Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Increasing student interest in science, math

Read an interesting article in the times about Obama's attempt to spurt students to purse science..

As a teacher of Math and Computer Science, I completely agree with the fact that not enough students are pursuing these fields. While I doubt that having movie stars or athletes promoting science will do anything, some of the other initiatives might make a difference. Read the article to learn more.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sleeping During Testimony

I spent 2 years in the New York city public school system at a rough inner manhattan school and, during that time, knew of 3 different teachers who received enough unsatisfactories to be 'tried' to see if they should retain their licenses. Now, I myself was never in their classrooms so I'm not writing to judge them or my school--but I couldn't help but be amazed by a recent article in the New York Times education . Apparently, 1 artibtrator who was in charge of deciding the fate of a new york city teacher's job and (I think license) actually feel asleep during testimony. Here's a direct quote from the times's article:
Arbitrator Goldberg’s sleep ‘episodes’ were witnessed by three department attorneys, as well as two hearing witnesses.”

Just had to share this one. Sometimes is truth is stranger than fiction

Monday, November 2, 2009

NYTimes article on education games

Don't have much time here but jst a quick post--read a great article in the New York Times about how education based video games are becoming more and more popular. Give the article a read.

Personally, my favorite site for math games is The Math Games.com

Sunday, November 1, 2009

New York Tutoring

Another interesting article on new york tutoring--one of my favorite subjects and one I've written about before.

I sometimes wonder what tutors can make in other suburbs. $125 to $140 an hour for high school level tutoring in new york

I'd be curious to know what the going rate for calculus tutors in other places like Boston, San Francisco is .

Test Prepping in New York and Los Angeles

Read an interesting article here --the basic premise is that students do not have enough play time at school--that nowadays students's schedules are much more structured with little 'choice' time. Here's a direct quote:
Among the findings is the fact that kindergartners in New York City and Los Angeles spend almost three hours a day engaged in reading and math instruction and test preparation, leaving fewer than 30 minutes for "choice time," or play.

Apparently teachers in New York city and LA are doing a lot of test prepping. Now, I've certainly never taught in the elementary levels, but I can definitely say that the same emphasis on test scores pervades both of the New York high schools where I have taught--one of which was an inner city school in Manhattan and the other is a high nonperforming district in Westchester county. For better or for worse, No Child Left Behind has imbued schools and teachers with a sense of the importance of standardized tests-- after all, a large factor in your school's ratings has to do with these test scores so it is only natural.