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Thread: SCHOOL IS IN: Education Here, There, Everywhere

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  1. #161
    A perfect ACT score couldn't get this student into Yale, Princeton, or Stanford, and he says it's because he's Asian-American

    ABBY JACKSON

    JUN. 1, 2015, 2:23 PM

    With a perfect ACT score and 13 Advanced Placement courses under his belt, Michael Wang applied to seven Ivy League universities and Stanford in 2013.

    An Asian-American, Wang suspected his race might work against him. But he was still shocked when he was rejected by Stanford and every Ivy League school except for the University of Pennsylvania.

    Wang says he worked incredibly hard and excelled in every area possible. But it still wasn't good enough.

    "There was nothing humanly possible I could do," Wang told us, saying he felt utterly demoralized after his rejections.

    Wang said that after he was rejected from most of the Ivies, he filed a complaint with the US Department of Education alleging that Yale, Stanford, and Princeton discriminated against him because he was Asian-American.

    Wang isn't alone in his belief that the Ivies discriminate against Asians. A coalition of Asian-American groups filed a lawsuit against Harvard last month alleging the college and other Ivy League institutions use racial quotas to admit students to the detriment of more qualified Asian-American applicants. The more than 60 Asian groups are coming together to fight what they say are unfair admission practices.

    Wang's credentials are impressive. Academically, he was ranked second overall in his class and graduated with a 4.67 weighted grade point average. He scored a 2230 on his SAT, placing him in the 99th percentile of students who took the exam.

    He also stressed that he was not just academically driven, but also a well-rounded applicant who maximized his extracurricular activities. He competed in national speech and debate competitions and math competitions. He also plays the piano and performed in the choir that sang at President Barack Obama's 2008 inauguration.

    Wang hasn't heard back from the department about his complaints but strongly supports the most recent complaint filed by the coalition of Asian-American groups.

    For now, he's enjoying his time at Williams College, where he just finished his sophomore year. And while Williams consistently ranks near the top if not No. 1 in the US News and World Report's rankings of liberal-arts colleges, Wang still feels as if he was unfairly rejected from the Ivies.

    "I think I deserve better than what I got," he said.

    In addition to last month's complaint filed against Harvard, a nonprofit group called Students for Fair Admissions filed lawsuits in November accusing Harvard and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill of discriminating against Asian-American students in their undergraduate admissions policies.

    And a recent opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal called Asian-Americans "The New Jews of Harvard Admissions," referring to the university's well-documented policies to keep out Jewish students during the early 20th century.

    For its part, Harvard is pushing back against the complaints, and it said in a formal comment on its website "within its holistic admissions process, and as part of its effort to build a diverse class, Harvard College has demonstrated a strong record of recruiting and admitting Asian-American students."

    Moreover, Harvard said a previous investigation from the US Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights found the college's "approach to admissions was fully compliant with federal law."

    We reached out to Princeton, Stanford, and Yale for comment.

  2. #162
    Op-Ed

    What's wrong with single-sex schools? A lot.

    (Los Angeles Times)

    Juliet A. Williams

    In her first days on the job, L.A. Unified’s new Superintendent Michelle King suggested that single-sex education might attract more families to the district and improve student achievement. She wouldn’t be the first district leader to vest hope — not to mention public funds — in all-boys and all-girls schools. But LAUSD should be wary of segregating its students by sex.

    The notion of boys’ and girls’ schools conjures rosy images of elite private institutions, but the history of single-sex education in the United States is rife with misguided prejudice. In the 1870s, retired Harvard professor Edward H. Clarke ignited popular interest in single-sex education — by arguing that exposing adolescent girls to the rigors of a standard education would cause their reproductive organs to wither. In the 1950s, after racial segregation was declared unconstitutional, sex-segregated public schools were created across the South to keep boys and girls of different racial backgrounds apart.

    Today, in a major reversal, single-sex education has found political champions among supporters of gender equality and those who believe that black and Latino boys in particular will benefit from being educated apart from their female peers. In 2001, then-Sen. Hilary Clinton co-sponsored a provision of the No Child Left Behind Act that provided federal funds to fledgling single-sex public schools, spurring local school districts across the country to experiment with sex segregation.

    A few years later, however, a government-commissioned study noted a lack evidence proving that single-sex education improved student performance. The Bush administration decided to press forward anyway, and in 2006 issued guidelines signaling it wouldn’t go after single-sex public schools for violating laws against sex discrimination in education. Today, there are nearly 80 single-sex public schools in the U.S., up from just a handful three decades ago. Hundreds more schools separate boys and girls during academic instruction, though the campuses are technically coed.

    So, how’s it going?

