Well, the new PISA scores are out and yes, the US ranked 26th from the bottom in schooling. What is PISA and who cares? PISA stands for the Program for International Student Assessment. It is a worldwide study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), of 15 year old school pupils’ scholastic performance in mathematics, science and reading. 65 cities and countries are compared every three years with a sampling of 470,000 students throughout the world.
The news that is spinning this past week when the PISA scores were released Tuesday is that the U.S. is stagnant in the scores or mediocre at best. Asia is outperforming everyone, but at what cost? Joe Bower in his blog here put it in light, that it’s about the quality of life in a nation. (I love the quote by Maya Angelou: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.”) Finland does not use standardized tests until students reach High School age. It is also about poverty. Historian Diane Ravitch, a twitter friend of mine, writes here that the more we focus on tests, the more we will lose creativity. Read her article because she gets into the history of PISA and our nation.
Then you have New York Times columnist Tom Friedman writes here that we are stagnant and that is not good for a globalized world. And then you can see the push at the end of the article for the education reform agenda. Below in the Twittersphere, I highlight what Michelle Rhee tweeted out regarding the PISA study: “We can’t make excuses for a system that allows American students to be stagnant as other countries surge ahead. We cannot accept mediocrity.”
Now you wonder why our nation of governors have signed on to the Common Core State Standards. This will not go away, and as I noted before, it will be an interesting ride for the next few years In my opinion, for what it’s worth, I question why aren’t we looking at poverty and how to tackle that problem? Is standardization of curriculum the way to go? What about societal issues? And how about funding our schools properly? I recognize how hard all of you work to make the Common Core lessons engaging for your students. I am just questioning and learning why as a nation, we are moving in this direction and trying to understand the facts. We are in for a long overhaul. Keep your chin up – You are the best of the best! Have a great week!
- Bus Duty for Dec 9 – Dec 20 Team 7: Paula Bates, Marci Tyler, Sarah Pawananon Upcoming bus duty: Jan 6 – Jan 17 Team 8: Erin Gates, Beth Siebels, Gina Taylor
- Thank you to Paula Bates for hosting our Holiday Party this past Friday. What a fun time had by all!
- If you are showing a video such as movies, et. al, please note there is a video approval form that needs to be completed. You can get a copy in the office.
- Our next staff meeting is Tuesday, December 17th. This is our Thank You Circle. Please bring a dish to share and 5 $1.00 lottery tickets to put into a kitty and then we will all have a chance to pick 5. The lucky winner treats all of us!!
- Our Staff Stocking extravaganza starts Monday. Thank you Betty for a great idea. We have 33 staff members participating. That is AWESOME!
- Co-Op bids are due January 7th. Please be conservative in your orders as we would like to “beef up” technology purchases.
- 12 Nelson Mandela quotes you will not see in the mainstream media.
- Welcome back Brenda Trivilino!!
- My friend Tony Sinanis is guest blogger on Peter DeWitt’s blog. He writes about Branding Your School.
- In their Sunday Review, the New York Times editorial board asks Who Says Math Has to be Boring. A must read and will be a four part series regarding math and science teaching. It will argue that “the American system of teaching these subjects is broken.”
- The Wall Street Journal weighs in on the PISA scores in this editorial.
App of the Week
Please check the East Side Announcement page for updated dates, announcements etc. Lisa is updating this continually! http://gouverneurcentralschool.org/esannounce/
- What are the five things you are grateful for? Make a list daily. It does wonders!
- Be the change agent for kids! Be a champion for kids. Every kid deserves a champion!
Moody’s Mega Math Challenge is a free team-based math competition for juniors and seniors. Winning teams win scholarship money. In the contest, students have to solve open-ended, realistic math problems.
The use of data in schools has been one of the hot topics in education. You can read SED’s “testimony” to the Assembly Education Committee’s hearing. OCM BOCES has prepared an explanation of the role of data in schools for general audiences (feel free to distribute or reproduce).
- Explore the similarities and differences in learners and gain insight about how they are likely to respond to classroom instruction
- Identify options for meeting the needs of the wide range of students including gifted students, struggling learners, students with special needs, second language learners, resistant and reluctant learners
Explore UDL and options for scaffolding within CCLS target learning outcomes
Kid President has twenty things we should say more often to each other. This video would be great for a morning meeting – kids could talk about what they might add to his list.
A scene from the film ‘Star Kid’ — Trimark Pictures/Everett
This blog from the Wall Street Journal is for parents of accused bullies. It might not be a bad idea to share it with parents when the situation arises.