Only Community Leaders Can Save Our Schools

Feb 11, 2013 by

by Bruce D Price – In 2007 Bill Gates said the public schools are a threat to the nation’s survival. They’re that bad.

It’s important that community leaders of all kinds (but especially business executives) become involved in fixing what must be called a crisis. Your community needs you. It’s easy to help. Here’s how, in four steps:

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I: START WITH A CLEAN INTELLECTUAL SLATEPublic schools have been sinking into mediocrity for 70+ years. Statistics trend ever downward. Why??Let’s confront the obvious. The people at the top are grossly incompetent. Or their philosophy dictates that education’s true goal is leveling (i.e., dumbing down). Either way, it’s prudent to replace the so-called experts who created all this decline and misery. In short, start fresh. Re-examine what went wrong. Re-imagine what is possible. Find your own experts and your own answers.

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II: TRUST ONLY THOSE WITH A RECORD OF SUCCESS

Every city has three reservoirs of educational wisdom. Talk to these people:1) People who manage private schools.
2) Those in charge of good parochial schools.
3) Homeschooling parents. (Note: homeschoolers have to spend all day at the kitchen table teaching. They don’t waste time on methods that don’t work.)

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III: SELECT ONLY THE BEST APPROACHES Investigate. Find out what goals and methods are used by the most successsful schools. Embrace only those methods!You’re a VIP. People will answer your questions. What theories, what approaches, what curricula are mentioned again…and again? In a few hours, you’ll know for yourself what works and doesn’t work. (Here is a preview of what you’ll probably learn…)

BAD METHODS OFTEN FOUND IN BAD SCHOOLS:Sight WordsHigh-Frequency WordsReform Math (12 varieties)ConstructivismCooperative LearningSelf-EsteemFuzzinessWhole WordsDolch WordsSocial StudiesGuessingRelevanceMulticulturalismNo MemorizationPretend Critical ThinkingDisorderly SchoolsPermissive About Cheating(Avoid these approaches.
Just a few of them, used relentlessly, can cripple any school.)

GOOD METHODS TYPICALLY EMBRACED BY GOOD SCHOOLS
The 3 R’sBasicsPhonicsArithmeticCursive HandwritingMasteryFactsKnowledgeAcademicsAesop’s FablesGeographyLiteratureGeneral ScienceHistorySecond LanguageHomeworkProper SpellingAccuracyPromptnessReal Critical Thinking

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IV: PUT ON THE PRESSURE The blueprint for success is simple: use only good methods. When in doubt, do what good schools do. Praise and promote those methods. Spotlight successful schools. Conversely, explain and criticize what bad schools do. Publish their scores. Name their principals. Laugh at their fads and foolishness.Accept no excuses. When big organizations produce bad results, the top people should be replaced.

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SUMMARY: public education, throughout the 20th century, was debased to achieve political goals. It’s time to say goodbye to all that. The best schools around the country, and throughout history, have done much the same things. Kids learn reading, writing and arithmetic. From there they go on to geography, history, science, literature, and the arts. We need to enforce the popular will, which surely desires substantive education, not indoctrination, for every child. The problem is that the official leaders in education are like viruses in a computer; nothing works right with them around. We need new leaders, in every community, to reclaim the public schools.

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RELATED READING–WHAT NOT TO DO: “56: Top 10 Worst Ideas in Education”
http://www.improve-education.org/id83.ht…
WHAT TO DO: “A Bill of Rights for Students 2013”
http://www.improve-education.org/id90.ht…
SHORT VIDEO VERSION OF THIS SAME ARTICLE:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWQUHRAMF…

via Rant – Only Community Leaders Can Save Our Schools.

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