    Supporters point to a few carefully chosen examples to prove single-sex education raises test scores and boosts students’ confidence. But the larger story is the overwhelming number of single-sex public school programs that haven’t produced any positive results. In 2014, researchers Erin Pahlke, Janet Shibley Hyde, and Carlie M. Allison published a meta-analysis of existing studies on single-sex instruction. Their exhaustive review found no significant advantage, for boys or girls, over coeducation.

    Research shows that successful schools do certain things — such as creating strong mentoring relationships and keeping class sizes to a manageable level — that benefit students whether boys and girls learn together or apart.

    Meanwhile, evidence is mounting that single-sex education can do real harm by perpetuating limiting gender stereotypes. In single-sex schools across the country, girls’ classrooms are decorated in pastels while boys are surrounded by bold colors; girls are assigned to read romantic fiction, while boys are given non-fiction books; boys are subjected to frequent drills and timed tests, while girls are assigned group work and non-competitive activities — and on and on.

    These “gender-sensitive” teaching methods sometimes are dressed up in the legitimating jargon of neuroscience, but the popular notion that boys and girls are “hard-wired” to learn differently rests on gross generalizations about sex differences in the brain. Today, much of the so-called “science” of sex difference has been debunked, but that hasn’t kept public schools from modeling programs on bogus theories. As a result, boys are being deprived of the opportunity to develop crucial social skills, such as working collaboratively and thinking creatively, while girls are being denied the opportunity to build test-taking skills and learn how to succeed under pressure.

    Past mistakes don’t prove that single-sex schools can never work in public education in the future. But unless LAUSD takes a critical look at the facts and research on single-sex education, it hardly can be expected to do any better moving forward.

    Juliet A. Williams is a professor in the UCLA Department of Gender Studies, and the author of the forthcoming "The Separation Solution: Single-Sex Public Education and the New Politics of Gender Equality."
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  3. #163
    DepEd: Christmas break to start December 15

    Published October 14, 2019 12:39pm

    By DONA MAGSINO, GMA News

    Christmas break for kindergarten to Grade 12 students in public schools in the country will start on December 15, 2019, according to the school calendar released by the Department of Education (DepEd).

    DepEd Order 007 s. 2019 indicates that: "The Christmas break shall begin on Sunday, December 15, 2019. Classes shall resume on Monday, January 6, 2020."

    According to DepEd spokesperson Usec. Nepomuceno Malaluan, class suspensions in previous months are unlikely to affect the schedule for Christmas break this year.

    "The calendar also ay localized naman with the adjustments that have to be made in light of suspensions. So far, walang indication that we will deviate from that school calendar," Malaluan told GMA News Online in a phone interview.

    "There are municipalities that suspend more, kasi LGUs [local government units] 'yung suspensions eh and there are municipalities that suspend less kaya 'yung interventions for make up of lost periods is more of a localized matter. It will depend on regions and then divisions and even school level," he added.

    Deped spokesperson Usec. Analyn Sevilla, however, noted that private schools may implement a different schedule.

    "The department order is in effect for all public schools. Private schools have their own school calendar hence Christmas break for private school students are set by its school administrators," Sevilla said in a text message. —KBK, GMA News
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  4. #164
    Aztec looks to the Philippines amid teacher shortage

    By Sam Ribakoff, Farmington Daily Times

    Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019 2:13 PM

    AZTEC (AP) – It was a cold Monday morning at C.V. Koogler Middle School in Aztec. Students stumbled into Shannon Albores’ history class and take off their rumpled jackets. After reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, they greeted their teacher by saying in unison, ‘magandang umaga!’– which is Filipino for ‘good morning.’

    Albores was born and raised in a city called Cebu in the Philippines. There she earned a teaching credential and started teaching kindergarten and elementary school. She liked it, but after learning of an opportunity to teach abroad – and with it, the chance to earn a higher salary – she took the opportunity.

    Albores, along with seven other teachers from various parts of the Philippines, started working in the Aztec Municipal School District at the start of the 2019 school year to fill persistently unfilled vacancies at the school district, especially in special education departments in all grade levels.

    “These are positions that had been vacant for seven years,” said Tania Prokop, the Deputy Superintendent of the Aztec Municipal School District, “luckily we found a local company to bring teachers here from the Philippines.”

    That Farmington-based company charges fees to those teachers, and its owner said she keeps those fees as low as possible because she, herself, paid much higher fees when she came to this country years ago through another agency that charged her twice as much.

    School districts, like Aztec, and others throughout the country have turned to an emerging international contract teacher industry that recruits teachers from around the world to teach in school districts throughout the country. One of those contracting companies, Bepauche International, has its offices in Farmington.

    “Our pool of teachers can be 500 to 1000 teachers big. We’re ready and willing to fill vacancies,” said Cheryl Marie Maghinay, the co-owner of Bepauche International, via telephone from the Philippines, where she was on a recruiting trip looking for Filipino teachers to send to schools across the U.S.

