Thanks for reading in 2014! Postings will resume in early January.
Some links around the web to things that caught my eye in the last week.
The Advisory Committee met on Monday morning to review the enrollment projections for our four elementary schools. The consensus that emerged is that we do not need to redistrict for 2015-16, and the small growth that may occur in future years at Pocopson can be accommodated without changing elementary school boundaries. Continue reading
In this series we are looking at high quality teaching (see the series intro here). We know intuitively that having a great teacher is important. In this post, we examine in economic terms how much great teaching is worth. How much additional value do great teachers add to their students? Continue reading
Last night our middle schoolers took over the Unionville High School auditorium and enchanted the audience with traditional and contemporary holiday music. Principal Tim Hoffman kicked off the evening with an interactive recitation of the first few lines from the 1945 song “Let It Snow“, paying homage to the frightful weather that we all encountered driving to the concert. Continue reading
Some links around the web to things that caught my eye in the last week
This recent op ed in the Wall Street Journal cautions that not only are pension funds under-funded, but they also have a very high portion of their assets held in risky assets. Pennsylvania receives special mention as a large fund holding risky positions (79% of PSERS assets as of 3/31/2014 were held in equities, commodities, and hedge funds — all high risk assets). What is the risk? The risk is that a large market downturn erases pension fund balances, making the under-funding problem even worse. As you may recall from one of my PSER posts, the 2008 stock market drop is one of the contributing factors to PSERS current $32B underfunding problem. So it is not merely a hypothetical risk.
Note: access to the article linked above might require a WSJ online subscription (I accessed it the first time without a problem, but on subsequent tries it was behind the WSJ paywall.)
We intuitively know that teachers have a huge influence on student achievement. Every day it is teachers who are with our students bringing order to the day, delivering lessons, stimulating learning, modeling learning behaviors, and personalizing instruction to each child’s needs. Great teachers engage their students, excite them about learning, and deliver content in interesting ways. Students are changed by great teaching – their curiosity is activated, they engage more deeply with the material, and they make connections between their prior experiences and what is being taught. The result is more learning, more growth, and higher academic achievement.
Pocopson Elementary put on its annual K-3 winter concert this morning. As always the parent turn-out was amazing (as can be seen in the headline photo). It was standing room only, and the video cameras and cell phones were out in full force to capture the kids, who were looking and sounding their best.