Nan Austin Blog
Posted by Nan Austin on October 22, 2014
Not every child has someone around who knows how to read a bedtime story, who answers when they speak, or uses complete sentences – in any language. Those are the real have-nots.
Children without a functional vocabulary start their first day at school already way behind, already on track to fail. They are overwhelmingly poor, though not every family scrimping from tiny, iffy paycheck to paycheck has kids in that basket.
Stanislaus Community Foundation President Marian Kaanon started school in America at age 7 as a low-income immigrant who spoke no English. By high school, she was winning speech and debate competitions. Her success she credits to her parents, she told a Stanislaus County literacy task force at its first meeting two weeks ago.
Posted by Nan Austin on October 16, 2014
Listening to an anti-Common Core speaker last week got On Campus columnist Nan Austin thinking about what has changed in math tasks for our youngest students.
Posted by Nan Austin on October 8, 2014
Math in every grade gets greater attention under Common Core. After years of drilling problem sets, teachers are being asked to help kids understand the logic, not just the arithmetic.
Posted by Nan Austin on October 1, 2014
In all the tumult over Common Core, one group has gotten little press: the teachers who did not have to retrain and start over, the ones just starting out.
Posted by Nan Austin on September 25, 2014
Read something naughty today – it’s Banned Book Week. There are plenty of good reads to choose from. I love them particularly because utter indignation got my budding readers to tackle the tough slog that turns learners to literates.
Posted by Nan Austin on September 18, 2014
WalletHub has judged Modesto the fifth-least-educated city in America. On the plus side, the quality of Modesto’s schools and colleges got a much higher rating.
Posted by Nan Austin on September 10, 2014
Are the hands-on projects and more student discussions promised under Common Core happening in your child’s class, and is your child doing well with the change? That’s the bottom line for parents, and an opportunity to find out is coming up with parent-teacher conferences, when you have the teacher’s full attention.