I just came back from a week of vacation so forgive the lack of posts.

Santa Fe Public Schools wants to open an International Baccalaureate program for 7th and 8th graders next year (2014/2015) at DeVargas Middle School. This is just one of many options the district is pitching as part of its overall educational reform programming at the middle and high school levels. I just came back from a school board meeting in which a number of people – students, teachers, parents, and activists (I guess) – offered their views on the various aspects of that reform plan. Several voiced opposition to the IB school, arguing that it will drain resources that can be used to bolster existing programs. (The cost of the IB school over five years is estimated at about $400,000, being it would run at an already existing campus). One student, Gabriel Pacheco, said the fact that 41 percent of people surveyed last year about various options expressed support for a magnet school isn’t impressive, since the other 59 percent represent a majority. Here’s a link to my Wednesday story on the IB school in The New Mexican: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/education/article_1f2005da-be0f-5d6a-b515-f2f073842d08.html

Incidentally Pacheco asked how many of the roughly 50 people sitting in the board meeting (that number includes board members) could explain the quadratic formula. Only nine raised their hands, and I was not one of them. Here we go again with fear of math, right? His argument is that kids don’t like math because they can’t figure out how it applies to them. I mean, who needs the quadratic formula, right? here’s one website that explains that formula: