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Artificial Intelligence (AI)

How We View Artificial Intelligence At Method

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been making waves in various industries, and public education is no exception. AI technology is slowly revolutionizing the education system, offering new and innovative ways to help students learn more effectively. This is certainly the case at Method, where we're always working on making school more personal and effective (and fun) for our students.  In this blog post, we'll explore the applications of AI in public education, including: 

Charter Schools

Forget The Myths: School Choice Means Putting Students First

Recently, The New Yorker spotlighted the sitcom Abbott Elementary – a comedy about a Philadelphia public elementary school. Abbott Elementary School’s latest nemesis was the bright and shiny charter school down the street. This charter school draws away the “good” kids. They have the brand new building, the new textbooks, the fully equipped computer lab. Yes, the show is a comedy and the mischaracterizations about charter school education pokes fun with hyperbole as comedy often does. However, at the heart of Abbott’s story arc is an “us versus them” theme that still exists in the public education space. If you support public schools, you have to be anti-charter, and the reverse must be true as well. In truth, once the myths are dispelled about charter schools, there really is no need to choose a side.

Online Learning

The Rapid Evolution Of K-12 Online Learning (Moving Beyond The Pandemic)

Though online learning within K-12 education has been around for decades, its prevalence didn’t emerge until the covid-19 pandemic was declared in March, 2020. During a stunning period of mandated quarantine, teachers, students and their parents were forced to turn to alternative modalities in which to teach and learn.   Pre-pandemic online learning was primarily seen in alternative educational settings including online charter schools and various independent study programs. By the time of the pandemic, the majority of these programs were operating fully online and had established a solid foundation to the modality. Traditional public schools who offered homeschooling or independent study programs sometimes included an online version, but it wasn’t very common.

school finance

Your Tax Dollars: How K-12 Public Education Uses Them, And The Impact On Student Achievement

Where do my state and local taxes go? Let’s start with some background on public education finances. With the exception of a few states, residents pay state income taxes each year, and are likely to receive a property tax bill as well.  In most states, a large portion of state income tax is used for public education.  Property taxes generally have a line item for public education as well; often a large portion of your property taxes depending on where you live.  So how does all your state and local tax money get used for students?

School Choice

Charter Schools Offer Families Choice, Access, And Equity

  As a former traditional public school student, teacher, administrator, and parent, I have spent the last thirty years supporting brick and mortar, traditional public school districts. As a progressive,   School Choice   was a four-letter word. Due to the political narrative surrounding the charter system and school choice, I saw the concept of school choice as a way for parents, afraid of what their children might learn in public school, to sequester them into a setting that met their specific political, ethical, or religious expectations. I understood school choice to mean using public funds to send students to private schools. Adding to this   anti-charter bias   were the many examples of fraud and misappropriation in the charter arena. What I realized after doing a little inquiry of my own in the last few years, is the reality that [good] charter schools offer some of the most important things to a family – CHOICE, ACCESS and EQUITY.   Charter schools offer equity and access to their students. In 2022, almost 4 million students attended American charter schools.  84% of them were students of color. Charter schools by definition are public institutions.  Just like their district-bound counterparts, charter schools are held to the same federal and state standards of certification, academic instruction, and fiduciary responsibility. THEY ARE NOT PRIVATE SCHOOLS; the vast majority are not operated for-profit organizations.   Charters offer a free and appropriate public education to students with IEPs whose needs can be met within that school’s setting.  They also offer the flexibility that many district-based public schools do not.  Charter schools are not constrained by the financial status of the zip codes in which they are built.  District schools’ enrollment comes from the surrounding neighborhoods and the communities’ taxes.  When the neighborhood has money, the school district has money.  Charter schools do not have the same residency requirements, allowing a diversity of population unparalleled in neighborhood schools.     Image from the NAPCS report “Never Going Back: An Analysis of Parent Sentiment on Education.   Charter schools are often smaller and tailor themselves to meet the specific needs of their population of students in a way that large comprehensive school districts can't. Charter schools have no guaranteed enrollment; if they are not effective and don’t support students appropriately, they won’t remain in business.  Charter school leaders are incentivized to maximize student achievement so they can stay open! Charter schools have been in existence for several decades, and demand has only increased. Virtual learning, in particular, during the Covid-19 pandemic showed many parents the importance of choice in their child’s education.  It also showed parents that the traditional way is not the ONLY way, with many students opting to remain in a virtual setting even after school campuses reopened.  A 2022 Harris Poll Report analyzing parental attitudes about education found the following: 93% of parents disagree with the current one-size-fits all approach to public education 82% of parents are willing to vote for someone outside of their political party if their education platform aligned with their views 83% of parents agree that education has become a more important political issue to them than it was in the past Among parents who vote in both federal and state/local elections, and equally represented by both major political parties, when asked if any considerations become more important to them when voting in state/local elections, education (55%) was the second most selected issue, closely trailing taxes/taxation (56%) 84% of parents agree that, although they may not choose a charter school for their child, charter schools should be available to families who would choose them.   Image from the NAPCS report “Never Going Back: An Analysis of Parent Sentiment on Education.”   In an age where choice and freedom are at the heart of the country’s political and social focus, it makes sense that increased freedom to choose where our kids get equitably and appropriately educated according to their individual needs is too.  

competency based learning

Let’s Talk Competency: Does One-Size-Fits-All Actually Fit Anyone?

Early on, children learned through exploration; and at their own pace Prior to the inception of a formalized national public education system in the mid-19th century, and since the dawn of time, children taught themselves through play and exploration, moving at their own pace…or at least faster than a saber-tooth tiger could run.  Kids discovered what interested them and took the time they needed to truly understand it.  Early neanderthal children did not all learn how to draw the same animal on their cave wall at the same time so they could socially promote through cave drawing basics alongside their same-age peers.

Independent Study

7 Smart Tips for Getting Your Child More Involved in School

You don't need to understand everything your child is learning at school to get them more involved in their studies. What matters most is that you're there to give them support whenever they need it. Students who are more active in school are often happier and more fulfilled. Here are some tips on what you can do to help your child stay focused, engaged, and happy in school.

parent teacher communication

Parental Involvement Increases Student Success

Seniors volunteering at the Riverside Food Bank. A trip to the LA County Arboretum. Walking through the flower fields in Carlsbad. Touring the USS Midway in San Diego. These are just a few examples of what Method students have been up to over the past few weeks. But what about the parents? Almost invariably, students enrolled at Method have parents or guardians who take a hands-on approach to their child's education. And they deserve time together too. 


Method Bears Basketball: 2022 Season Recap

To say the least, this has been a “red letter” season for the Method Bears 2022 basketball team. This amazing group of young men will go down in the Method Hall of Fame as the first team to ever represent our school in basketball, while positively launching the Method athletics program. Their hard work, diligence and character lays a cornerstone of achievement, affecting generations to come.