MANIFESTO FOR CHANGE, PART 5: EDUCATIONAL REFORM

This is the 5th in a series of 17, to be published every 3 days.

As an investment in the future, education can’t be beat. We should do everything possible to fully fund the best education known. We need to make post-secondary education tuition free for public institutions. Balancing state and federal budgets by reducing funding for secondary and post-secondary education is so short sighted. It reduces future economic expansion and saddles those who do get a college education with student debt, while their increased education is a benefit to society.

The junior college system should be made more accessible with things like books provided free. It should be more mindful of the needs of many of the students to work while attending. It should offer a dual path. One for students who will be ending with junior college and one for those definitely going on. Those successfully completing the college prep curriculum should be guaranteed admission to complete their four year degree. We need to get as many people as possible beyond a high school education. The world is getting complex. We need people that can cope with a rapidly changing paradigm.

Our educational system was designed in the early 20th century around a pragmatic philosophy. It teaches practical knowledge. This is very important but is short of what is needed to prosper in the coming century. We need to spend more time on fostering thinking skills and critical reasoning. Problems that we have previously been unable to conceive of will confront us at an accelerating rate. If we don’t want this Tsunami to wash over us, we must be prepared to deal with it.

Somehow, we need to reduce the inequality of opportunities among various schools and districts. I know it’s hard to get a good educator to move to a district 100 miles from the nearest Costco, but we must deal with this. It’s not just a matter of money, but that is a huge factor. Maybe visiting lecturers or rotating duty assignments, or anything else you can come up with. Maybe more remote learning or better education software. It seems a travesty to waste a good genetic foundation with inadequate nurturing.

We must hold educators in higher esteem. They must be better trained in motivating students. Many other countries of the world do a better job at education than we do. There is no reason we shouldn’t be number 1.

 

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