Member since Sep 15, 2009


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Re: “40 Under 40 Nominations

Jerry Shakov, a Russian from Siberia, has been infiltrating the New Orleans public school system for the past three years. Remarkably he has not yet been recognized by anyone. Dr. Shakov should be. He has been teaching science to 4th and 5th graders! And now he is doing this with teachers as well – 50 last year and the number is increasing. If that’s not enough, consider the fact that he is doing this in cooperation under the guise of an organization innocently called SMILE (Science and Mathematics: Inquiry, Learning, and Exploring), with the support of Tulane University, Scott S. Cowan Institute for Public Education Initiatives, LIGO, the Archdiocese of New Orleans, the Lusher Charter Public School, and the Isidore Newman School in cooperation with the Recovery School District (RSD, LA Dept. of Education). Just imagine what may happen to the schoolchildren of New Orleans. In the last year alone post testing results showed a 13% increase in students’ test scores compared to the pre-test results.

If we don’t call attention to Jerry soon, his influence may spread. Right here in Louisiana. There is already a cell of conspirators primarily among professors at Tulane. A number of physicists are already involved. And there is a growing nest of Tulane students who are becoming active. Even the Tulane administration seems to support this. In his own words, Jerry himself admits, “We have received a very positive feedback from both the teachers and LA Education department.” And most incriminating of all, Jerry adds in reference to the organization of the Tulane students, “the students will attend a series of workshops related to the theory and practice of physics instruction provided by faculty members of Tulane Physics Department and other experts in education. They will learn about the latest findings of education research in both general pedagogy and physics education. At the same time, the students will be introduced to the concepts and practice of service learning. After receiving initial preparation, the students will be assigned to assist science teachers from the partner school (4th and 5th grades at Lusher Elementary School, conveniently located within a walking distance from Uptown campus). While at the partner school, the students will familiarize themselves with the realities and specifics of educational process, classroom dynamics, and get a better idea of how much the students in the class already know about the subject, as thus, what level of complexity would be appropriate for teaching new material. In addition to observing the process, the students will be asked to assist the teachers in explaining certain concepts and answering questions from the class. They also will have to design and build a classroom demonstration (on a topic chosen in coordination with the partner school teachers and Tulane instructors), and present this demonstration with all the explanation of physical concepts behind it.”

A bit about Jerry. He was born in Nalchik, Russia (Northern Caucasus, mountainous area in the South-West part of Russia) Oct. 12, 1972;
- grew up in a city of Krasnoyarsk (East Siberia, on Enisey River, ~ 1 mil population);
- moved back to Nalchik in 1991 (transferred from Moscow State Univ);
- graduated in 2004, continued research/study at Kabardino-Balkar State Univ (taught Physics and Math for 5 years);
- came to the US in 1999 (grad school, Tulane)... and stayed ever since (married in 1999, graduated in 2004, joined the Tulane faculty after Katrina, bought a house in 2008...) and now has a Green Card, qualifying him as a ‘card carrying Russian’.

Let’s recognize this guy. Let’s blow his cover! He deserves it.

Jim McGuire
Physics/Engineering Physics

Posted by mcguire on 09/15/2009 at 1:00 PM

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