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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Charlottesville: Worse Than PISA Or TIMSS
After scores from the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) were released, US education secretary Arne Duncan said, "This is an absolute wake-up call for America." The scores do appear mediocre compared to those of other industrialized nations, but it is not as serious as students failing to do simple arithmetic problems such as 2+3. This weekend, however, the state of Virginia witnessed the resurgence of racism. There are now more than 900 hate groups in the United States according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The "White Supremacy" groups that gathered in Charlottesville believe in the following: (1) Western or European culture is under threat, (2) White people are being oppressed and dispossessed, (3) Diversity is evil and pure "white state" must be established in which all political power are in the hands of white people. Such tenets are outright stupid. These are as bad as stating that 2+3=1. Yet, hundreds of thousands of Americans subscribe to these precepts. This is the real wake-up call for American basic education.
Sadly, supremacy is taught and encouraged in our schools. Segregation is the rule while diversity remains an exception. Fortunately, there are some educators who are waking up to this reality. The former principal of Mason Crest Elementary School, Brian Butler, shares his thoughts on Facebook. He provides insights on how and why we are indeed educating our children towards the path of superiority:
Charlottesville? It's much deeper than what you see educators!
I have watched and read a lot over the past few days regarding Charlottesville and am too saddened by the events. I do have much to say but as I have tried to do throughout my existence, not always successfully, is not to speak or write from emotion. Passion yes, emotion for me does not help with clarity of message. So denouncing white supremacy and those who espouse views of hatred of groups different from them is a must but it is not even close to where we should begin. On this I will stay in a lane that I know fairly well as I agree with many of my educator friends who are denouncing the hate of the "white supremacist" in Charlottesville but we need look no further than our policies and practices that we know are wrong in our own backyard of our profession that support this kind of thinking. Policies and practices like identifying kids as gifted so they can go to a different school for "kids like them."
I will elaborate more at a later time. I am sure that some of what I will say will sting a bit and even my educator friends may wince but please know it will be said out of love and hopefully for true self reflection regarding our history. Most importantly it will be shared in hopes of improving our profession and the lives of all kids no matter where they start in life or the color of their skin, gender or economic status, language they speak and especially individuals and groups who the educational system has traditionally purposefully sorted and selected to the benefit of certain groups.
I may lose a few followers I am sure but truth is truth and I am speaking about education. Not here to debate this is my page. I have been saying this for years when I was an administrator in Fairfax County, a county that touts itself as world class but a county with an elephant in the room and that elephant is race and class and the advanced academics centers. Every principal that I have ever spoken to wants them closed but they say "oh well" the school board is afraid of the parents and the superintendent is afraid of the school board.
When talking institutional racism and classism this stares everyone in the face so brightly that all know "the sun" is shining in our face but we look away as if it's not there.
And this is the biggest kicker, some of you, my friends who are yelling about how appalled you are about Charlottesville nod and wink about an educational system that you know is not equitable for All Kids, but benefits your own kids so you are quiet on the issue.
The white supremacist in Charlottesville are being honest and telling us directly who they are and the world that they want to live in. What about the institution of separating kids based on a "so called gift" which is not necessarily accurate (all kids have gifts it's our job to cultivate and nurture them).
So educator friends posting hashtags on your page and being enraged about Charlottesville is appropriate but what about working to change the system you are in and being vocal about why not doing so will lead to more Charlottesville's.
People are not meant to be superior to others but think about what we are doing to kids' mindsets with this kind of sort and select system.
Like I said more to come when I am not writing out of emotion🙏🏽
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…
Congestion means overcrowding. In simple terms, there is too much in too little space or time. To avoid congestion one can either increase space or time, or reduce whatever is taking space or time. In introducing K to 12 to the Philippines, the Department of Education made the claim, "...the sad state of basic education can be partly attributed to the congested basic education curriculum." A closer examination of DepEd's K to 12, however, reveals not a decongestion, but a reduction of instructional hours across the first ten years of education.
Here are the changes for elementary school:
There is a reduction in both languages and mathematics of about 10 percent in instructional time. Below are the changes in secondary school:
Here, the decrease in instructional hours is even greater. Science, for instance suffers a 33 percent reduction. Adding two years to basic education may indeed look good on paper as a way of decongesting the curriculum. However, if the first ten yea…
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…