Friday, June 24, 2011

Reinventions: K-12 Education

Here's a video of my six-point plan for reinventing K-12 education.

The six points, without the helpful explanation in the video, are listed below.

My six-point plan for reinventing K-12 education:

1. Naturally gifted teachers could get a teaching license merely by teaching a demo lesson before a master teacher---no boring teaching education program required. Other candidates would complete a teacher training program provided by a school district's master teachers, not by university professors who have never been master K-12 teachers.

2. Classes should be grouped by ability. Efforts should be made to ensure that racism is not a factor in selection, and that students are moved up and down as appropriate.

3. The fact-larded curriculum should be delarded, replaced with big projects--for example, developing a model city, building a rocket, creating an online student newspaper, etc.

4. The teacher's unions must be reined in. They've insisted that the best and worst teachers are paid the same--there's no better formula for ensuring that quality people don't enter the profession. In addition, they have forced school districts to, after just two or three years, give teachers tenure for life. To get rid of a teacher after getting tenure requires a long, expensive, painful undue process. Most principals decide it's just not worth the massive documentation and a dog fight with the union lawyers.

5. Use dream-team-taught courses, especially for difficult-to-teach courses such as algebra. These would be developed by a team of nation's best instructors under the U.S. Office of Education's auspices and distributed free on the Net to all school districts. A local teaching assistant would be in the actual classroom to provide the human touch. Using dream-team-taught classes would enable all students, rich and poor, to receive world-class instruction. Nothing would more improve the quality of education, but again, the unions would balk.

6. The school year should be lengthened. Currently it consists only of five hours a day for 175 days.


Jeffrie said...

Something you forgot to mention about K-12 education: when talking about curriculum, it sometimes seems to have an agenda or political slant. So the child may not know more than one side to a situation in subjects like history.

Also: I think if a college was ethical & not just trying to get another customer, they would have counselors meeting with potential students advising whether college was the right path for them. Or K-12 counselors. But I suppose that would be seen as discriminatory against some group or other.

Also: for both K-12 & higher: get rid of books. Get Kindles, tablet computers, laptops or smartphones for most reading & visual materials. Textbooks are so costly & some are hardly used. But who's without at least their phone nowadays?

Anonymous said...

From being in the K-12 system, I can assure you that lengthening the day is NOT necessarily the solution, because the homework puts the effective study time from five hours to nine hours. Plus having to wake up early is bad for kids learning because of numerous studies showing that kids need to go to bed and wake up later.


Also there's the fact that some people may not want as much an academic lifestyle so by requiring more school it stops them from pursuing their ambitions.

Hannah said...

I am not to worried about mixing the correct levels of people together because while this works for students at the top it has the reverse effect on the lower end students because they end up dragging the rest of the group down.

I think they should teach more skills in class that is relevant to today. For example how many lessons a week are dedicated to personal finance, yet how much does that effect us on a daily bases.

Set a lesson where the kids have to plan how they will live on a welfare check. Discuss the options. Talk about how people should deal with credit card debt.

Teach the skills that are relevant to today.


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