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Be Careful with Educational Experts and Give Sara a Chance

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Rene Luis Tadle Repost from Facebook This came out of my memory feed today. I remember how the Aquino government together with the so-called education experts and well-experienced education managers cajoled, rammed, and made false promises to convince students, teachers, and parents to accept the wisdom of additional two years of basic education despite the objections from various sectors. Thus, in 2015, together with other groups and individuals, CoTeSCUP questioned the constitutionality of the K-12 Law in the Supreme Court. SC declared that the law was constitutional and thus dismissed our petition, noting that it is within the police power of the state to enact educational laws including the K-12 Law. However, it noted as well that “It is not for the Court to look into the wisdom or propriety of legislative determination.” (CoTeSCUP et. al, vs. DOLE et al. G.R. No. 216930). Since then, studies have shown that K-12 Law failed to live up to its promise (Orbeta et al., 2019 Manansan, 2

Why Basic Education Matters

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Filipinos recently elected the son of Marcos to be their next president. They also voted for the daughter of the current president to be their next vice president. Some may think that how people vote is influenced by their education. Unfortunately, in politics, beliefs are more important. What basic education can do is so little compared to what frustration and disenchantment can. Filipinos have been experimenting with liberal politics for more than three decades. There seems to be not much difference for most Filipinos who have lived in both periods, before and after the EDSA "people power" in 1986. Education cannot miraculously change how people vote, but how people deal with politics shows the current state of education. Unfortunately, even the opposition to authoritarianism demonstrates the current predicament of Philippine education. The results of the elections have been made public quickly this time. At past 8 in the evening, nearly half of the votes have been transmit

To Sow Discord and Divisions

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Our society is still facing enormous challenges. The COVID pandemic continues. Black lives still have to matter. Greenhouse gases are still rising and so are global temperatures. To address these issues successfully, concerted efforts are necessary. We must try our best to control the spread of the coronavirus. We ought to look deeply into the structural, institutional and systemic racism. For our society to avert climate change, we must act together. Yet, Virginia's new governor Glenn Youngkin chooses to sow discord and divisions. Above copied from Commonwealth of Virginia  The following are among the executive actions the new governor has taken: End the use of divisive concepts, including Critical Race Theory, in public education. Empower Virginia parents in their children’s education and upbringing by allowing parents to make decisions on whether their child wears a mask in school. Withdraw from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). It is just day one and the governor h

"G" Does Not Stand for Good, It Stands For Bad Grammar

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 It was a test in chemistry back when I was a first-year student in college. The instructor showed to the class the first page of my exam with a huge red letter "G" mark on it. The "G" does not stand for Good, it stands for bad grammar. Then it was followed by an exam from another student. This time, it was marked "VG", which stood for verbal garbage. At least, the content of my answer was correct. As we greet the year 2022, it seems that we are in the same place, we are missing the point. A letter from the Arlington Education Association has gone viral on social media not because of its message. Apparently, in just five paragraphs, there are numerous errors in grammar. The letter, however, brings to our attention, a very important point. Schools are about to reopen in a couple of days, and we are currently in the midst of a huge surge in coronavirus cases, and after two years through this pandemic, we still do not have the necessary testing capacity. The

If We Do Not Speak, Who Will?

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With a megaphone, one can have his voice heard more easily. Loud voices can bias our perception. Loudness should not be confused with truth. Often, loudness is simply an expression of passion, but not necessarily correctness. In a world where loudness is sometimes equated to the voice of the majority, it is especially important that we participate and support those who hold steadfast to values that benefit all our children. Parents do have a say with regard to the education of their children, but this right belongs to all parents, not just the loud ones. As calls for banning books that reach out to marginalized members of our community have become louder in our county, it is time that we stand for freedom of expression, diversity, and inclusiveness. Please join us in supporting our school board in this crucial stand. Above copied from  https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/hip-hip-hooray-for-our-school-board-today Dear Friends, I just signed the campaign: Hip Hip Hooray for our School Boar

The Way We Teach Should Be the Way We See Ourselves

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Years ago, when I heard the retirement of the principal at the elementary school my children attended, I felt sad. He was a principal who really looked out for every child in his school. Now, it appears that I was simply selfish then. Brian Butler actually has a very important message for all educators to hear. Watching his webinar last night leaves me this impression. Much of what we teachers currently do inside our classroom does not often match how we see our own selves. I do not think we label teachers as "dumb" or "gifted". I do not think teachers think of themselves as individuals having a fixed amount of intelligence. Teachers talk with each other and learn from each other. Teachers practice discipline in their work. Lastly, teachers, I hope, prefer practices or strategies that work. Yet, in most classrooms teachers often do the opposite of these things. We label kids. We think intelligence is something we cannot nurture. We isolate ourselves. We forget the n

Parents' Say in Education

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Parents should be engaged in their children's education. Society, as a whole, must share the burden of preparing its youngest members for the future. In a democracy, we exercise this obligation through the ballot box. After all, education resides in the public sphere, and as a community, we all get to decide what is good for our children. Nevertheless, there are different points of view. For this reason, it is important to focus on non-negotiable values. And with schools, equity and inclusivity are non-negotiable. For the simple reason that public schools serve public needs, schools must cater to all children. Education like medicine should also be guided by research. Education like medicine should not be based on religion or opinions, but on evidence. There is a reason why a body of experts gets to decide whether to recommend a vaccine or not. Expertise, unfortunately, is not ubiquitous, and if such decisions are left to opinions, a deadlock is very likely, especially when a socie