Trump Through The Eyes Of A Fifth Grader

The following is a guest post from my daughter. This article is scheduled to be published in her school's newspaper.

President Trump Crisis By: Amelia de Dios

As you all know, this coronavirus crisis is a huge deal in many ways. Our economy is growing weak. People cannot get money they need, which means no food. They must wait in lines for more than an hour, so that they can feed their family. States are competing for masks so they can be safe. People are having to eat less so that they can have a shelter to live in! And what is President Trump doing to help?


As you know, because of social distancing some places are closed. But they still must pay rent. But if they are not making money, then how can they pay rent? The answer is, they can’t. And if they can’t pay rent, they close. And the employees that worked there are now jobless. And if they are jobless, they don’t make money. And if you don’t make money you can’t buy food, pay rent for a shelter, and buy clothes. And if th…

It Is Not Math and Reading

While we focus our attention on math and reading scores, we have become unaware of a deeper problem in our educational system. What we have neglected is not a simple superficial list of good manners and right conduct. Deep in our hearts, we adults are teaching our children exactly the opposite of what humanity craves for at the moment. Instead of serving as beacons for empathy and kindness, we simply rekindle the flame of bias and phony sanctimony. Four years ago, Cory Turner at nprEd summed up what we were missing: "Bias isn't just a police problem, it's a preschool problem".

Research has shown convincingly that preschool teachers are more likely to expect bad behavior from a child who is an African American boy. Not surprising, black children are over-represented in school disciplinary measures. We indeed teach our young very well. Racism is alive and well. And we really need not look further. It is in our schools. Advanced academic programs confer privilege on thos…

Could the Philippines Afford a Year Without School?

Philippines president Duterte recently stated that he will not allow schools to be opened this coming school year without a vaccine against the novel corona virus. Of course, without a vaccine in sight for at least 18 months from now, this suggests that schools may be closed for the entire school year. Distance learning is likewise not feasible since a large number of students do not have access to laptops and the internet. So, perhaps, the Philippines can use this time to reboot its educational system. After all, the past years have shown that basic education in the Philippines has been failing miserably.

The COVID-19 situation in the Philippines, like in most countries in the globe, does not look promising. Testing is obviously not widely available in the Philippines so it is not known how widespread COVID-19 really is. As of today, less than 0.3 percent of the population have been tested and about 5 percent of those who have been tested turned positive. This is certainly much better…

Are Children Being Left Behind?

Achievement gaps already exist even before school closures due to COVID-19. With online learning, it is our obligation to check if these gaps are increasing. With great likelihood, learning is probably even more skewed at this point. The data are not yet available but schools at this point may already have rough numbers on attendance and participation. My son's algebra class may provide a brief glimpse of the current situation. He is currently enrolled in Algebra I in a middle school where only about one in four students is enrolled in this course. Here is an update I have just received from his teacher.

During the first couple of weeks, just with this class, the average score is less than fifty percent. During the past week, the class average has reached 90%. My son is ahead in this class since we have been working on these topics before the county's online learning commenced. The first two topics are foundational work on solving quadratic equations while vertical motion is a…

With Schools Closed, What Are Children Doing Online?

In place of the traditional classroom, children are now keeping in touch with their teacher and classmates through online meetings via either Zoom, Google Meet, or Blackboard Collaborate. In addition to outdoor activities like biking, hiking or skateboarding, children still find additional time to explore and experience social media. The following is another guest post from my daughter. It is another article that she wrote for her school's newspaper. It is about TikTok.

What is TikTok? TikTok is an app for people to learn and post. Some of you may know that TikTok has dances. But that is just one part of it, there are many other things to do on TikTok, for example, comedy, art, and sports. TikTok is a way to express yourself with a post. TikTok can be for ages 10 and older. But if you are not 12 or older there are minor changes, your account would be private, and you would not be able to see some videos.
What do you do on TikTok?   TikTok can be used for a lot of things. TikTok can be…

The Coronavirus: Playing Your Part

The following is a guest post from my 10-year old daughter, Amelia. This is an article she wrote for her school's newspaper where she also acts as one of the editors.

Whatisavalidwaytohelpothers,andyourself,withthecoronavirus?Well,thatiswhatIwillbetalkingabout.There aremany ways to help yourself, and others, but the most important one, in my opinion, is washing hands, because it is great at preventing the coronavirus. Here are more ways to keep safe and helpothers.
Wearing Masks Masks are something that we need. But I should inform you, it does not protect you from others. The reason why our Governor and other government officials are recommending masks is because most people who have the coronavirus don’t showsymptoms.Thatiswhyeveryoneshouldwearamask.Becauseyoucouldhavethevirusatthisvery second andnoteven know! So, to be clear, the mask is not there to protect you, it is there to protect others if they do not have the coronavirus. You see, the virus travels through moisture in the a…

Can We Now Open Schools?

There is a great emphasis on social distancing when it comes to controlling the spread of the novel corona virus. What is baffling is that we often see photos depicting proper social distancing in open spaces, on a sidewalk, for instance, near the entrance of a store. A study in Japan, not yet peer reviewed, states, "The odds that a primary case transmitted COVID-19 in a closed environment was 18.7 times greater compared to an open-air environment (95% confidence interval [CI]: 6.0, 57.9)". Another study, also not yet peer reviewed, concludes, "All identified outbreaks of three or more cases occurred in an indoor environment, which confirms that sharing indoor space is a major SARS-CoV-2 infection risk." With this is  mind, opening schools presents a great risk. An indoor environment like a school not only confines air, but also provides places or objects touched by many individuals. Schools, however, have reopened in Denmark. How can Denmark afford the risk?

One c…