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  1. #1
    Scarab Lord cubby's Avatar
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    Reform the school system - How would you do it?

    Our national, state and local school systems are completely fucked up. When the govt isn't cutting funding, they are spending it poorly. There are a number of factors that are causing a "quality-drain" to our schools nationwide, but I don't want to bias the start of this thread by listing mine.

    So, what would you do to fix the school system? How would you handing funding and any redistribution. What would you do with Teacher's Unions and how would you want to compensate teachers going forward?
    The less you know, the more you believe.


    Actually, Mr. Lennon, I CAN imagine a world with no hate, religion, war, or violence.
    I can also imagine attacking such a world, because they would never see it coming.

  2. #2
    Get rid of tenure. Plain and simple. Far too many poor teachers who've been allowed to continue simply because they've been doing a shit job for a long time.

  3. #3
    Scarab Lord Zhangfei's Avatar
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    Correctly redistribute wealth between districts to bring up poorer performing districts - some of the facilities in SC are beyond reproach because they don't have the resources to improve, meaning they can't hire good teachers, meaning they can't improve the community etc.

    Focus on a framework on national "minimum" standards that are not shown primarily through testing.

    Give incentives to teachers to work in poorer areas - through pay or through loan forgiveness or SOMETHING.

    Media and political change to support and believe in education, encouraging parents to spend time with children to learn (biggest problem.) Especially for under 5s, make sure they are reading frequently and possibly learning another language. Another major failing is a lack of language skills.

    Replace maths, science and tech classes with all-encompassing "engineering" classes with hands on experience by APPLYING science and maths rather than an abstract learning. Can be biological engineering, computer engineering etc. Will add more time for language learning and social studies while making those subjects incredibly useful and making kids passionate for work in those fields.

    Stop worrying about "Brain drain." It's not and it isn't. The problem is there's a LOT more to cover these days than fifty, hell even twenty years ago. It seems like the job is poorer but it isn't.

    Stop relying upon schools to teach unnecessary skills - sex education should be the responsibility of parents. Driving? HA! Remove funding from a lot of the sport programs, not educational. Yearbook, pointless, school newspaper, really?
    In fact as far as I'm aware the UK is the only european nation that outright bans guns for civilians.
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  4. #4
    Fluffy Kitten Badpaladin's Avatar
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    How would I do it? A number of ways:

    -Many schools lack strong vocational programs where people can learn (especially in four years) more than enough to be hired for a job that pays very well. There's a gigantic hole in the US right now where people need welders, builders, mechanics. . .the list goes on. There has almost always been, and still will be, large demand for these kinds of people, but unfortunately a lot of students never get the opportunity or motivation to go for those options. Even in schools where there are strong vocational programs, students are told from the get-go that college is where they need to go, then they're put through a gamut of academia and come out of it lacking the motivation to do anything related to education, even if it's extremely practical.

    - Numbers and test scores provide a good baseline, but too many high schools and colleges rely on them. A school curriculum should be more difficult and based on projects, not passing tests. More holistic methods of choosing students need to be employed, such as considering projects completed, roles in those projects and ability to communicate to others well (mostly written). At a younger age, video games should be used to spur academic strengths through problem solving and building (Steam's field trip where they had children build puzzles is a fine, although rather expensive option).

    - Teachers need to be under review from parents, which also means parents need to fucking get involved with things. Teacher unions should still exist to protect wrongful treatment of instructors, but many reforms need to be made - most importantly, tenure not being as bulletproof as it is right now. Offer up a bonus and (more importantly) extra recognition to teachers who got their students involved in awesome projects the most. Allow teachers some more freedom with what they're allowed to teach, especially when they're vocational or technical.

    - Eliminate programs like CollegeBoard's AP program. Advanced students should get agreements with local community colleges and take courses there, giving those courses the same effect as AP courses (counting both as high school and college requirements).

    - Make competitive gaming a high school sport (even though it's not a sport). Tons of kids are into it, so why not have them compete in the process? Parents would probably be happier with it, especially since students may be less likely to play them as much back home.

    Those are a couple of things in my mind. I doubt it would revolutionize anything, but hey man opinions man.
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  5. #5
    Old God apepi's Avatar
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    I would say have them try to focus on critical thinking, the kids these days do not have it, it is a shame. School is just about memorizing stuff, which is not very practical, you have to have balance.
    Time...line? Time isn't made out of lines. It is made out of circles. That is why clocks are round. ~ Caboose

  6. #6
    Only hire teachers who teach because they enjoy passing on knowledge to kids, not for the money. (which is funny because teachers don't get much pay (unless you're teaching in Chicago))
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  7. #7
    Immortal Dezerte's Avatar
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    More practical lessons, rather than theoretical.
    To declare that a personal, inner experience gives certainty about the workings of the universe is to assign far too much value to one’s subjective sense of conviction.
    I’m not that arrogant.

