A blog that tackles issues on basic education (in the Philippines and the United States) including early childhood education, the teaching profession, math and science education, medium of instruction, poverty, and the role of research and higher education.
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Farewell and Best Wishes to a Great School Principal
"Great leaders don't set out to be a leader, they set out to make a difference. It's never about the role, it's always about the goal." -Lisa Haisha.
I received a message today from the principal of Mason Crest Elementary School, Brian Butler. He would be leaving Mason Crest to join the Office of School Support, helping other principals and school administrators in his new role. Mr. Butler in his message did assure parents that Mason Crest would not "miss a beat" in his absence. He did make a difference in the school. His leadership was not so much about being a boss, but on how the school strove to serve each and every student under his guidance. Advocating and working hard to create a professional learning community was his focus. His eforts were towards ensuring that Mason Crest was a school that truly took student learning seriously. His leadership was indeed transformative. Nonetheless, my daughter was not happy to hear of his departure. Neither was I. Of course, I told my daughter that Mason Crest would still continue to have the same team of staff and teachers. Mason Crest would continue to be the same school where every student, every teacher, and every staff would be valued. Mr. Butler worked hard to create a community of learners and that was not going to vanish in an instant.
My daughter and her school principal, Brian Butler
Mr. Butler's commitment to "education for all" would continue at Mason Crest for he had helped create a team of lifelong learners. This team would carry the same vision. Without doubt, such direction would continue, "All means all". Thank you and Godspeed, Mr. Butler.
With the new K to 12 curriculum in the Philippines, various tracks are now offered in the last two years of basic education. The various options available obviously make it possible for students to find themselves later unprepared for the courses they decide to take in college. A student, for instance, who finishes the accounting business management (ABM) strand in the senior high school academic track, is now required to take additional courses if the student chooses to enroll in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) major in college. These additional courses which are now called "bridging programs" are either taken during the first year of college or over several weeks in the summer before college starts.
There are bridging programs in the United States, but these are different from the ones that are now appearing in colleges in the Philippines. In Coldwater High School in Michigan, for example, the "bridging program" is an option for students…
TANONG: ANO ANG KTO12 PROGRAM? SAGOT: Ang Kto12 Program ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas ay tumutukoy sa pagkakaroon ng mandatory o required na kindergarten at karagdagang 2 taon sa dating 10-year Basic Education Cycle. Kung noon, pagkatapos ng anim na taon sa elementarya at apat na taon sa hayskul (kabuuang 10 taon) ay maaari nang makapagkolehiyo ang mga estudyante. Sa ilalim ng Kto12, bago makapagkolehiyo, kailangan pa nilang dumaan sa karagdagang 2 taon pagkatapos ng apat na taong hayskul. Sa bagong sistema, tinatawag na senior high school o junior college ang karagdagang 2 tao…
There is information to be gained from data. Tests in schools can be informative. Scores of students provide a quick glimpse of the current state of education. Thus, it is useful to have these numbers. These numbers may not tell everything in detail with high accuracy. Nevertheless, test results allow for a useful perspective. The National Achievement Test administered by the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines, a set of standardized tests addressing the major subjects taught in school, is an example. These tests are given to Grade 3 where students are assessed in both English and Filipino (These two subjects comprise two thirds of the exam) and Math and Science (These two account for the remaining one third). A different set of tests is given to Grade 6 pupils where each of the following 5 subjects is assigned 40 items: (Science, Math, English, Filipino and Social Studies). Another set is administered to fourth year high school students (This is currently the last year…