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The No Child Left Behind initiative, may sound like a good thing when it comes to the education of our nations children but it fails in its attempt to provide adequate education for all of the children.  It is a good idea to have standards for education and hope that every child can meet those standards but the standards set are basically the only criteria that the government bases how good a school or school system is when it decides to dispense funding.

 

To the dismay of schools that serve areas that have circumstances that are not conducive to learning, the schools are being left behind and told that they are doing too poorly to qualify for additional funding to improve the quality of education in the schools.  There lies the problem the law was suppose to improve the quality of education for all but it instead is being used to hurt those in areas that have issues that have little to do with the education process itself but does spill over into the schools. 

 

It is a proven fact that issues in one area of an individuals life can spill over into other areas of their lives causing problems for that individual and possibly others.  In the education process we cannot just look at the standards that the government sets, we also have to look at what is going on in the communities to see what is deficient enough to cause concern that it is likely to spill over into the schools.  No Child Left Behind if written as it should have been written would take societal and community based problems into account when setting the standards so they have a better understanding of how to address the problems and how to implement the new standards.

 

There are also other concerns that the government needs to look at which is physical and mental abilities when adopting standards due to the fact that not everyone has the physical or mental acuity to be able to live up to those standards when it comes to the way the education process is done at this time.  When it comes to a physical, mental impairment or even an inability to test in a manner that would show what they have learned, we need to seek alternative ways of dealing with those students rather than allowing them to continue to fall through the cracks.

 

The law as written is good for the politicians due to the fact that they get recognition for trying even though it is a half hearted attempt at doing something right.  On the other hand as written it is bad for our country as a whole due to it lending a hand to the widening gap between social classes in the United States.

 

The only way I can see it being renewed is if it is reworked to take into account the societal problems that hinder performance along with physical and mental impairments.  If we are to live up to the premise of the law and to do right by the future generations we will not have the needed skills to make sure that the future generations have what they need to equip themselves with the ever changing world.

 

 

 

Education reform

 

The state and federal governments require that the teachers teach but they are too far removed from the classroom to understand that in some areas it is easier to teach the students than others.

 

The education process should be in the hands of the people that have to deal directly with the teachers, the students and their parents on a regular basis to be able to get a feel for what works in that school or community.  Understandably there has to be some standardization to education at the same time there should not necessarily be a standardized way of teaching.  This is due to the fact that not every student has the ability to be taught in one specific way of teaching. The education system is failing the students that lack the ability to learn in the accepted way of teaching. By no means am I saying that all failing students are children that have problems learning, you also have children that don’t care to learn for one reason or another.

 

Suggestions:

·         Fund the education system without just blindly throwing good money after bad.  When funding the system place the funding where and when needed not blanket the system.

·         Let the individual schools and the teachers in those schools help in the decision making process on what to teach and how to teach it.  Some schools need to be more creative than others are when it comes to teaching.

·         Get the parents involved in the curriculum so that they know what to expect from the schools so that they have an understanding of what their children are being taught.  Getting them involved can be beneficial to the student and their parents especially if the parents are willing to and have the time to take an active role in their child’s education.

·         Assess the student body of each school by specifically looking at the types of requirements that each school has in teaching the students. Look at the students attendance, class work, discipline, teacher given tests, standardized state tests, their temperament, their willingness to take part in their education along with how fast they learn and under what circumstances do they learn easier an have problems learning.  After looking into these, then change the things that are causing problems if possible.

·         Stream line the education process by having only certified educators that are still actively teaching that haven’t lost touch with the needs of the students, the teachers and the schools in charge of the education departments on the state and federal government level.  Also untie the educators by taking away the bureaucratic red tape that slows down the process and that costs money due to slowing down the education process because of people dragging their feet.

·         Get companies to take a pro-active roll in the education of the students financially and through workers contributing time and effort to the schools due to them having the most to gain and loose from the education process doing its job or lack there of.  Companies still need a workforce and if the potential workers haven’t received adequate education to qualify for the jobs then they have no one to produce the products or services offered by the companies.

 

For higher education, the people who wish to go to college should not be penalized for a lack of funds to attend college and should be able to qualify for financial aid even if it means basing it on these,

·         Income level of the parents/guardians or the students

·         Grades of the student

·         College/University eligibility for schools based on grades and SATs

·         Location and cost for the schools of choice based on eligibility

·         Years needed for course completion

·         Willingness of the student to help payback the financial aid in other ways i.e. working at the school or volunteering in the students’ free time while enrolled in school.

 

You can find a fish for someone, then they eat for a day; teach them to fish and they eat for a lifetime.

 

 

An Idea on Outsourcing and Education

 

I admit I have no frame of reference when it comes to either outsourcing or education.  With all this talk of outsourcing of jobs to other countries and the problems that some of the public education systems have due to money I have an idea.  I don’t know if it would be a viable option or allow the school systems to be competitive in terms of bringing in money to the schools.

 

Do this first by looking to see if there is anything the schools can do to help with adult education needs with possibly an adult version of vocational training for a small cost that would help offset the money the costs associate with keeping the school open longer.

 

Then look directly at the companies that are outsourcing jobs to other countries.  Do this to see which of those jobs the schools can bid on to and get to bring jobs to the school(s) to teach as a vocation or to teach skills that they can take with them to the work force.  If this is possible then expand vocational training to permit the students the opportunity to be put into a job that teaches the practical real world experience needed while still in school. 

 

If what, I am suggesting is a viable option, then how about starting  “school based companies” that would be part of the school in terms of the education process.  At the same time make it an independent company that is overseen by the school or school system but is open even when school is out for vacation so it stays viable and competitive.  If need be, have the schools pair up with a college or university to allow college students in those fields into the program and to help with the resources associated with running such a program.

 

Here are some Ideas:

 

·         Expand the concept and format of vocational education to permit teaching of the practical applications of the vocation in the work place along with the work structure and ethics.  Do this by means of the creation of “school based companies” that the students can get jobs at.

·         Design the curriculum so that the students that are not involved with the vocational training can get the jobs in a “school based company” that are not vocation oriented jobs.  Do this so that they are taught the practical side of the curriculum so they can take those skills with them from company to company. 

·         Design the vocational education as a stand-alone program but that is part of the school and curriculum.  Try to design it so that the students understand that the viability and the competitiveness of the program or “school based company” relies on the students ability to learn and put to use what they have learned.

·         Set up multiple school based companies so that there is competition between the schools in an attempt to get the students to learn that the quality of work they are producing has a direct effect on the ability to bring in new customers and whether those customers will be repeat customers or would be willing to refer new customers to the school based company.

 

Where companies are looking to outsource to have potential cost savings, why not take advantage of those companies sending out jobs by trying to keep those jobs in the local area.  Where schools are in the business of teaching children and young adults why not allow them to gain the practical side of what is being taught while getting a paycheck while still in school being taught the skills.