    Maghinay herself was a teacher, immigrating to the U.S. from General Santos city in the Philippines. She got her masters degree in education in the United States, and then taught in Antelope Valley, California, and then on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.

    On the Navajo Nation, Maghinay said she saw the need schools in the U.S. had for teachers, especially in rural schools, so in 2015 she said she started Bepauche International to bring qualified Filipino teachers to the U.S.

    “We check to see if our teachers are legitimate,” Maghinay said. The teachers she works with not only have to have a degree in education, and years of experience teaching, but she said she also looks for teachers with a certain amount of familiarity with U.S. culture.

    Maghinay then coordinates with school districts in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Florida, Montana, and now New Mexico, for teachers that she vets to conduct interviews with school administrators over video telecommunications apps like Skype.

    The Aztec school district isn’t alone in its teacher vacancies problem. School districts throughout the state, and the country, are in dire need of qualified teachers.

    A report published in 2018 by New Mexico State University found that there were 740 unfilled public school teacher vacancies throughout the state. Some school districts have tried to fill those positions by hiring more long-term substitute teachers.

    The New Mexico State University study points to factors that may explain why there might be so many unfilled teaching positions – comparatively low salaries, working conditions and high work expectations, as well as a high level of stress revolving around job insecurity and a high rate of student testing.

    The problem, however, plagues school districts nationwide. A study from the Learning Policy Institute, an education think tank, estimated that the country currently has a shortage of 112,000 teachers.

    Maghinay first started working here in the U.S. on a temporary worker visa, called a H-1B visa.

    Initially Bepauche worked with Filipino teachers to get them H-1B visas, which allows recipients to stay and work in the country for a maximum of six years, with the option to apply for citizenship while working. But as the Trump administration began its crackdown on immigration, H-1B visas eventually came under scrutiny, and in 2019 32% of H-1 B visas were denied, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services documents released through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

    Now Bepauche, and numerous international teaching contracting companies across the country, apply for J-1 visas, that technically are for students and teachers participating in “cultural exchange,” programs. The visa can be extended for a maximum of five years, and recipients cannot apply for citizenship or permanent residence.

    The end result of the complex process that brings teachers from other countries to San Juan County happens in the classrooms.

    Along with teaching her students bits and pieces of the Filipino language, C.V. Koogler Middle School history teacher Albores says when she teaches aspects of world history, she tries to include snippets of Pilipino history into her lesson, and how that history connects and interacts with world history – especially U.S.-Philippine relations.

    That subject matter not only includes the American invasion and occupation of the Philippines from 1899 to 1902, but also the establishment of the first public school system by Americans in the Philippines.

    “We learn from the culture, but at the same time we share our culture,” says Albores, “Our students are very interested. They ask a lot of questions. It’s a privilege for me to be in a history class, I can share the history of the Philippines.”

    “You will learn a lot from here,” said Erika Rose-Cahilig, a fifth grade teacher who is also contracted through Bepauche at Park Avenue Elementary, “There are big opportunities for teachers to learn, at the same time, we will have a chance to share and talk about our culture.”

    Maghinay moved to Farmington in 2016 to take on a teaching position at Kirtland Central High School, and, with her, Bepauche moved into a small office on Main street. With that office space, Maghinay built and now co-owns a Filipino grocery store and restaurant attached to her office called Manila Sunrise. It is filled with Filipino snacks, frozen fish, Boba milk tea and a rotating menu of Filipino dishes cooked by Mary Grace Hundumon.

    Maghinay hopes that the market can not only serve the needs of San Juan County’s Filipino population, which she described as, “bigger than you think,” but she also hopes that the market can introduce Filipino food and culture to local people.

    “In the Philippines rice is the staple food, here it’s a side dish,” said Riva Alipin, an integrated algebra teacher at Aztec High who is also contracted by Bepauche. “We’re slowly adjusting, but we’re gaining weight because of carbs and more calories in the food here.”

    Alipin, Rose-Cahilig, Albores, and five other international teachers all live in an apartment complex in Aztec.

    They all agree that they are enjoying working in Aztec, but there are adjustments. Other than the cold weather, the teachers are adjusting to the food in Aztec, behavioral problems in their classes, and some still feel a little bit jet lagged from a 14-hour plane ride from the Philippines that ended in Albuquerque the weekend before school started,

    “Of course we miss the food, and our family, but it’s okay, through the internet we can contact them anytime,” said Alipin, “but that is the biggest challenge we have to endure, being far away from home.”

    Another challenge rarely talked about is the fee each teacher paid to come to Aztec. Bepauche itself charged $4,500 for “service fees.” Another $4,000 went to procuring visa and transcript services, and another $1,500 went toward airplane tickets and other miscellaneous travel costs.

