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©1999 BaySCAN


FSNet News #4 -- June 28, 1999

Congratulations to all for the conclusion of another successful school year! This is the final edition of the newsletter for this school year. We at BaySCAN, however, will be active during the summer with a number of activities including the Summer Workshop on August 9, 1999 and free technical support throughout the summer. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions, comments, or feedback. Have a great summer and we look forward to working with you in August.


1 Announcements:

1.1 Summer Workshop Reservations
1.2 Technical Assistance During the Summer
1.3 Fourth Annual Summer STC Academy
1.4 NAF Annual Institute for Staff Development
1.5 New California Partnership Academy Grants

2 Issues & Best Practices:

2.1 Oak Groveís Work on Interest Paths
2.2 SFSTCP Work on Career Paths

3 Resources:

3.1 "At Chase, the Chairman Tries to Make All Sides Winners"
3.2 "A Fundís Quick Slide From First to (Almost) Worst"


__1.1 Summer Workshop Reservations

Our summer workshop "Developing Best Practices-Focus on Curriculum" is scheduled for August 9, 1999 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. If you havenít responded to this no-charge professional development opportunity yet, please do so soon so we can plan for materials and food. This will be a great opportunity to learn about best practices in the curricular area. We will be sending more details in the future.

__1.2 Technical Assistance During the Summer

We are providing technical assistance to a number of schools this summer in the area of program development, introduction to SCANS, using SCANS to integrate curriculum, creating project based learning, developing integrated thematic instruction, and curriculum development. We are available, at no-charge, to work with teams or individuals. Please contact us if you would like some help during the summer.

__1.3 Fourth Annual Summer STC Academy

The "Fourth Annual Institute for Staff Development" is scheduled for July 21-23, 1999 at the Desert Springs Marriott Resort & Spa. This is a very popular and informative conference. This yearís theme is standards and assessments. If you would like information, feel free to contact me. If you are planning on attending, please send us a review of any worthwhile session so we can share it through this newsletter.

__1.4 NAF Annual Institute for Staff Development

The "National Academy Foundation Institute for Staff Development," which includes the Academy of Finance, is scheduled for July 7-10, 1999 at the Hilton Anaheim. Again, if you are planning on attending, please send us a review of any worthwhile session so we can share it through this newsletter.

__1.5 New California Partnership Academy Grants

BaySCAN announced a grant workshop for the newly announced California Partnership Academy grants. Please note that the date has changed to Monday, July 19, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Alameda County Office of Education, 313 W. Winton Avenue, Hayward, CA 94544-1198.

The purpose of the July 19th Applying for the California Partnership Academies Grants Workshop is to offer those interested a head start on understanding essential components of the Academies and on preparing great proposals. Actual proposals will probably be due early November.

Everyone interested is welcome to attend. There is no cost to participants, but please register so we can prepare materials and make arrangements for food. If you have additional questions or other grant or STC resources to share at the workshop, please contact Patricia Clark at 510-670-4211.


__2.1 Oak Groveís Work on Interest Paths

The San Francisco STC Partnership (SFSTCP) has developed guidelines for career path development in their local partnership. They identify "7 System Elements" necessary for a coherent course of study. The 7 System Elements are career theme, high standards, curriculum integration, work-based learning, articulation, career guidance, and instructional strategies. For the complete description, let me know and I can forward an electronic copy. If you would like to contact them directly, you can call Kelley Karandjeff at 415-242-2596.

__2.2 SFSTCP Work on Career Paths

I recently visited Oak Grove High Schoolís Academy of Finance. Oak Grove is a Bay Area School Reform Collaborative leadership school and has adopted STC as their school-wide "focused effort for school reform. Their goal is to "increase student achievement and to prepare students to meet the challenges and demands of the 21st century. Their school is organized into nine career interest paths. They have developed "Standards for a Quality Interest Path Program" that include integrated staff and challenging curriculum, planning and staff development, sequenced instruction, supplemental services and student support systems, industry and higher education partners, career planning, worksite experiences, and student certification, assessment, and follow-up. If you would like more information, let me know.


__3.1 "At Chase, the Chairman Tries to Make All Sides Winners"

The June 22, 1999 issue of the NY Times included an article that could be the basis for an excellent case study. "At Chase, the Chairman Tries to Make All Sides Winners" is a profile of Walter Shipley, who has successfully pulled-off two of the biggest banking mergers in history. Unlike his counterparts at other major financial services institutions, Shipley is described by a General Electric CEO in the article as "quietly capable, bright, sensitive, and a very good guy right down to his toes." The article can be used to support a discussion on many SCANS skills, but especially interpersonal skills and the value of diversity. You could also use the article to discuss the major market place changes and the history of mergers and acquisitions in the financial services industry. If you want to be able to demonstrate that good things happen to good people, this article could be very helpful. This is the type of topic that integrates well with history and English.

__3.2 "A Fundís Quick Slide From First to (Almost) Worst"

Also in the June 22, 1999 issue of the NY Times was an article that would make a good case study of investment theory. The article "A Fundís Quick Slide From First to (Almost) Worst" chronicles the performance of "Janus 20," a mutual fund that in 1998 was the best performing large stock fund and in the second quarter of 1999 is ranked as the 15th worst-performing general equity fund out of 4,008 funds. This article can be used to discuss investment concepts like risk, timing, multiples, diversification, and others.

It is an especially good illustration of the "random walk theory of finance" that says that the performance of any individual money manager (mutual fund) is random. An important lesson one can draw from the article, but is not made by the article, is that certain types of mutual funds will generally outperform others. Studies show that on average, mutual funds perform worse than the market. The reason is that money managers typically perform at the market average. However, money managers charge a significant fee for making investment decisions and incur significant trading expenses that are deducted from their investment profits. The result is lower returns for the investors.

Theorists argue that the best investment strategy is to buy and hold the market. Some indexes are good proxies for the market (not true for all indexes). An index is a composite of stocks that when held in particular ratios have certain performance characteristics. The S&P 500 is designed to mimic the overall market. A mutual fund based on the S&P 500 buys the same 500 stocks that comprise the index in the same ratio as the index. Because you donít have to pay a large fee to someone to make the investment decisions, the management fees are significantly lower and because the fund is not doing a lot trading (buying and selling), transaction costs are also lower. The result is a slightly lower than average market performance, but higher than average mutual fund performance.

As you can imagine, this topic can be integrated with math. The underlying theory is based on statistics and regression analysis that involves calculus but can be intuitively explained using algebra and introductory statistics.

I would be anyone that would like to develop either of these lessons or if you would like a more detailed explanation of the random walk theory.