Posted By: Francis Koster Published: January 1, 2023
Several badly designed teacher’s pay proposals now before the N.C. Legislature claim they will pay teachers more if they do their jobs well. They will not. The proposed new laws would have educators’ pay raised only if their student’s learning improves year-after-year on state-wide tests. This is profoundly unfair to teachers in older school buildings. …
Posted By: Francis Koster Published: December 28, 2022
Students change classrooms at Mariam Boyd Elementary in Warrenton on Dec. 7, 2021. The school opened in 1957 and needs renovation. In 2019, the Warren County school board closed another elementary school due to concerns the aging heating system could fail. The writer heads a nonprofit called the Pollution Detectives, which lends electronic equipment to …
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. 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. 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. On the single day of December 9, 2020, Covid-19 killed more than 3,157 Americans, and almost 300,000 newly infected were identified.
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:
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. 
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 …
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 …
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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