    “That’s big money in our country,” said Alipin, “like a half million.”

    Albores described having to go into debt to a “loan shark” in the Philippines to help raise the needed funds.

    Maghinay acknowledges the high cost, and the debt that most of her clients have to take on to pay it, but, she said, “I paid a lot of money when I first got here, so I try to make our prices fair.” The $10,000 is about half of the total amount of what she said she paid when she came to the U.S.

    In 2010 a group of Filipino contract teachers filed a class action lawsuit against the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board, claiming they were cheated out of tens of thousands of dollars and forced into exploitative contracts.

    Maghinay stresses that she, and her company, are transparent at the very beginning about the cost of her services.

    “I have to protect our teachers,” she said, “I know what they’re going through. I remember I got depression, I couldn’t sleep when I first got to the U.S., I know all of those things. We treat teachers like our own family.”

    The contracted teachers interviewed for this story had nothing but praise for both Bepauche and the Aztec school district.

    “Here we found a family,” Alipin said, “We are happy to be in Aztec.”
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  5. #165
    Speed and its impact on education

    By: Paolo A. Bolaños - @inquirerdotnet

    04:03 AM October 30, 2019

    The French theoretician Paul Virilio (1932-2018 ) thinks that “acceleration” or “speed” conditions political and economic power. This means that the intensification of acceleration brings about social, political and economic changes in society. In other words, “societal progress” is conditioned not necessarily by the building of structures and networks, but by the rate or speed of mobility involved in building such structures and networks. Acceleration circumvents the permanence of institutions.

    Acceleration comes with a price. It radically alters our sense of time and space, affecting the way we interact with one another and the way we navigate our surroundings. Technological advancements, occasioned by acceleration, have not only impacted our lives by constantly changing the way we move, but have also resulted in practices that hamper our creativities and freedoms. We ignore these damaging practices by conveniently invoking the idea of modern progress.

    In the book “The Original Accident,” Virilio speaks of the invention of “artificial accidents” that come with technological inventions. For example, a crisis such as the millennium bug is only real because computers are prone to breakdowns and viruses. Likewise, traffic accidents are only real because of automobiles, and derailments are only real because of trains. These “modern occupational hazards” are caused by our accelerated production of things that alter our living environments.

    Judging by the rate of speed we are experiencing, I fear that we are not going to hit the brakes anytime soon. We are forced to catch up — to “keep up with the times,” as they say.

    A similar phenomenon is happening in the sphere of Philippine education today. Universities are now obsessed with the total quality management approach, the most palpable instance of which is the adoption of the technical language of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). University administrators now gauge success based on the satisfaction of customers or benefactors in the guise of measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) and key result areas (KRAs). KPIs and KRAs are measured in the classroom in the form of measurable “outcomes” that students must be able to perform in standardized ways.

    However, TQM, or quality assurance in the context of education, is focused more on the processes and procedures related to what, I think, are erroneously dubbed as “excellent services” (like teaching or research) and “products” (number of graduates or number of published articles) than on genuine quality. Universities are now being run as if they are corporations or, worse, factories, and as such, they must accelerate the same way as corporations and factories. TQM/QA is preoccupied with the regulation of production hiccups or artificial accidents that derail production efficiency—in other words, “crisis management.”

    The ideology of TQM/QA has resulted in the invention of “artificial accountability” and a damaging “culture of audit,” argues Stefan Collini (“Speaking of Universities,” 2017). Meanwhile, Bill Readings quips that the university’s central figure is now the “administrator” and no longer the professor (“The University in Ruins,” 1997). Moreover, Jerry Muller observes that educational institutions today are obsessed with playing the game of metrics, conflating quantity and quality (“The Tyranny of Metrics,” 2018 ).

    University ranking mechanisms originally were mere reflections of excellent practices in education. Today, however, the ultima finis of universities is to be ranked, accredited, assessed (or “liked,” to use social media slang). We forget that university education is for the cultivation of culture, the formation of character and the democratization of knowledge. These things require time. Yes, the process is slow!

    I jokingly asked my students recently: “When was the last time you’ve participated in anything remotely academic or scholarly in the university? All you see around you are tarpaulins and a hundred nonacademic events happening at the same time! It seems like we don’t have time to be a university!”

    Paradoxically, we don’t have time, but we behave in an accelerated and precarious fashion. So, when do we hit the brakes?

    * * *

    Paolo A. Bolaños, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy and the former head of the Department of Philosophy, University of Santo Tomas, Manila. He is the founding editor in chief of Kritike: An Online Journal of Philosophy (www.kritike.org). He can be reached at pabolanos@ust.edu.ph.
    Last edited by Joescoundrel; 10-30-2019 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Inadvertent smiley
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI


 
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