Zoom School.Joe Visitacion

A chance for real education reform borne from the struggle with COVID exists today

As millions of students (and their parents) discovered the potential of learning from home during the COVID-induced dispersion of entire schools into an educational diaspora, some lessons learned will endure. As we recall students and teachers onto campuses, attempting to reconnect school communities, an opportunity for real innovation in education dawns, though not without struggle. In response to Ms. Washington’s…

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A meditating frog

Keep Calm and Learn On

Calm and concentration are essential to learning. Yet, in the high stakes, fast-paced, memorize and regurgitate modern American academic meritocratic classroom, where secondary school students switch from learning Calculus to Shakespeare in five minutes or less after deftly navigating the social complexity in crowded (even in COVID-affected days) hallways from one class to the next, calm is difficult to find…

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On Children

Kahlil Gibran’s timeless poem provides a contemplation as we all share concerns for the youngest generations. And, while parents are typically the primary adult mentors for children, we all bear the responsibility of helping children realize their full potential. Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you…

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Frustrations About Testing

To stymie cheating, teachers are changing assessments. Instead of simply reiterating the concepts learned, students are being asked to explain their answers or apply the concepts learned. However, no one shared the changes in how they’ll be assessed with students, inciting frustration amongst students as well as parents, and also teachers.  Online, students have access to calculators, Wikipedia and other…

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The Oxymoron of Learning from a Distance

Many students are dismayed, their hopes for a return to a long-established normal this fall, dashed, as school administrators continued suspending or severely curtailing in-person classes, as well as most clubs and sports through at least the end of 2020, due to the on-going COVID-related health risks. Continued distance learning has disrupted the coming of age process, ushering in a…

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Diminished Learning from a Distance

The 2020-21 virtual K-12 schooling experiment, born of necessity from the wholesale disruption of the modern educational process and haphazardly planned and implemented by an institutional elite that does not have to practice managing entrepreneurially since the educational industry is relatively monopolistic, is failing for a variety of reasons.  Although I admit that the sample of students I’ve polled (public…

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The Shrinking American Middle Class, Part 2

Like I posited a few days ago, “Why is the American middle class shrinking?” Firstly, it can be argued that personal success, whether economic or humanistic, requires the acquisition of knowledge and the application of such knowledge. However, rote memorization and regurgitation on cue, skills necessary to compete in the modern American academic meritocracy, yet often devoid of higher order…

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Normal Interrupted

Until mid-March 2020, parents and students each had defined roles and processes when working together to manage a student’s education. Yet, the COVID-induced closure of school campuses and the subsequent implementation of distance learning, upended a well-worn family dynamic. During a typical Pre-COVID school day, all students had a ready-made structure to manage their academic work. Bells indicated the next…

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Phased Return to Educational Normalcy

Leaders in the California Department of Education are proposing to reopen schools in phases, by grade level with elementary school students and teachers returning to campuses first. Elementary school students constitute the greatest number of K-12 students and the greatest percentage of schools in California, so prioritizing their return to school will serve the most students and families.  Though as…

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