WELCOME BACK ISSUE September 20, 2013
Issue 3 Vol. 87
1 Mangini Way, Burlingame, CA 94010
New principal, new vision: Principal Yim promotes student learning By Amelia Berger
This group, to be called the Principalâ€™s Advisory ComPLWWHH3$& LVWKHĂ€UVWVWHSLQJHWWLQJPRUHVWXGHQWLQSXWLQWKHJRLQJVRQRI%+67KLVW\SHRILQSXWLVLPSRUtant because it helps administrators gauge the feelings of students about school events and rules, but it also passes information from the students to the administrators about events or problems around the school of which the administrators may not be aware. This type of organization marks a change in the style in ZKLFK%+6LVEHLQJUXQDVZHOODVDFKDQJHLQLGHDOVDERXW what a school should be. â€œI want our students to feel like they are at home here, that they get a solid education and feel like they can go out in the world and do whatever they want,â€? Yim said. â€œThat does mean that we really need to be aware of what students are learning and how theyâ€™re learning.â€? This kind of system dates back to her past as a teacher. â€œBeing an administrator I feel like I donâ€™t have as much time to connect with students on a more personal level,â€? Yim said. â€œWhen I was a teacher I could do that, and I Principal Yim laughs at a studentâ€™s joke at lunch miss that.â€? $PXOWLWXGHRIFKDQJHVKDYHĂ RRGHG%XUOLQJDPH+LJK This type of administrating is more student-centered School this year, including a new block schedule, some than the one we might be used to, but it doesnâ€™t mean that differences in scheduling procedures and, perhaps the big- the kids will be running the school. JHVWRIDOODQHZSULQFLSDO3ULQFLSDO'L<LPRXUĂ€UVWIHâ€œI do have certain expectations about how students bePDOHSULQFLSDOVWDUWHGRXWKHUĂ€UVW\HDUZLWKXVMXVWDVWKH have but I would never turn a student away if they had a VWXGHQWVGLGLQDVHDRIQHZH[SHULHQFHV+RZHYHUUDWKHU question or a concern. Iâ€™m here for the kids,â€? Yim said. than being stalled by the change in environment, Yim has â€œItâ€™s really important to me that every student in this school powered ahead with getting to know the student body and feels connected and if thereâ€™s something that weâ€™re not doimplementing her vision for our school. Many of her poli- ing, I want to know what it is.â€? cies involve giving more weight to student opinion in the Many students have already noticed Yim walking school. around the hallways throughout the day, and it seems that â€œIâ€™m starting a student advisory, a group of students this desire to be around the students will carry on through who will be meeting with me on a regular basis [...] to talk the school year in the classrooms, in the hallways and at about student issues,â€? Yim said. school events.
Principal Yim mingles with students during lunch â€œI like to go to the events because I get to see really talented people at concerts and theater performances and athletic sports and robotics at all these amazing events where everyone else would have to pay, but I have all of these amazing students so I donâ€™t have to,â€? Yim said. â€œI think itâ€™s amazing the talent that we have here.â€? Yim plans to make herself a constant feature at on-camSXVHYHQWVDQGWRDWWHQGDVPDQ\DIWHUVFKRRO%+6HYHQWV as possible to take advantage of this opportunity. The presence of the principal at the student events, the new devices for student input in school affairs, the more RSHQQDWXUHRIWKHDGPLQLVWUDWLRQDQGWKHPRGLĂ€HGVFKHGuling and tardy policies should make this year different from any previous. Yim wants to foster good relationships with the students DW%+6VRVKHHQFRXUDJHVVWXGHQWVWRFRPHXSWRKHUGXUing her walks in the hallway and introduce themselves, or MXVWVD\DIULHQGO\KHOOR
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After a summer of frustration and anger towards the &ROOHJH %RDUG RYHU 0LOOV +LJK 6FKRRO $GYDQFHG Placement scores remain invalidated after U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong denied the San Mateo 8QLRQ+LJK6FKRRO'LVWULFWÂˇVUHTXHVWIRUUHVWRUDWLRQRIWHVW scores. â€œ[The reinstatement of Millsâ€™ scores] would result in colleges and universities being less likely to rely on the integrity of such scores,â€? Armstrong said. The trouble started Monday, May 13 when an anonymous student sent an email to the Educational Testing Service stating that the school did not follow proper guidelines. 