You bank your learning credits with the University of your choice. The federal Government pays bonus payments to Universities based on their level of banked credits in years of budget surpluses or other times the country can afford to pay out these bonuses.
We use the honor system. You read a book. You write a summary of what you have learned. You record this in your ever building learning bank.
You are subject to a surprise audit by University or Government personnel at any time. Don’t cheat the system!
Grammar school education will be changed so that each student is motivated by being assigned a career job of their choice. A job they have passion to pursue. They can change each semester if they wish. Teachers will be challenged to adapt curriculum of the basics; reading, writing and arithmetic.
The current education system has “so much mind on the matter that the spirit is forgotten about.” We need to teach young people coping skills. Half the battle in succeeding in life is knowing how to handle your suffering and emotions. How to handle crises that inevitably always occur.
We must teach young kids how to get along with others.
Create special student-loan repayment programs to encourage students into the teaching profession. Provide extra special easy repayment terms to those willing to dedicate a minimum of seven years service in underserved rural and inner city areas. We need to provide multiple incentives to attract bright and talented people into teaching! We need great teachers!
No talented prospective teacher wants to work in an environment of mediocrity, bureaucracy, and conformity. We need to free up the great creativity of our teachers to allow them to run classrooms their way. We need to allow customized approaches to reaching students and motivating them. We need a system for sharing best practices that are found to work through experimentation. We need to unleash and encourage innovation in teaching!
Since 1980 per pupil expenditures on public K-12 education after adjusting for inflation have more than doubled, yet education levels of students has declined. Spending more is not the only answer. Creatively engaging and motivating students is the answer.
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We need to place more emphasis on teaching and less on bureaucracy. Efforts must be made to ensure as much of tax payer resources as possible are going towards actual teaching.We need to stop micro managing the activities of teachers and school administrators. Teachers are professionals and they should be treated accordingly. We need to empower them to run their own classrooms and to provide leadership in running schools. The number one issue is not resources and more spending. The number one issue is motivating students to actual learn. We have great teachers, great facilities, great books in great libraries that are not being utilized to the fullest extent due to lack of motivation on the part of students. The new focus has to be on motivation.We need to improve the way we recruit, train and reward teachers. To deal with the shortage of teachers we need to embrace volunteers. We should especially work to recruit volunteers that bring significant experience from "real World" jobs to help students learn from their background and life work. Bonuses should be given to teachers successful in teaching in urban and rural settings. We need to recruit students into the "good gangs" of joyful learning and healthy friendships with tools that compete with recruitment methods and incentives pulling them into "bad gangs." The Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Youth Build are great examples. We must provide students that are not on sports team with the same sense of excitement and sense of belonging as part of non-sports groups. We must understand and implement the social element to motivation in learning.
"An investment in knowledge still yields the best returns."- Benjamin Franklin US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer (1706 - 1790)
"Tell me....And I Forget, Teach me.....And I Learn, Involve Me.....And I Remember." - Benjamin Franklin
Tom Peters on Need for Continuing Lifelong Education
Pair of bills will help bring curriculum into 21st century
By Michael Matsuda Special to the Mercury News
Posted: 05/08/2011 08:00:00 PM PDT Updated: 05/09/2011 11:32:18 AM PDT
My seventh-grader often laments how boring school has become. "My teachers are nice but they mostly show PowerPoints, which of course we copy verbatim." I'm a big fan of writing and ask Ethan how much he did that day: "Not very much. Zilch. And for that matter, we didn't do much group work either, very little talking in class."
And my son goes to the "good school" with the great Academic Performance Index scores. Many parents rely solely on these scores to judge their schools, without realizing many schools have narrowed the curriculum to what's tested, in some cases eliminating or curtailing art, world languages, science and history in elementary and junior high, and cutting career technical education pathways and innovative electives in high school.
Increasingly, however, parents and business and higher education leaders have become aware of the mismatch between K-12 accountability measures and what really needs to be taught for a 21st century education.
Assemblywoman Julia Brownley and Sen. Lou Correa are sponsoring two bills, AB 250 and SB 402, which will help solve that problem. They will help set a direction for public education that will help prepare our 6 million schoolchildren for citizenship, with the knowledge and skills for success in a 21st century, globally connected world.
Correa's bill would require "each curriculum framework to describe how content can be delivered to intentionally build creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and communication into and across each content area." This will begin to take pedagogy beyond "teaching to the test." Imagine classes where students are asked to consistently create their own original thoughts through writing and speaking about real-world problems and issues.
Brownley's bill, which is aligned with Correa's, calls for the update of frameworks, professional development, instructional materials and assessment.
Parents are often unaware that instruction too often emphasizes memory and regurgitation for test score purposes, rather than synthesis, evaluation and creativity. But it's not the fault of the teachers or site administrators. It's the fault of state politicians, along with the federal No Child Left Behind law calling for annual standardized testing in reading and math.
All K-12 students need a breadth of knowledge as well as an understanding of how that content (and the world around them) is interconnected. Parents and community members need to be vigilant in supporting a full offering of curricular courses for their children. Social studies, science, world languages, the arts and engaging 21st century electives should be offered at every site. In K-6, students should have exposure to a balanced and relevant curriculum that appropriately integrates math and reading.
The change in emphasis represented by these two bills -- which have both passed the education committees in their respective houses -- will keep kids like my son engaged in school. It will allow teachers to go deep with subject matter, and will promote a whole curriculum for every child.
More important, the Brownley/Correa bills will give public education a refocused raison d'etre and begin to unleash the creative synergies in education, which can propel our state back to greatness.
------------ MICHAEL MATSUDA is co-chairman of the California Coalition Partnership for 21st Century Education, which advocates for 21st century readiness for every student. He will speak at the 21st Century Education Summit at De Anza College on May 14. He wrote this for this newspaper.