May 1999 Volume 2.9
Visit us at http://www.strategicstudies.com
President's Notes

The Cost of Keeping the Status Quo

Noteworthy

In Memory

Extra! Extra!

Spring Cleaning

College Knowledge

May Links

 

President's Notes

computer.gif (10053 bytes)Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend a conference on Technology and Learning. What a wonderful glimpse of the things we can expect in our future......virtual schools, performance assessments, simulations, virtual staff development, interactivity, and more. While a lot of these are now available at the college level, there is still much work to be done in the K-12 arena. The attendees were mostly university researchers. There is so much we can learn from one another. Their work is applicable in all areas of learning....including adult learning. We need to let these researchers know what is needed, what will work and how we can help them. The greatest achievements will come when we work together to develop and create new tools for learning that extend our thinking and imagination.

Our staff has increased over the last few months. We are pleased we will be able to continue to provide you with the variety of acclaimed Internet Programs you have come to expect, as well as, create new ones. Our future plans include a second edition of E-Tutor, targeted discussion groups, Internet training, customized programs and more. If you would like information about these or any of our programs, please contact me.

 

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The Cost of Keeping the Status Quo

Decision-makers frequently underestimate the costs of doing nothing, of maintaining the status quo. The price of not changing is often less obvious and harder to quantify than the expense of change.

 

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President's Notes

The Cost of Keeping the Status Quo

Noteworthy

In Memory

Extra! Extra!

Spring Cleaning

College Knowledge

May Links

 
In an ideal world, improvement and new opportunity decisions are made on a rational basis: cost effectiveness. Accurate estimates of costs and benefits for each proposed alternative must be calculated. The costs are relatively easy to isolate.

 

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But what about the alternative that doesn’t involve change, the status quo option? Underestimated costs of doing nothing include downtime, clinging to outgrown systems, incompatible mixes of old and new programs and procedures, or using outdated procedures.

 

The demands on education have increased greatly in recent years. Student populations have changed, and community complexity have all increased. Instead of adopting new methods and procedures, some organizations stretch their old systems to accommodate the change they have experienced. Eventually the organization slows down, becomes less efficient or effective, and gives poor service. The costs are public dissatisfaction, more complaints and pressure for privatization

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If an organization prefers to maintain the status quo, it will only change when forced to. This will result in a mishmash of new, old and totally obsolete practices. One way to be prepared for change is to have procedures to respond to new requirements and opportunities......built into the organization. There is no such thing as cost-free status quo.

 

 

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President's Notes

The Cost of Keeping the Status Quo

Noteworthy

In Memory

Extra! Extra!

Spring Cleaning

College Knowledge

May Links

 

Noteworthy

Leisure-time reading outside school is a key to superior classroom performance, according to a study which examined the reading habits of 155 ten-year-olds. The most surprising finding was not the link between outside reading and classroom proficiency, but rather the low amount of outside reading that is actually needed to better school performance.

Astonishingly, ten minutes a day of outside book reading makes a vast difference, according to the study published in Reading Research Quarterly. Improvement tends to level off as outside reading time increases beyond 20 minutes a day.

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Unfortunately most students read very little on their own. Therefore, the study suggests, parents and schools should make sure children have access to interesting books at a suitable vocabulary and comprehension level, and that adults read aloud to them and provide time for reading during each day.

In Memory

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Our sincerest condolences go to the town of Littleton, Colorado as they grieve the loss of students and teacher in the tragic episode that took place last month. We may never have all the answers for why or how this could have occurred, but clearly we all need to ponder our responsibility that such an act can happen.

 

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President's Notes

The Cost of Keeping the Status Quo

Noteworthy

In Memory

Extra! Extra!

Spring Cleaning

College Knowledge

May Links

 

Extra! Extra!

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E-Tutor recently signed an agreement with Edventions, Inc. a Baltimore company, for educational content. Under the agreement, E-Tutor will provide instructional lessons for K-12 students in the areas of Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. E-Tutor will continue to maintain its popular educational website, which provides a curriculum based learning program to individuals and schools.

 

Spring Cleaning

As spring brings out all that is fresh and new, thoughts turn to spring cleaning and packing away our winter hats and gloves. But as we look forward to getting ready for spring, we should not forget all of the progress we have made throughout the school year. It is important to look back so we can see how far we have come. Consider setting up a filing system for the student. These files can prove to be a rich source of inspiration and reflection for any student.

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Grade school students may wish to save cherished artwork and see the progress they have made. With a quick flip through their file, they can see how their cursive writing has become neater, how they can read books with chapters, and how their artwork has improved.

 

 

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President's Notes

The Cost of Keeping the Status Quo

Noteworthy

In Memory

Extra! Extra!

Spring Cleaning

College Knowledge

May Links

 

Middle school students will be able to track the development of their skills. Simple addition and subtraction give way to geometry and pre-algebra. Essays extend beyond a page; science projects involve complex equations and chemicals.

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As their studies become more complicated, students may find their files have grown dramatically in size, an indication of the increasing complexity of their knowledge. They may be surprised to learn how much material they have studied.

High school students may wish to save long English papers which can be revised and turned into college admissions essays. Favorite books can be a source of inspiration; an essay about The Great Gatsby from the 9th grade could be the source of an inspiring AP essay for college credit. Chemistry and biology experiments may be the basis for scholarship applications for science programs.

file.gif (5702 bytes)Over the long run, students can examine these saved files and see how their interests develop. A science fair project from the fifth grade could spark a lifelong interest in chemistry, reflected in more and more complicated projects throughout junior high and high school. History papers about the Civil War can spark an outside interest in re-enactments.

As they look back on these files, students can see how much they’ve improved year by year. The 3rd grade book report about Old MacDonald’s Farm may be a far cry from Animal Farm in 11th grade, but students will be able to see how they have developed into mature young adults with a broad range of knowledge. These school files show students how they’ve grown and where they are heading.

Helen Nam      

 

page 6 - e-News
President's Notes

The Cost of Keeping the Status Quo

Noteworthy

In Memory

Extra! Extra!

Spring Cleaning

College Knowledge

May Links


College Knowledge

money.gif (3302 bytes)A survey of eighth graders’ parents by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission found the parents seriously lacking in college planning information. Although 64 percent of the surveyed parents planned to use their savings to finance their children’s college education, 56 percent said they had no idea how much it was going to cost.

The survey found that parents also lacked knowledge of financial aid and their chances of receiving it, high school courses needed for college admission, and career and job placement information. Because of rising costs and college admission standards, the survey group found that eighth grade is not too early to plan ahead for college.

 

May Links

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No monkeyshines here. Wonderful pictures of primates.
http://www.primates.net/

Gardening for Kids                       
http://www.geocities.com/EnchantedForest/Glade/
3313/index.html

Send an e-greeting for your mother on Mother’s Day or for a new Graduate
http://www.azonline.net/sunshine/index.html

Online resources for students and educators
http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/OER/

Source for finding scholarship money
http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/Canopy/8727/
collegemoney.htm

 

Copyright 1998 Strategic Studies (http://www.strategicstudies.com)