Saturday, March 10, 2012

Radical Changes for US Schools

Many people seem to agree that education is in need of some significant changes in order to improve our standing in an ever-changing world economy.


Here are some thoughts that I have on the topic of 2nd order educational change...
  • Institute a nationally standardized year-round academic calendar (6 weeks on / 2 weeks off)  Set the intervals such that major holidays such as Christmas and Independence Day are celebrated during breaks.  The advantages of this include; greater retention of learned material, opportunity to continue with digital content during breaks, economic advantages include conserving transportation and energy costs, establishing consistent child care patterns, and establishing year-round windows for family travel and recreation.
  • Establish a consistent daily schedule for school, while removing the non-essential "fluff time".  For example, school time is reserved for 8:00am - 3:00pm while learning time is offered 24/7 through web-based, or technology channels.
  • Four-day school week - Classes meet in person M-R, with Fridays being reserved for digital, connected learning opportunities.  "Flipped Classroom Fridays" - which could be comprised of on-line assessments, enrichment exercises, digital productions, and electronic literature review.
  • Federal Income Tax Credit - an income tax credit to families for each student that needs to purchase a mobile computing device to participate in a school-based 1:1 connected learning program.
  • Three meals / day offered on days in which school is in session.  Before school breakfast, lunch, and an after school dinner.  Meals will focus on nutrition and healthy practices.
  • Mandatory Physical Education as part of the core curriculum with an emphasis on personal health and physical wellness.
What changes would you suggest to improve the state of education in the US?

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