Think ... People,  THINK!


The media and the Internet have a plethora of comments as to what is wrong with education in America, and even more suggestions as to how to fix it. Certainly the Venn intersection of child-parent-teacher is key. But much deeper thought is needed to evaluate the total "system".

Like almost every aspect of life today, money is a driving force in education. But how money is to be used is always an issue.

I think the starting point is good teachers. I think teachers should be paid according to their proficiency in teaching and the results of their teaching -- they should not be paid because they belong to a Union. I think Unions were once essential in humanizing work, but the pendulum has swung too far. I think that unions killed the steel industry, are slowly killing the American automobile industry, and are in the process of doing the same for education. I think unions are still needed in a guardian role, but the key is comprehensive thinking as to what goes into the union contract.

What do you think?

I think "tenure" in teaching (or in anything) is an ill-founded concept. Conditions and people change, and the system needs to change accordingly (the feedback loop in systems engineering). Giving somebody a benefit "forever" is illogical.

What do you think?

Children are different from one another. Logic says the education of each child should be oriented to each child. Since society is unable to afford a qualified teacher for each child, a compromise is needed. This results in "classes", groups of students. Here three things are key: (1) the teacher (we want the best possible), (2) class size (we want the smallest possible), class make-up (grouping). Class make-up itself is often a compromise: do we want "similar" students thereby allowing concentrated fast-track education, or do we want diversity thereby exposing students to what they will find in society?

I think in the youngest grades diversity is appropriate -- let the kids be themselves in their natural growing environment. In the later years as students develop strong interests in specific subjects or career paths, working and learning with others of similar interests and goals is probably more appropriate.

What do you think?

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The Importance of Education
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