupils inside our classroom. And when that classroom is composed only of children of the same income level or race, we grow up not understanding children who have a background different from ours. In the Philippines, the upper class sends their children to private elite schools while the poor attend poorly equipped public schools. In the United States, there is this fantasy that schools are no longer segregated, but in reality, segregation remains. Oregon's education professor, Jerry Rosiek writes in last week's issue of Phi Delta Kappan, "Like a disease that was never fully cured, school segregation has come out of rem…