Standardized Test Scores Predict Nothing

VERY intriguing video from Angela Lee Duckworth at a Ted Conference on what makes a good student (or a successful person in general). It’s not IQ, Standardized Test Scores, perceived safety, or Socio-economic Status. It’s just pure grit. 

Another interesting observation is that a person’s view of failure is crucial. Failure is not permanent. You simply change and grow based on that failure. We need to learn to focus more on that in the school systems. If we could get kids to understand that pop quizzes show them what they need to focus on for the bigger test, perhaps we could help them in developing that mindset of failure.

Something I wonder about is whether the Christian Faith helps in the formation of that grit. If the concept of failure not being permanent is a key, it seems that is at the core of Christianity. Isn’t that what we base our salvation on? The Grace that our failures are not permanent? What do you think?

This is a very short video. Please check it out.


Screen Shot of Grit video

Education Won’t Save Our Children

chalkboard image by lewisr1There is so much debate lately about Education Standards (Common Core) and Standardized Testing. The problem is, we’re focusing on the wrong thing. Changing the standards won’t help our children succeed.

One side of the argument I hear so often is that we’re falling behind the rest of the world. Let’s just say we come up with the perfect standards that are the best in the world, and then we come up with the perfect test that measures our kids to those standards with amazing accuracy. Do we win then?

What is the goal? Is it to have the smartest kids in the world? Is it to have the best educated kids in the world? I don’t think those are the goals at all.  [Read more…]

Daniel Pascual Ramirez Zaragoza

Pastor Daniel Zaragoza

Pastor Daniel Zaragoza

Last night, the earth lost a mighty man of God. It would take a book to write the background of this young man, so I can’t really do that here. If you would like to know more, you should go to Fishers of Men Mexico and read more about his background and his family. You will also get to meet a lot of other awesome men, women, and children by doing so.

But back to Danny. About a month ago, Danny, only a boy of 5, went in for heart surgery because he only had half a heart. Because of this, his body did not process oxygen as well as it should. The surgery was designed to improve that situation. It was a very risky surgery, but very necessary. The regular oxygen saturation level in his body was only 70-75%. You would not be released from a hospital with that level, and yet that was a regular level for little Danny.  [Read more…]

Another Trip to Stuff Mart


Photo by Mani Babbar

My family has been going through a major change in our view of money and what is truly important. It’s been a long process that started back in 2005 when we started taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class at our church. The next major shift came when my factory closed in the summer of 2009. It has continued as we’ve brought three additional kids into our home to add to our existing three.

It’s amazing what you learn to do without when you just simply no longer have the money to do it. You actually often reach a point where the desire for those things goes away. One great example is fast food. We just really have no desire anymore to fill our bodies with that questionable nutrition.

One thing I have struggled with as we’ve grown, is taking a look at those around me and the things that they still find important in their lives. I wonder how to initiate the changes in their lives without them having to do it through a “trial by fire” such as we have. [Read more…]