7KHHPDLOKLJKOLJKWHGVRPHRIWKHĂ DZVGXULQJWKHDGministration of the exam, including students talking during WKHEUHDNDSURFWRUXVLQJDFHOOSKRQHDĂ DZHGVHDWLQJDUrangement at circular tables and a delayed start. The email urged the ETS to investigate these problems. Between Thursday, May 16 and Monday, July 8, as estimated by ETS spokesman Jason Baran, the ETS and College Board examined the email and investigated the school. After looking into the issues outlined in the email, the ETS sent a letter to Mills explaining why they had invalidated 634 AP exam scores. The reason: improper seating arrangements. Instantaneously, students became outraged because WKH\KDGQRFRQWURORYHUVHDWFRQĂ€JXUDWLRQ â€œI was devastated when I heard my scores had been wiped out,â€? senior Konrad von Mayrhauser said. While the students didnâ€™t have the ability to control where they sat, the administrators did. According to Deputy Superintendent Elizabeth McManus, the school violated the ETS seating guidelines. â€œIn some classrooms, there were a few round tables XVHGÂľ0F0DQXVVDLGÂ´6WXGHQWVDUHVXSSRVHGWREHĂ€YH feet apart.â€? Despite Millsâ€™ disobedience of the rules, many believe that the students shouldnâ€™t suffer because there was no cheating. In an emergency meeting Tuesday, July 23, the IRXU6DQ0DWHR8QLRQ+LJK6FKRRO'LVWULFWERDUGPHP-
Burlingame students reenact Mills High School students taking their AP tests bers voted unanimously to engage in legal proceedings to resolve the matter. â€œSuing the ETS will lead to more careful tracking of evidence before they invalidate test scores,â€? von Mayrhauser said. In their lawsuit, the district said that there was no evidence of any wrongdoing by any of the students. Therefore, the AP scores shouldnâ€™t be canceled. Although the ETS has refused to reinstate the results at this point in time, they agreed to give students the opportunity to retake their exams for free August 9-17. Due to several weeks off for summer vacation, Mills held review sessions for some of the most popular AP subMHFWVVXFKDV$386+LVWRU\DQG$3%LRORJ\ â€œIâ€™ve really only had a couple days to study,â€? Mills graduate Valerie Fates said. â€œItâ€™s really disappointing that I put in all the time and effort this year and I donâ€™t get to see the results for it.â€?
Unlike Fates, several teens refused to retake the test due to the limited preparation time. â€œNot only is it a waste of time and effort for the students to retake the AP tests; it would be virtually impossible with less than a month of preparation,â€? senior Jason Chun said. According to Mills Principal Paul Belzer, only about one-third to half of the students retook their AP English Literature exam. To express their grievances and attract attention, students created a website and a petition. By the end of July, they had received support from Congresswoman Jackie 6SHLHUDQG6WDWH6HQDWRU-HUU\+LOO Speier led a conference call Monday, July 29 with College Board representatives and offered a solution to prevent future seating issues after Advanced Placement and College Readiness at College Board senior vice-president Trevor Packer said that Mills signed a document stating that correct seating charts were in place. â€œThe seating irregularities issue is on page 46 of your manual,â€? Speier said. â€œIf itâ€™s a critical element in the test taking situation, you need to make it much more upfront.â€? While Speier suggested that the seating regulations be PHQWLRQHGHDUOLHULQWKHPDQXDO+LOOIRFXVHGPRUHRQWKH issue of student conduct during examinations. â€œIf [the ETS hasnâ€™t] been able to determine cheating, WKHUHÂˇVQRKDUPGRQHÂľ+LOOVDLG Despite no proof of students cheating and a petition reaching a total of over 4,000 signatures within two weeks, it does not appear likely that scores will be reinstated. â€œAt this point, we have no plans or intentions to reinstate the scores,â€? Baran said. â€œ[The investigation] wasnâ€™t really an issue of cheating.â€? $VWKH0LOOEUDHFRPPXQLW\UHĂ HFWVRQWKHĂ€DVFRRQH question lingers in their minds: whoâ€™s to blame? Proctors? ETS? Administration? The anonymous student informant? While there may not be one clear answer, it is certain that thousands have been impacted by one email. *** Principal Belzer could not be reached for comment; Jason Baran was not permitted to provide updates on the districtâ€™s lawsuit.
Published on Nov 18, 2013