The 74 Million – Jeb Bush
“Without aspiration, our great country becomes just another country. And so it is disturbing when current surveys show that young people believe they will be worse off than their parents, and their parents agree with them. And when statistics reveal that those born into poverty are likely to remain stuck there, more so than at any time in our recent history.”(more)
The Daily Signal – Collen Hroncich
“Education savings accounts are a new, groundbreaking effort to provide more educational opportunities to students throughout the country. These are private savings accounts that parents can control and use to pay for their children’s educational expenses. How it works: The state deposits a portion of the money it would have otherwise spent on the child’s education into the account, which parents can then use for tuition at any private school, for educational materials, tutoring, online classes, and more.”(more)
News Herald – Juliann Talkington
In human societies there will always be differences of views and interests. But the reality today is that we are all interdependent and have to co-exist…. Therefore, the only sensible and intelligent way of resolving differences and clashes of interests, whether between individuals or nations, is through dialogue. – Dalai Lama
Many people find it challenging to converse about subjects that matter deeply to them without getting into a dispute. As a result, public discourse about divisive issues is often characterized by destructive debate that eventually leads to division and violence.
Social media seems to have exacerbated this problem. Before the era of electronic profiles and discussions, communication was face to face, by phone, via email, or in writing. People could select written materials of interest to them and most people were careful to communicate their political and/or social views in ways that were not offensive to those around them.
Now many people log their societal and political viewpoints in social media posts without the normal inhibitions that control they way they communicate in person. Many times the comments are personal attacks rather than ideas. In addition, the caustic comments are continually linked to a person in a visual way that tends to alienate friends and acquaintances that have different views.
While it is comforting to have supporters, it is also important to have outside input. As a result, it is imperative that we find ways to encourage dialogue. For this to happen, people need the freedom to express their viewpoints, regardless of how unconventional or radical, the wisdom and skill to present those ideas in diplomatic ways, and a willingness to listen to opposing viewpoints.
Unfortunately, these skills cannot be learned by osmosis, but must be honed over many years. With the increased focus on standardized tests, many of the classes where students learned to participate in dialog through the discussion on complex topics like firearms, law enforcement, war, race, controlled substances, social programs, gender, corruption, religion, incarceration, media and money, etc. have been removed from school offerings.
Even though these classes are challenging to teach and require government entities to turn a blind eye, students need exposure to topics that have a variety of viewpoints and so they can learn how to effectively communicate with others for the collective good.
If we allow freedom of speech and provide education on effective dialogue, perhaps we can limit the division and violence that is prevalent in the U.S. today.
News Herald – Juliann Talkington
It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing. – Steve Jobs, founder of Apple
Steve Jobs made highly technical machines user-friendly and beautiful by blending mathematics, science, and art. More importantly, he started a wave of innovation that made products that were once only accessible to scientists and engineers readily available to the general public.
During this period of innovation, the education sector was stuck in a time warp. Most primary and secondary students today are educated in about the same way that they were in the 1980s.
Counselors continue to place students into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), humanities, and trade tracks rather than encourage a broad education. Teaching credentials are still more important than an amazing understanding of the subject and schools are still accredited by personnel from other schools rather than by the market. Also, the majority of U.S. students attend schools run by the government.
Regulations and peer review accreditations may have been necessary in the middle of the 20th Century. However, the same regulations and accrediting bodies that protected our kids then are forcing schools to operate in ways that are inconsistent with 21st Century realities. In short, this means kids are wasting years of their lives on things that no longer matter.
For education to keep pace with the times, there must be a complete paradigm shift. Instead of regulating and delaying change, we need to encourage the education sector to innovate.
To make sure new ideas make it into the education system we need to encourage more private schooling options. Then we need to urge these schools to try radical concepts and provide concrete information on what students are learning. Finally, we need to make sure all students have access to these innovative schools.
The easiest way to make all this happen is to issue education vouchers that can be used at any school and require schools to publish third party test results each year.
With this type of competition, all schools should become better. When the schools become better, our kids will be better prepared. When our kids are better prepared, the country will be more vibrant. When the country is more vibrant, the economy will be better. When the economy is stronger, everyone will be better off.
It is time to get rid of the bureaucracy and allow our schools to innovate so our kids’ hearts can sing.
The Japan Times – MAGDALENA OSUMI
“The teaching methods of Kazuya Takahashi, 35, using Lego blocks and speaking entirely in English, may not be the norm in the Japanese education system. But on a global level, the educator, who teaches at the Kogakuin junior high and high schools in Hachioji, western Tokyo, is considered ahead of the game and has won recognition for his efforts to promote global citizenship. His methods may provide clues as to where education should be heading in Japan, a nation often criticized for focusing more on cramming knowledge rather than encouraging critical thinking…He believes classes should inspire children to think more creatively and develop skills to express their ideas, not just to compete for the correct answer, as normally is the case in Japan.”(more)
The World Bank – KAUSHIK BASU
“Education is central to improving human welfare and to achieving the goals of eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. Schooling was recognized as vital to achieving the MDGs, and it remains front and center in the SDGs. Yet there has never been a World Development Report (WDR) on education. As a result, I have just announced that the WDR 2018—with a working title of Realizing the Promise of Education for Development—will fill this gap by taking stock of what the development community has learned, and how it can strengthen and expand education systems to drive significantly more development and growth.”(more)