August 28, 2005

Cui bono

I was running through a series of blogs by my favorite journalists and Steve Yates' It's Happening Here has a new post on the democrappic partE's ideas of education reform. Entirely bass ackwards - rewarding bad behaviors by throwing money at administrative programs and teachers unions, while chaining bored kids into board desks in classrooms for longer periods of time and much more testing. If only schools rewarded the best teachers with the freedom to teach and the opportunity to achieve high pay without shifting to administration. The real question is - who is best served by having a public school teach your kid. If the answer is anyone other than your kid - then get your kid out of traditional public high school. Each kid is different - ask them which they would prefer, a public school or a job with a mentor? Kids are unique, they have unique interests and they do not need to know a little bit about everything without context in anything.

Current education is a crime, although i would have to say that it is not deliberate on the part of most people involved. The evolution of the education system has run past checking its basic premises for a vast long time. For instance - why don't kids always attend local (walking distance) school buildings and we bus the teachers and administrators around for diversity of approach and content? Have a few local home teachers (moms and dads) and connect to experts in a field when it suits the content to have a deeper explanation. A monthly change in local visiting expert who can bring in new skills and techniques; the person takes off physically before the material gets stale - but checks in on-line. Content driven units would allow kids to spend time in depth on one topic, before learning the breadth of the world. As they get better at depth, they will then need to contact breadth, but at least our kids will have a frame of reference to base their intellect upon.

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