Recap and Going Forward - Ed Blog pt. 7

To recap, this is part 7 of the 26 part series on education.  In these 26 parts, I'm giving some ways I think we can fix our educational system.  As I'm doing these writings, I've engaged in many conversations about the topic, and I know it's vast.  If it were easy to fix, we would do so.  

At this point, what I've covered is why this matters, and I've done so mainly through a financial lens.  We spend, on average, $120,000 p/student from K-12.  This is a lot of money, so we might as well do it well.  Much of how we teach is built upon a dated system.  To teach better, we're going to have to think forward.  

A lot of educational philosophy suggests that the way we teach our students was affected by the seasons and the factories.  The school year operates from September-June, giving students the summer off to work on the family farm.  When 80% of the country is farming, this makes sense.  School starts - often - at 7:50 and goes until 2:50.  Students start at a specific time, follow a bell schedule that's precise to the minute, and go about their day in an assembly line of sorts, which works if you're training students for factory work.  Neither of these are the current reality, so we must change and adapt how we teach to be efficient to today's students.  We must adapt.

The other two things I've looked at, so far, are: where the system is broken and the money that goes into the system.  I used a hypothetical situation where a student went to school, and then to prison.  I did this for two reasons.  One, because it costs tax payers a lot of money for about zero in return.  But the other reason I did this is because predictions for who and how many will be incarcerated are done based upon 3rd grade test scores.  I'll let that sink in.  

3rd grade.

By 3rd grade, if students are behind, their chances of catching up to their peers is very slim.  A child is 8 when they are in third grade.  


At 8 years old, no one's destiny should be set.  At 8 years old, no child is able to make decisions that shape their life.  At this age, also, they're not the one making these decisions.  Their parents are.  Things lacking at home need to be supplemented at school, because they affect the child and effect us.  This is why I propose placing extra money and support in places where they're lacking.  The money is worth it.  For all of us.  

This is easy to say and harder to do.  What does it look like?  How do we know if it works?  And who and what is responsible for the implementation?  Very valid questions.  One guy I was talking to said it like this: students that have their - house, school, food, transportation, and health care paid for by taxpayers are basically the taxpayers children.  In a way, that's true.  Let's get them good food, care, and make sure they can read.    

 Going forward, you'll read how I think we can do this for all students.  Next time, you'll read specifically about: Nutrition, Coding, and Spanish.