EppsNet Archive: Irvine Unified School District

Making it Through High School Alive

Baltimore schools spend a staggering $16,000 per student – the fourth-highest rate in the nation – and still an investigation by Fox45’s Project Baltimore revealed that at six city schools, not one student scored proficient on the statewide tests for English and math. At West Baltimore’s Frederick Douglass High, one of five high schools and one middle school where not one student scored a four or a five on the state test, only one out of 185 students who took the test last year scored a three, while 165 students scored a one, the lowest possible score. — Zero Hedge The schools are: Booker T. Washington Middle School Frederick Douglass High School Achievement Academy at Harbor City New Era Academy Excel Academy at Francis M. Wood High New Hope Academy It looks like if you live in Baltimore, you want to avoid sending your child to a school whose name… Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Ask More Questions

You need to ask more questions. I think there’s a general fear about asking questions. There’s a risk of looking foolish in front of the whole group when it turns out that everyone else already knows the answer. It’s actually very unusual for someone to ask a question to which everyone else knows the answer. If you find it happens to you a lot, you probably want to get that checked out, but normally it’s very unusual. Another scenario: Somebody, maybe a teacher, says something and you think “That doesn’t make sense. I wonder if it makes sense to everyone else. Rather than risk looking foolish in front of the whole group, I’ll wait and see if someone else asks a question.” So you wait for someone to ask a question and no one asks a question. Why? Because they’re all waiting for someone to ask a question. Many people,… Read more →

The Hardest Available Challenge

One of my colleagues at work has a son in 6th grade. She’s trying to figure out which math class to put him in for 7th grade. Working backward, we know that “normal” kids take Algebra I in 9th grade, the smarter kids take Algebra I in 8th grade, and the smartest kids take Algebra I in 7th grade. Placement depends on how a kid scores on the math placement test. My co-worker’s concern is if her kid gets a top score on the placement test and he’s eligible to take Algebra I in 7th grade, does she want him to do that, or to wait till 8th grade? If he takes Algebra I in 7th grade, that would mean he’d be taking the hardest math classes all through high school. Would it be better from a college admission standpoint to take easier classes and get all A’s, or take… Read more →

Donald Bren Can Kiss My Ass

Look at this picture. Donald Bren is almost 80 and yet his face looks like a snare drum with eyes. Forbes has an interview with Bren — the billionaire chairman of the Irvine Company — on how to fix up K-12 education: When state funding for Irvine public schools began to diminish some time ago, my Irvine Company colleagues helped me to provide private funding support . . . Additionally, we have developed annual teacher recognition and reward programs that provide financial awards for teachers who demonstrate outstanding results in educating our students. By making capital available for unfunded programs and providing a balanced curriculum and financial incentives to teachers based on results, Irvine Unified School District continues to rank among the finest educational systems in the nation . . . The interview goes on in this vein: I, I, I. Me, me, me. Donald Bren is kidding himself, along with… Read more →