Sunday, May 24, 2015

#EdReform Graykin Style
By:  Larry Graykin, NH BAT

When education is free and common and readily available, it tends to be devalued a bit. When you make it compulsory, it loses even more of its appeal. Then when you drive the curriculum with many specific standards, making individualization of education more difficult, the education loses more of its meaning or perceived usefulness.

Lucky for you, I have the solution for American schools!

Here's ‪#‎EdReform‬, Graykin style:

(1) While public school should continue to be free and common and readily available, it should not be compulsory. In fact, the staff, the student, and the parents should each have the right to say no to little Johnny's or Jilly's or whomever's involvement in any given class or school in general. Student dislikes a class, student doesn't go. Student acts up in class? Teacher boots student. Etc. Schools still have the right to make any class(es) mandatory for passing a grade. Parent is obliged to tend to childcare (personally or using a daycare, or whatever) somehow if student is booted or stops going. [Note that this will inconvenience parents who don't want their kids around at home or can't afford outside care, putting them in a position where they will be more vocal advocates for their child and will have higher behavioral expectations of their own kids.]

(2) Every child should have a wholly unique individualized education plan which is consensually created by an administrator, a teacher, the parent(s), and--most importantly--the student.

(3) Standards must be viewed as guidelines, not specific content mandates. Teachers should try to include all useful and relevant content in each child's educational experience...but only as far as it fits each IEP.

(4) All schools in the nation must be equally funded. States should be free to choose their method of taxation, but the funds needed would be dictated by the total learning population; all funds collected for schools would go into a pool to be distributed based on each district's learning population.

(5) Private schools should continue to be a legal alternative, but 50% of a private school's tuition must go directly to the pool. This would make private schools twice as expensive, presumably making more moderately wealthy parents choose public schools (and those parents would then be more inclined to engage with their school system and make sure it was truly up to snuff), and giving all schools the bonus of a much-needed annual financial shot-in-the-arm from the truly wealthy.
Somehow, though, I don't think this'll fly.... 

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