Saturday, May 27, 2006

Improving Education

Our education system increases in cost each year while reduced results have also been the norm. Children are graduating from High School with out basic skills such as reading, writing and math. History is not held in as high regard as the former three but without it we doom future generations. Mankind advances by learning from those who went before us. Failure in history education puts us in a continuous cycle of making the same failures.

Changes that will reduce costs and maximize learning

Elementary schools should be two fold services. They should be open 12 hours a day and function both as daycare and an educational setting. Children will learn at a faster rate in a comfortable and familiar environment. Parents are often pushed to the limit to arrange care prior to the school day - rides to school - school - rides from school - after school care. The transportation and various caretakers’ increases risk to the child and increase costs to the system. Having elementary schools open from 6am to 6pm fits both blue and white collar working families. Education could still be kept to 6-7hrs that is normal to the school environment. These hours could provide better time and access to the individual child for questions and learning. These hours are not restrictive for parents who are available to their children to drop off and pick up around the school hours. For those parents who both need to be employed to overcome the excessive tax burden, the structured class time and daycare would reduce stress in the family.

School would be run in a year around system of 12weeks on 3weeks off. This system allows for increased learning and reduced review from educational loss would not be as dramatic with shorter vacation periods. Currently with the 3month vacation system our school system spend 1.5 - 2months refamiliarizing the students with what they learned the previous year before being able to move forward. The three-week vacation periods also allow for vacation opportunities during all seasons of the year without removing your children from schools and further reducing their learning. In the broad business spectrum this spreads out peak seasons and gives the business world a smoother operating curve. Summer vacations become hard on the work structure because of the limited vacation opertunities under the current system. With year around schooling vacations will be broken up across the entire year increasing business productivity.

Costs saving under the year around system are substantial. Schools could be built with 25% less capacity because only 75% of students are in school at any given time. Since the school is used across the summer months the building does not sit dormant and further draw on finances for no purpose. Teaching staff could be rotated in the same year around structure as students so no additional burden is placed on the teaching profession.

Junior high and high school would use the same building. Junior high would use the building from 7am to 3pm. High school would use the building 4pm to 10pm. Both junior and senior high would follow the year around system as well. There use of a single building and the 25% reduction in capacity under the year around system would reduce building costs by 60%. High school students would be required to have a part-time job and would be considered part of the educational process. These students would be required to work 15-20hrs per week in the morning and attend classes in the evenings. This class structure would reduce various gang and misconduct that normally occurs during the sunset to dark hours.

Sharing the building with the high schools adds many vocational class opportunities to junior high students. Early introduction to vocations would create work ethics and life skills that could easily be applied in the work-school high school program.

Under these simple changes learning could be accelerated by 25% and costs could be cut by 50%. How is that for some basic changes? Not only do these improve education but they also improve the business environment. Not only do they help employment but also they cut the tax burden on the family. Not only does it improve child development but also it reduces opportunities for misconduct.

Somebody needs to promote changes in our current system. These are only a few and they focus on cost, size and time structure. We still need to look at ideas for curriculum and class structure.


Blogger Pamela Reece said...

Wow, these are some amazing ideas you have! I have 4 children in the public school system and I can attest that changes need to made. You have some great ideas here, but it seems improving the public school system just isn't on top of the priority list. Politicians are too busy fighting over the mess Clinton left behind and playing the blame game. It is our children who are our future and they are paying the price.

4:51 PM, May 27, 2006  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

I would prefer to put a full-rewards based system into place and scrap this 'pay everyone the same' concept with Federal funds. Adding yet more mandates into the education system has not worked for anything, so, instead of trying to say 'you must do thus and so' or 'you can only teach via this method', We as the People should pay justly for what *works*.

A fair and simple methodology for remuneration for those schools that wish to have Federal funds. First, such a school must accept any student. Second, such a school may not make religion a basis for entrance, teaching, exams, nor as part of any curriculum beyond teaching of how it impacts societies. Third, a single, standardized test that is used for worldwide comparison is given.

Those institutions and individuals who instruct students get paid proportionally as to how students do on this exam compared to the best and brightest Nation on Earth. NOTHING else is used. Homeschoolers may apply for these funds and get recompense and acknowledged limitations that they are teaching their own family members. If their children accel then they get paid just as any other institution does. If such instructors try to take on more children, then they must do so in the ways set out above.

In this way the best teaching methodologies and management systems will be REWARDED. Those that are backwards and do not work will not get similar payment. Soon, those will find themselves lacking pupils, lacking funds and then be out of the business of instructing as they are using a methodology that insures sub-par performance.

I do not care if Catholics or Methodists or Satanists or Moonies have all sorts of trappings around, so long as they *teach*. Do not use Federal money and time devoted to it for things that are best left up to the family and individual. Those that do not believe as you do are still to be taught fairly and the same as any other child with no disrespect upon them. Once the school time has ended you may do as you will.

But *teach*.

Teach well and be rewarded well.

Until this Nation is the best at it because we reward good ideas and hard work. Then the competition is amongst the States. With each trying to earn the top position for the most reward.

Because since 1958 for all the money poured into that rathole the reading capability of those in the school systems has not *budged*.

Mandates of all sorts DO NOT WORK.

More money to everyone rewards the poor performers. Proportional payment, hard and fast... now that is how things are improved.

6:13 PM, June 06, 2006  

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