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October 02, 2017



Here’s a new link for tomorrow evening’s school board candidates forum. It will be streamed live, with the recording also posted at the same site: https://youtu.be/Yaf7HT2cbLc

Steve Kassel

What recruited athletes from Burlingame are at Stanford? I coached several D1 athletes from Burlingame at schools all over the country including USD, Colorado and USF. Not aware of any at Stanford. There is a former Burlingame student who was NOT a scholarship athlete at Cal, but made the team as a walk on and is now a coach.

Martin Eisner

Good reading:

21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020

by Shelley Blake-Plock

Last night I read and posted the clip on "21 Things That Became Obsolete in the Last Decade." Well, just for kicks, I put together my own list of "21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020."

1. Desks
The 21st century does not fit neatly into rows. Neither should your students. Allow the network-based concepts of flow, collaboration, and dynamism help you rearrange your room for authentic 21st century learning.

2. Language Labs
Foreign language acquisition is only a smartphone away. Get rid of those clunky desktops and monitors and do something fun with that room.

3. Computers
Ok, so this is a trick answer. More precisely this one should read: 'Our concept of what a computer is'. Because computing is going mobile and over the next decade we're going to see the full fury of individualized computing via handhelds come to the fore. Can't wait.

4. Homework
The 21st century is a 24/7 environment. And the next decade is going to see the traditional temporal boundaries between home and school disappear. And despite whatever Secretary Duncan might say, we don't need kids to 'go to school' more; we need them to 'learn' more. And this will be done 24/7 and on the move (see #3).

5. The Role of Standardized Tests in College Admissions
The AP Exam is on its last legs. The SAT isn't far behind. Over the next ten years, we will see Digital Portfolios replace test scores as the #1 factor in college admissions.

6. Differentiated Instruction as the Sign of a Distinguished Teacher
The 21st century is customizable. In ten years, the teacher who hasn't yet figured out how to use tech to personalize learning will be the teacher out of a job. Differentiation won't make you 'distinguished'; it'll just be a natural part of your work.

7. Fear of Wikipedia
Wikipedia is the greatest democratizing force in the world right now. If you are afraid of letting your students peruse it, it's time you get over yourself.

8. Paperbacks
Books were nice. In ten years' time, all reading will be via digital means. And yes, I know, you like the 'feel' of paper. Well, in ten years' time you'll hardly tell the difference as 'paper' itself becomes digitized.

9. Attendance Offices
Bio scans. 'Nuff said.

10. Lockers
A coat-check, maybe.

11. IT Departments
Ok, so this is another trick answer. More subtly put: IT Departments as we currently know them. Cloud computing and a decade's worth of increased wifi and satellite access will make some of the traditional roles of IT -- software, security, and connectivity -- a thing of the past. What will IT professionals do with all their free time? Innovate. Look to tech departments to instigate real change in the function of schools over the next twenty years.

12. Centralized Institutions
School buildings are going to become 'homebases' of learning, not the institutions where all learning happens. Buildings will get smaller and greener, student and teacher schedules will change to allow less people on campus at any one time, and more teachers and students will be going out into their communities to engage in experiential learning.

13. Organization of Educational Services by Grade
Education over the next ten years will become more individualized, leaving the bulk of grade-based learning in the past. Students will form peer groups by interest and these interest groups will petition for specialized learning. The structure of K-12 will be fundamentally altered.

14. Education School Classes that Fail to Integrate Social Technology
This is actually one that could occur over the next five years. Education Schools have to realize that if they are to remain relevant, they are going to have to demand that 21st century tech integration be modeled by the very professors who are supposed to be preparing our teachers.
(Ed. Note: Check out Plock's 2010 nomination for best blog post: "Why Teachers Should Blog")

15. Paid/Outsourced Professional Development
No one knows your school as well as you. With the power of a PLN in their backpockets, teachers will rise up to replace peripatetic professional development gurus as the source of schoolwide prof dev programs. This is already happening.

16. Current Curricular Norms
There is no reason why every student needs to take however many credits in the same course of study as every other student. The root of curricular change will be the shift in middle schools to a role as foundational content providers and high schools as places for specialized learning.

17. Parent-Teacher Conference Night
Ongoing parent-teacher relations in virtual reality will make parent-teacher conference nights seem quaint. Over the next ten years, parents and teachers will become closer than ever as a result of virtual communication opportunities. And parents will drive schools to become ever more tech integrated.

18. Typical Cafeteria Food
Nutrition information + handhelds + cost comparison = the end of $3.00 bowls of microwaved mac and cheese. At least, I so hope so.

19. Outsourced Graphic Design and Webmastering
You need a website/brochure/promo/etc.? Well, for goodness sake just let your kids do it. By the end of the decade -- in the best of schools -- they will be.

20. High School Algebra I
Within the decade, it will either become the norm to teach this course in middle school or we'll have finally woken up to the fact that there's no reason to give algebra weight over statistics and IT in high school for non-math majors (and they will have all taken it in middle school anyway).

