As a teacher myself, I see the American education system sinking rapidly. It is mostly due to more federal government interference, the economy, and the lack of family values as well as crappy parents that should not be parents. Honestly, I would like to see public education go away and education in general should be privatized. This would reduce costs for everyone while increasing the quality of learning and the learning environment. The way I see it, education is a priviledge, not a right. You want? Go get it! It shouldn't be rammed down your throat. And yes, you are right... it should be more individualized.
Nah bro. It's a pity you're a teacher yet you seem to not understand that ones own education can impact an entire society. Like, somehow the world didn't benefit and receive anything from other people becoming educated, even though knowledge is the very thing that transformed western society out of the dark ages. Yes- there's benefits of education like getting a better job. But better jobs pay because they help society more (theoretically... exclude hedge funds and the anomalies that are famous for no reason).
I don't think he's arguing against that. I just had a unit on education in a class on U.S. reflections. Funding, location, and standardized tests haven't shown to consistently change everything. The only consistent variable that works is adding structure to classes. Whether you're a drill sergeant or an old lady, if you give children more attention they will learn better. That being said, the kind of teacher you are doesn't exactly make a difference. You can change the system of a classroom without changing the teacher and still get great results. I think at the end of it, parenting does make the biggest difference. It's a culture thing in America. Decades ago people marched and had rocks thrown in their face to get an education... Now what? Kids are skipping all the time. and their parents don't do much to prevent it from happening. I went to a dirt poor highschool and I'm going to Syracuse University right now. I know people from that class that are going to great engineering schools. But I have also seen countless kids absolutely waste every opportunity they were ever given because they didn't value it. They were not specifically disadvantaged. They had the same teachers and curriculum that I did and simply didn't learn because they had other priorities. Nothing is going to change until that does, and I absolutely do not condone spending more money on kids that won't work at all. Sure, I'm all for a better school system, but actual reforms to the schools curriculums isn't going to reduce the drop-out rate. Wanting to not drop out will reduce the drop out rate.
1. Reduce or eliminate private schools
These schools pull away the best teachers and wealthiest families from the public school system, reducing the educational opportunities of less well-off kids. No, vouchers are not a solution.
2. Use a statewide or nationwide funding system for public schools instead of local property taxes
This would be to ensure money is split up fairly between different schools and districts, giving better education to poorer students and putting a big dent in the growth of the underclass.
4. A national science curriculum
Fuck you, cretinists, you shouldn't be allowed to deny our children a decent grounding in the sciences.
5. Eliminate summer vacation and replace it with periodic breaks sprinkled throughout the year
Much of the work done in the beginning of a school year is remedial work to reteach what was forgotten over the summer. Giving students a few days to a week off every now and then with the school year being the whole 12 months would be much better.
6. Comprehensive sexual education courses that focus safe sex, personal boundaries, and how not to violate other people's boundaries. The "personal boundaries" thing is more important than "the penis goes into the vagina" because teaching kids to respect each other's boundaries will go a long way to reducing sexual harassment, assault, and rape.
8. Mandatory civics, shop, and home ec for everyone
For the love of Christ, we force trigonometry and Algebra 2 on all kids when half of them will never use it but we don't teach them the basics of managing finances, fixing shit when it breaks, how our political system works and why you should not believe what comes out of the mouths of people wearing flag-shaped lapel pins, keeping a house in order, and other essentials of being a functioning human being.
9. Foreign language education in early elementary school
Little kids are geniuses at picking up languages. Teenagers on adults on the other hand, are really, really shitty at picking up languages. This is why immigrants who've lived in the US for decades still have thick accents but their children's English is flawless. So why are we teaching foreign languages in high school after the kids have lost their natural affinity for language learning?
10. Less completely bullshit history classes
No, Columbus did not discover America, nor was he a nice guy. No, George Washington is not the primary reason we won the Revolutionary War (the real reason is the French). No, our country is not above committing horrible war crimes.
13. Spend the money to get some actually decent school lunches and ban junk food vending machines from schools
See above statements about lazy sedentary fat people and how they learn a lot of those qualities as children.
14. A health class with sensible, science-based diet and lifestyle advice
I'm going to harp on this, because this is the biggest public health crisis of our time and could totally bone our economy even more than it's already boned.
3. Reduce or eliminate standardized multiple-choice tests
These things are the goddamn education devil. Forget actually giving our kids an education, we'll just teach them what they know to fill in the correct bubble in a standardized state test. Tests should be largely devised by school teachers and administrators and use essay questions and other ways to properly test the children's actual comprehension of the material.
7. Rigorous physical education programs
Would so many of us be lazy, sedentary, and fat if we had active lifestyles taught to us as children? Imagine what 5-10 hours of serious exercise a week would do to obesity rates. And no you can't opt out unless you're actually disabled, you pussy.
11. Lose the "security"
We do not need metal detectors, drug dogs, and "resource officers". These are supposed to be schools, not prisons. If we make our schools into prisons we will raise a generation of prisoners. No matter how much people flap their hands and scream "NEWTOWN!", it's not worth the cost to the actual living children who have to learn in this oppressive environment.
12. Longer school days and much less homework
Homework really doesn't help learning or retention very much
and could be replaced with more class time, allowing for more subjects to be taught, and since the kids get home later, they wouldn't be left unattended by working parents so much. Might suck for the advertisers who hawk products on afterschool cartoon programming though.
I think standardized tests could work if the curriculum wasn't orbiting around it all the time. You have to measure skill somehow. But I do agree to an extent. I got 100+ more points on my SAT second time I took it, and I studied much less and was low on sleep. Also I just wrote liberal nonsense for my essay and got marked way higher on it. Also, honestly, phys-ed classes do nothing. I'm fit as hell and I never participated in Gym class. Again, obesity is a lifestyle thing, it's something their parents
need to instill in kids properly in order to avoid. I really really disagree with #11 here. If anything I've felt safer going to my high school on days we had searches. I've seen some nasty stuff confiscated from kids. If you're going to have to learn how to obey the law, then you should start early. As for 12, I'm on the fence about that. Kids are going to have to learn how to take the initiative of working on their own time, and it seriously helps build work ethic. Homework that reinforces stuff learned in school seems to work very well. Homework that requires you to teach yourself things that you couldn't cover in class is where it fails.
That's my issue - the mediocre standards by which they - all subjects - are graded. Too many idiots pass just because the system declares that everyone must be equal, not because they had learned anything. Some people will fail; but the everyone-is-special hippie-ass system can't accept that reality. So schools give 30% just for having a halfway attendance record.
This. A LOT of kids in my class were artificially passed. I knew some kids that didn't show up for more than 7 days total out of their entire upperclassman "career", and had to be bribed to write a few paragraph essays to get a diploma.
I'm getting a little annoyed by labeling poverty as this "endless cycle of doom" everyone is talking about. I loved the teachers I had in high school. That's because I was an engaged student and I wanted to learn. I was given the same education as my peers and hell, I didn't even use the benefits that they got - a free ride to school, a free lunch, afterschool programs... I just wanted to learn. I didn't even have a good learning environment, but I did it. Granted, I did learn a bunch of watered down crap, and I was ultimately held back in the long run (I graduated on time) because I graduated high school not knowing what a proper heading for an essay was or finishing our trig classes... But those are the direct result of lowering the standards in high schools. And I'm paying for it in college.