Here’s something from the Washington Post on Education:
This is a complex problem, but countless experiments and analyses have clearly indicated we need to do four straightforward things to bring fundamental changes to K-12 education:
1) Set high academic standards for all of our kids, supported by a rigorous curriculum.
2) Greatly improve the quality of teaching in our classrooms, supported by substantially higher compensation for our best teachers.
3) Measure student and teacher performance on a systematic basis, supported by tests and assessments.
4) Increase “time on task” for all students; this means more time in school each day, and a longer school year.
– Abolish all local school districts, save 70 (50 states; 20 largest cities). Some states may choose to leave some of the rest as community service organizations, but they would have no direct involvement in the critical task of establishing standards, selecting teachers, and developing curricula.
– Establish a set of national standards for a core curriculum. I would suggest we start with four subjects: reading, math, science and social studies.
– Establish a National Skills Day on which every third, sixth, ninth and 12th-grader would be tested against the national standards. Results would be published nationwide for every school in America.
– Establish national standards for teacher certification and require regular re-evaluations of teacher skills. Increase teacher compensation to permit the best teachers (as measured by advances in student learning) to earn well in excess of $100,000 per year, and allow school leaders to remove underperforming teachers.
– Extend the school day and the school year to effectively add 20 more days of schooling for all K-12 students.
Heaven forbid we should ever question the system itself! It turns out the writer of the article is “chairman of the Teaching Commission” and a former CEO of IBM. No wonder. *sigh*