21. Paper
In ten years' time, schools will decrease their paper consumption by no less than 90%. And the printing industry and the copier industry and the paper industry itself will either adjust or perish.

Bruce Dickinson

Well, I know this Shelly person made the predictions above in 2009, but given we have a little over two years to go until 2020, Bruce Dickinson would be remiss if I didn't say that nothing that she predicted will have come to fruition by 2020. By 2030, think only maybe 30% of what she said may come true.


1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, and 17 are already underway at a couple of public schools (one MS and one HS) I am pretty familiar with.

Steve Kassel

By the way, HI-IQ quoted incredibly misleading numbers. In fact, Harker students did NOT attend those schools in those numbers. That is merely the number of times students were accepted. So, if 10 students submitted applications to 20 schools apiece (which is extremely common), you could have 200 acceptances.


The post says admissions over a three year period.

The admissions posted were to the SPECIFIC school, not random schools.

so 21 students from Harker were ADMITTED to HARVARD over a three year period.

42 students from HARKER were ADMITTED to STANFORD over a three year period or an average of 14 admits per year.

165 students from HARKER were ADMITTED to UC Berkeley from HARKER over a three year period, or an average of 55 students per year.

There is nothing misleading about the stats I posted

Stanford University 42
Harvard University 21
Berkeley 165
Duke University 32
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 122
University of Pennsylvania 23

Bruce Dickinson

Folks, look, Bruce Dickinson went to a pretty good school, NYU, and majored in music. It was a lot easier to get in at that time and I would say while the college helped me learn more about other disciplines and participate in a free expression environment, let me just tell you that despite what I learned in college, it had very little to do with producing dynamite records, winning numerous gold and platinum RIAA certified sales awards, ascending the production ranks at Columbia, and helping define a burgeoning Rock & Roll scene in Southern California.

I would say that the 40+ years of uninterrupted success even continuing into the digital media age was due to aligning my talents with work that I loved, while obsessively and relentlessly trying to perfect my craft.

When it came to my children, I was sure to emphasize that they belong in a school where they fit and are happy. There are many many students who have spent tremendous sacrifices to get into top tier colleges, while being miserable getting there and while attending college trying to achieve a societal "ideal". Being in such a state will not be conducive in allowing someone to discover and align talents with their vocation.

Don't just take it from me. Success stories from many people at the very upper echelons follow very similar themes to what I described! Make sure your kids go to a school where they fit, don't feel overly stressed and pressured and where they have freedom to "explore the space", as it were and find their true calling!

Steve Kassel

You're wrong and you know it. By your foolishness, one student accepted at 50 schools is 50 times better than a student accepted at a single school. It's ridiculous.

Cathy Baylock

I can name three: Caitlin Breen, Adam Klein, and Clay Shubiner!


Taylor Mccann in Soccer and Drew Willoughby in Gymnastics

Let me re-define my post. Burlingame is NOW a good school, but not a great school. I know this offends some parents... but the BHS of today is not the BHS of the past.

Its like calling the current SF Giants a great team BECAUSE they as still the Giants and won a few World Series Championships. Not the same team... not the same school.

Bruce is on point, the match school for student is the most important.

The school data is clear... high schools measure college success by admissions and not enrollments. (I'm not sure why there is any discussion on this issue... a student can only be enrolled in one college.) BHS gets GOOD admissions... not GREAT admissions.

Lets face it, BHS has high quality inputs which SHOULD produce higher quality outputs. The school is not producing admissions related to its student quality.

BHS students will openly voice their grievances. The school spirit SUCKS (except during Little Big Game Week) Many teachers are more arrogant than intelligent.

The student's actually make many of the teachers "look good," rather than the other way around.

BHS needs to reflect upon its past (if there is anyone still there?) and find quality teachers who don't FAKE IT!

BHS parents want more as do the students..... the defense of the current level of mediocrity if offensive.

It seems that Principal Belzer was brought in to clean house on the weak links (as much as he can) and get BHS back to its former self.

Its time to get the Burlingame residents on the SMUHSD Board back on point and help get BHS back to its glory days.

$25,000 it too much to pay in property taxes for mediocrity. At this point, you could do just as well at Hillsdale for less than half the price.


For what it's worth:

Daily Journal endorsements

Burlingame Elementary School District Board of Trustees

Davina Drabkin*, Elizabeth Kendall, Doug Luftman*


It looks like Doug Luftman is the odd man out in more ways than one in today's election:

ELIZABETH KENDALL 27.53% * 2,447
KAY COSKEY 25.70% * 2,285
DAVINA DRABKIN 23.88% * 2,123
DOUGLAS B LUFTMAN 22.89% 2,035

Another close B'game election with 1% or 88 votes separating a winner from the loser and the newcomer tops the list.

Cathy Baylock

Congratulations to the three winners and thank you, Doug Luftman for running a great campaign.

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