    The brain, marvelous instrument though it is, isn’t infallible. It can misfire, seize or hallucinate, and it can do so in a way that’s utterly indistinguishable from reality to the person experiencing it.

  8. #8
    3 words.

    School Voucher System.

    Take the funding out of the schools and put it in the hands of parents.

  9. #9
    Get rid of the unions and bloated administrations. Lets teachers expel bad students without being sued. Much like our society is becoming, schools are being ran by the inmates because teachers have their hands tied. You dont see this crap in private schools, only public.

    Id prefer everything go to a voucher based system so the gov has no liablity. Let parents apply to schools in the same way they do college.

    Anything the gov runs is ran poorly, this is no different than anything else they do. Cost twice as much and is half as effective

    Laize is usually wrong, not this time :P

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Laize View Post
    3 words.

    School Voucher System.

    Take the funding out of the schools and put it in the hands of parents.
    Soaring number of parent-teacher conferences in malibu.

  11. #11
    The Unstoppable Force Rukentuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laize View Post
    3 words.

    School Voucher System.

    Take the funding out of the schools and put it in the hands of parents.
    So the number of high school graduates can plummet? Soon high school will only be for those that already come from means, much like college education has returned to.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eroginous View Post
    I wouldn't expect someone who thinks science provides proof to know that.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Rukentuts View Post
    So the number of high school graduates can plummet? Soon high school will only be for those that already come from means, much like college education has returned to.
    The voucher system gives you the money instead of the school, you choose your school (no zoning restrictions).
    Last edited by chadwix; 2012-10-09 at 06:57 PM.

  13. #13
    When the govt isn't cutting funding, they are spending it poorly.
    Take the government out of the education. Problem solved.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by chadwix View Post
    The voucher system gives you the money instead of the school, you choose your school (no zoning restrictions).
    One problem with a voucher system is that you still need to somehow get your kid to it. If you're in an affluent area and there's good schools it's probably not difficult. If however you live in a trashcan neighborhood and make shit for a living, it's likely the schools in your area are also pretty much shit and it might be prohibitively expensive to send your kid to a better one, even if it's your decision.

    Not arguing against, just playing devil's advocate.

  15. #15
    Dreadlord JSStryker's Avatar
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    Split the school system into 2 paths, one for people that are more mechanically inclined (mechanics, machinists, woodworkers so forth) and those more academically inclined, not every kid wants to go to college in MY opinion. I know I preferred going to a technical school instead of college.

    Missed Badpaladin's post but they are correct.
    Last edited by JSStryker; 2012-10-09 at 07:03 PM.

  16. #16
    Of course standardized "simpler" education from K-12 wouldn't be an issue if colleges in the US weren't so ridiculously expensive.

  17. #17
    Nothing will work until you find a way to make parents care about their children's education and then get them to take on an active role in it. But we would rather put all that responsibility on the state and local governments and then moan and complain when they aren't doing a good enough job.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by cubby View Post
    Our national, state and local school systems are completely fucked up. When the govt isn't cutting funding, they are spending it poorly. There are a number of factors that are causing a "quality-drain" to our schools nationwide, but I don't want to bias the start of this thread by listing mine.

    So, what would you do to fix the school system? How would you handing funding and any redistribution. What would you do with Teacher's Unions and how would you want to compensate teachers going forward?
    Since I think the big problem with schools boils down to what Ken Robinson has said what's wrong with it.
    Personally I think we need a school that doesn't just do theoretical teaching, but practical teaching. We all know that it's easier to learn by doing, and that reading coupled with actually doing what you're reading about, makes things both easier and more fun.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Creamy Flames View Post
    Since I think the big problem with schools boils down to what Ken Robinson has said what's wrong with it.
    Personally I think we need a school that doesn't just do theoretical teaching, but practical teaching. We all know that it's easier to learn by doing, and that reading coupled with actually doing what you're reading about, makes things both easier and more fun.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY
    This guy is amazing! there is also a very good RSA animate video which sums up some of his ideas nicely http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFc...eature=related

  20. #20
    Herald of the Titans Beavis's Avatar
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    I would round up all the boys and dump them on jungle island. At age 12, I'd round them all up and have a giant battle royale. The survivors would then be given the best military training, medical, chemical, and biological enhancement money can buy. At age 18, they would be organized into legions and set loose on the globe.

    The girls could be nuns or something. I dunno.
    When survival is the goal, it's into the spider hole!

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