August 29, 2012 10:17:03 AM
Education system needs changing
The current education system was set up 300 years ago, and it fit the country well then, but no longer. Once upon a time in America, an eighth grade education was sufficient to be a teacher, in a one-room school. Now a master's degree is almost required to teach kindergarten.
Back "in the day" education beyond readin', 'ritin', and 'rithmetic (cipherin'), wasn't necessary to earn a living. Today, people can still earn a living with little more education than that. It's not easy, but lots of people do it.
Our education system no longer fits the country, and needs to be completely re-built from the ground up. I have lots of ideas, some of which wouldn't or couldn't work for various reasons: parental objections; union objections; teacher objections; and of course, some student objections. Regardless, I wish somebody who really cares about our students and our country would look at my suggestions without bias and evaluate them.
Children are capable of learning before they can crawl, but we adults have been blind to that fact. Why not start public education for children at about two years of age? When they have learned the lessons well, then promote them to the next level, regardless of age or how many years any student has spent at that level. As they progress through school, their education could be geared toward their learning capabilities and aptitudes.
Not every student is going to college, so why try to educate them as if they are? At about the current 10th grade level, you can tell those who are likely to get a higher education and those who are not; who might become engineers or doctors or such, and who might become coaches or athletes; and who might not do much of anything until they get motivated. If someone isn't likely to get an advanced education, give them an early type of high school education and degree that would allow them to enter a trade school.
This thins the crowd for the last couple of high school years. Those students can then get a better education geared to their aptitude or intelligence levels. Then those who do go on to college will have a better chance of success.
I've opined before about school being taught all year round, with a brief break between sessions, a couple of weeks off between every three months of schooling, with additional holiday time. The total number of days spent in school would stay about the same, but the time between school sessions wouldn't be so long that getting back into the swing of learning would be that hard.
In any case, what we have now isn't working. Somebody really needs to tackle this problem, and the sooner the better. If it takes setting up some "experimental" schools to see just how well an idea works, then do it. America can't remain the big dog on the porch just because we once were great. We do need to make some changes, but not everybody is going to like them at first because some people will lose power or status. Tough. Bite the bullet for the children and the future of all of us.