Posted By: Francis Koster Published: March 9, 2021

Schools are often the heart of communities.  My own memories of primary school included time spent playing dodgeball on the playground,  my excitement when I was asked to bring my favorite book to school and tell my classmates why I liked it, and too many times having to carry a note home to my parents about some action I did or did not do.  (That never ended well.) Like some members of our community, some school buildings are getting old. Like some of us, their plumbing does not work as well as it once did, and friends and loved ones notice peeling paint, deteriorating roofs, and breathing issues (in the schools). North Carolina’s schools rank 37th of all 50 states in student learning.[1]   Our disappointing ranking is driven in part by old and loved school buildings which do not breathe well.

Posted By: Francis Koster Published: December 20, 2020

Chances of catching Covid-19 are up to 18 times higher if you are exposed to someone who has it while you are indoors compared to being outdoors.[1] This is because the virus particles do not blow away like it would if you were both outside. If you are in a modern building with a new air conditioning system, the danger is less because it was designed bring in oxygen rich fresh air frequently. If you are unlucky enough to work in an old building, the virus concentration grows hourly as the infected folks near you continue to breathe it out. This infection is spread by people who do not know they are infected and for a 10 day period unknowingly infect others until symptoms begin to show up. Every unknowing but infected person appears to infect one other person during that period.[2] On the single day of December 9, 2020, Covid-19 killed more than 3,157 Americans[3], and almost 300,000 newly infected were identified.[4]

Posted By: Francis Koster Published: September 22, 2020

Authored by Kevin Kendrick - Published in Wheel of 7680 - Rotary Magazine August 2020 This has been a remarkable year, mostly for all the wrong reasons. But as challenging as it has been for all of us on differing levels, there are people who are likely having more challenges than we can imagine. Some of these are the students attending CMS Title 1 schools and in particular, our 2nd and 3rd grade students. Here are a few facts:

  • 3rd grade reading proficiency is super-important. Educators say this is the point where most children transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.”
  • According to a new report published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, "Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters," your child's reading proficiency by third grade has a direct correlation to his success in high school and beyond.

Posted By: Francis Koster Published: April 7, 2020

Response to threats to our economy like the coronavirus usually come in at least two waves. We are headed for a real mess - but we could give it a silver lining. To see the size of the mess, look at this chart, which shows the number of unemployment insurance claims filed last week compared to the history of claims filed going back to 1967. Federal and state economic rescue efforts can fix two problems at once if we act quickly.

Posted By: Francis Koster Published: March 31, 2020

All eyes are watching for the impact of one invisible threat to America. There are actually two threats coming.  Some food will become hard to get. America imports one third of its fresh vegetables and more than half of its fresh fruit from from countries that already have the coronavirus epidemic. Importing food is not limited to acquiring food from other countries - the majority of America's heavily populated east coast states import fruits and veggys from west coast states. [1]

Posted By: Francis Koster Published: September 23, 2016

A different kind of holler: Appalachia’s future is looking a lot more high-tech by Tom Eblen as appeared in the Lexington Herald Leader September 19, 2016 I have attended many conferences in the past two decades about creating a more diverse economy in Eastern Kentucky to replace the long-anticipated collapse of the region’s coal-mining industry. Most …

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Posted By: Francis Koster Published: February 22, 2016

When Low-Income Parents Go Back to School By Leah Askarinam   February 19, 2016 The Atlantic Leon Sykes has eight children at home, works two jobs, and drives for Uber and Lyft on the side. Yet the 34-year-old father has found time to take classes Monday through Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. to earn his …

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Posted By: Francis Koster Published: January 11, 2016

Breathing Fresh Air Into The School Grading Debate Copyright Francis P. Koster Ed.D. I know how to make sure local school kids score higher on statewide ranking tests - you do it by letting the students breathe clean air. The quality of indoor air has been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as one of …

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Posted By: Francis Koster Published: November 15, 2014

Why Todays Students Need Our Support   by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.   For the next two minutes or so reading time I intend to shock you with information, increase your anxiety about the future of our society, and tell you what you can do about it. The focus is our often criticized K-12 education …

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Posted By: Francis Koster Published: November 5, 2014

Narrowcasting of News Threatens Survival of New Ideas by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D. We are a more complex society than most realize - Over 40 languages are routinely spoken in American homes[1].   Almost 7 million Americans speak an Asian language. 35 Million speak Spanish. Almost one million speak Arabic - roughly the same as speak …

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