Showing posts with label #dualimmersion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #dualimmersion. Show all posts

Thursday, May 14, 2015

@svhsdragons @svusd1 47.7% of Seniors on Path to Complete UC/CSU A-G, well done.

Data courtesy Sonoma Valley Unified School District &
California Department of Education
available online at
The Freshman Teams data discussed here before, and some newer data on Sonoma Valley High's A-G Completion Rate, were both on the Sonoma Valley Unified Board of Trustees agenda on May 12. The Freshman Teams handout that was discussed is here; there was an additional handout regarding the A-G completion rate, which is here. The main table from the second handout is on the right, and the video of the presentation (~29 minutes) is below.

The findings discussed were relatively straightforward. As of the end of the 1st Semester of 2014-15, 136 Sonoma Valley High School seniors are on track to complete the A-G requirements, with a C- or better. With the 
exception of St. Helena,
 whose per-pupil 
expenditures are
 approximately $17,590 
per students versus the
~$9,389 spent in Sonoma
 Valley, SVUSD 
consistently rates as the
 highest performing
 District in the area amongst those with 100 graduates per year or more.

Further, since creating Freshman Teams, Sonoma Valley Unified has moved the majority of its students into the college-potential category as of the end of freshman year, nearly doubling the number in the top tier.  The change in performance is not attributable to either grade inflation or weighting, although there has been a recent substantial increase in students taking advanced coursework.  Should the general performance of the 2010-2011 freshmen (~90% of 3.5 A-G complete three years later, ~50% of 3.0+ A-G complete three years later) be replicated amongst the 2013-14 freshmen when they are seniors, SVUSD’s A-G rate in 2016-2017 would be expected to demonstrate further growth to the neighborhood of 51.9%.

It's kind of dry to read on a page. Seeing it discussed amongst the Trustees, the Superintendent, Sonoma Valley High's Principal, the Student Trustee, and our County Office of Education Representative is another matter entirely.  The video is about 29 minutes long, but if you're interested in education in general, I recommend it to you. And yes, that's me you see speaking from the podium.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dual Immersion Enhances Attention.

The benefit of dual immersion in education has come up here before; the Prospero blog on is the reason that I again return to the subject.  Earlier studies pointed to the benefit of bilingual education by noting enhanced executive function and delayed mental decline; but new research has special relevance for the screen-time enhanced, short attention span generation we all seem to be raising.

Roberto Filippi led a team that investigated the ability of bilinguals -- not those with a modest ability in a foreign language that is rarely employed, but in those who are required to use the language frequently in daily life -- to avoid distraction when concentrating on speech.  The study assessed listening comprehension while interfering conversations, first in English (understood by all subjects), and then in Greek (understood by none), were played at the same time.  The bilinguals exceeded the controls in both measures, supporting the hypothesis of the researchers that switching languages constantly exercises the mind; Prospero compares it to Crossfit for the brain.

This topic came up for David Brooks in the New York Times about four months ago, in his column "The Art of Focus."  Brooks suggested we're all losing the attention "war," living distracted lives, unable to focus on what we want to or should focus on.  Brooks cited research showing that two-thirds of the subjects in a comprehensive study of white collar professionals reported they do not have the ability to focus on one thing at a time at work. For the concerned parent, this is a strong argument that the impact of a dual immersion education, as our students move through their academic and professional careers, may stretch far beyond the obvious power it grants to communicate in more than one language ...