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On Education – Summer 2011

On Education

We recently sat down with Diane Kantaros to congratulate her on her election to the Rhinebeck Schools Board of Education and discuss her passion for public education.

Congratulations on your recent election to the Rhinebeck Board of Education. Tell us what attracted you to the idea of serving on the BoE.
I try to live by a general rule I’ve heard, “Contribute to things that will be meaningful long after you’re gone.”  I can’t think of a better way than contributing to our next generation’s education.

I first became passionate about education after reading articles showing how unprepared many American students are for college and careers in science and math. By being on the BoE I can get a better understanding of the challenges our schools face and what opportunities can realistically be pursued.

Any bright spots on the horizon for reversing that trend?
Yes. One is the new state math K-12 Common Core State Standards. It is the culmination of 10 years of international research, so there’s a lot to it. One of the most striking things is that it stresses the importance of both procedural skills and understanding concepts.

For example, emphasis is put on the ability to analyze a problem and plan a solution pathway. So it’s about developing problem-solving skills, not just solving a specific problem. And that’s a skill set that’s valuable way beyond the classroom.

It also states “some of the highest priority content for college and career readiness comes from Grades 6-8.”  That stood out because Americans start falling behind in math by middle school.

The standards go on to recommend that assessments should be developed in collaboration with college professors and employers to measure performance in college and at work, an idea I agree with.

This sounds similar to what RSF supports.
It is, because the Foundation based its goals on the NSF research that suggested similar approaches to teaching math and science.

Thanks for your time and good luck in your new position.
Thank you.