Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Education Ruminations V
The Power Must be With the Citizens
There must be an education association in each state that has an independent agenda and an organization for promoting better schools, curricula, and teaching environments. I intend to look for one or more to join. If I have no success in that search, I intend to look into organizing one myself.
The idea of a campaign to better the schools is certainly not new, but I have personally not seen any news on this in the papers or on TV here in Virginia. Occasionally, a politico casts some rhetoric on the subject out to the citizens, to show he or she cares, but once elected, there is little more to go on, certainly little action, unless there is a crisis of some sort.
An organization needs a purpose, and the purpose here is to return the schools to a focus on all students and a classic curriculum taught in the old-fashioned manner, but with modern teaching aids.
It is quite apparent that many new, experimental methods have not been successful, by and large, and they have left students with gaps in their learning because of this experimentation. Ambitious administrators have devised experimental programs in order to get funding from some level of government, and ultimately to get recognition within the education hierarchy. I have witnessed the failure of these amateur attempts at making a mark on my own children and others in my family and friend's families.
This cannot be a strictly local investigation into education, since much of the guidance and instruction to the schools comes from the NEA, and AFT. Thus a program is needed that addresses every level of the problem at every school in the system nationwide. This must include lobbying Congress as well.
Before marching out to battle there must a plan of action. The first thoughts I have on a plan is as follows:
1. Find out what is published so far about the schools in my area and assimilate it.
2. Visit as many schools in the area as I can, from elementary through high school. Talk to educators: principals, administrators, teachers, PTA members, School Board members and even students. Take their views into account.
3. Assess what is needed in this school system and document it, then find out what is being done in the city, counties and state about any problems.
4. Assess the curriculum being taught and compare it with an ideal curriculum devised to reflect the content of a classic education at each level. Prepare this curriculum in advance as a yardstick.
5. Formulate a program to address means to alleviate any deficiencies found.
6. Organize the effort, and try to bring in as many citizens as possible that support the idea of a "classic" education. Or, find an organization that already addresses the problems and join it.
7. Devise a promotion plan to get the message out.
That is sufficient to get started, I believe.
(to be continued)