Tuesday, December 7, 2010

American Parents are NOT Aware of Their Children's Actual Math Proficiency!!!

‎78% of USA parents report that their children's math performance is in the top 20 percentile!!! Why is it that less than 50% (much lower in New Mexico) of our children meet college readiness standards? Please read the below article and share your thoughts with me. I'd love to hear what you have to say.

USA Today
December 7, 2010

Report: U.S. parents overconfident about kid's math
By Dan Vergano

U.S. parents look out of touch in helping their kids with math, a report suggests, in comparison with one top education nation.In the "Parent Perceptions and Practices Regarding Math Education During the Middle School Years," report, sponsored by technology firm Raytheon, an Eduventures, Inc., research team compared U.S. parents to those in Singapore and the United Kingdom. The technology firm, "relies on a talented engineering workforce," the report says, so it wanted a look at why only 43% of U.S. high school graduates met "College Readiness" standards for mathematics.

"U.S. parents may be overly confident or lacking in the use of accurate metrics around math performance and college preparedness. For example, 78% of U.S. parents report their children's math performances are in the top 20% compared to peers in school," finds the report. Among the findings:

More parents in Singapore (51%) receive teacher advice on their helping with math homework, compared to U.S. and UK parents (25%).
More parents in Singapore (42%) use math tutors for their middle-school age children, than U.S. parents (10%).

More Singapore students (92%) receive out-of-school math teaching than U.S. or U.K. stuedents (less than 50%).

In general, the report concludes that U.S. parents place less emphasis on math skills than Singapore's parents, while for their children, "the employment world into which they graduate will continue to have increased needs for those with science, technology, engineering, and math expertise."

A recent National Academies of Sciences report echoed this concern, saying U.S. science education has "worsened" in the face of increasing international competition.
However, a number of observers have pointed to a lack of jobs, rather than shortfalls in U.S. education, as the driver behind U.S. science education graduation rates. A Georgetown and Rutgers University study found that the best U.S. students left technical fields for better-paying jobs in finance, medicine and law in recent decades.

Motivational Monday

"Don't just let your business or your job make something for you; let it make something of you."
—Jim Rohn

Friday, December 3, 2010

Six Behaviors That Increase Self-Esteem

Six Behaviors That Increase Self-Esteem
by Denis Waitley

Following are six behaviors that increase self-esteem, enhance your self-confidence, and spur your motivation. You may recognize some of them as things you naturally do in your interactions with other people. But if you don’t, I suggest you motivate yourself to take some of these important steps immediately.

First, greet others with a smile and look them directly in the eye. A smile and direct eye contact convey confidence born of self-respect. In the same way, answer the phone pleasantly whether at work or at home, and when placing a call, give your name before asking to speak to the party you want to reach. Leading with your name underscores that a person with self-respect is making the call.

Second, always show real appreciation for a gift or complement. Don’t downplay or sidestep expressions of affection or honor from others. The ability to accept or receive is a universal mark of an individual with solid self-esteem.

Third, don’t brag. It’s almost a paradox that genuine modesty is actually part of the capacity to gracefully receive compliments. People who brag about their own exploits or demand special attention are simply trying to build themselves up in the eyes of others—and that’s because they don’t perceive themselves as already worthy of respect.

Fourth, don’t make your problems the centerpiece of your conversation. Talk positively about your life and the progress you’re trying to make. Be aware of any negative thinking, and take notice of how often you complain. When you hear yourself criticize someone—and this includes self-criticism—find a way to be helpful instead of critical.

Fifth, respond to difficult times or depressing moments by increasing your level of productive activity. When your self-esteem is being challenged, don’t sit around and fall victim to “paralysis by analysis.” The late Malcolm Forbes said, “Vehicles in motion use their generators to charge their own batteries. Unless you happen to be a golf cart, you can’t recharge your battery when you’re parked in the garage!”

Sixth, choose to see mistakes and rejections as opportunities to learn. View a failure as the conclusion of one performance, not the end of your entire career. Own up to your shortcomings, but refuse to see yourself as a failure. A failure may be something you have done—and it may even be something you’ll have to do again on the way to success—but a failure is definitely not something you are.

Even if you’re at a point where you’re feeling very negatively about yourself, be aware that you’re now ideally positioned to make rapid and dramatic improvement. A negative self-evaluation, if it’s honest and insightful, takes much more courage and character than the self-delusions that underlie arrogance and conceit. I’ve seen the truth of this proven many times in my work with athletes. After an extremely poor performance, a team or an individual athlete often does much better the next time out, especially when the poor performance was so bad that there was simply no way to shirk responsibility for it. Disappointment, defeat, and even apparent failure are in no way permanent conditions unless we choose to make them so. On the contrary, these undeniably painful experiences can be the solid foundation on which to build future success.