I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.
“We” the nation, “We” the people, “We” the parents, “We” the teachers, need to radically change how we are educating our children, because the status quo is not working; the national graduation rate for the class of 1998 was 71%, for white students the rate was 78%, while it was 56% for African-American students and 54% for Latino students (Greene).
We need to formulate, articulate, advocate and fund the next vision of national educational curriculum and standards. We seem to be opinion endless, option rich, direction poor, and action absent. I believe our current education system needs a total over haul or just scrapping it and starting over may be easier to do. The new system needs to include tax breaks to businesses that allow mentoring, expanded grade levels, and breaking down the classes into sections of skill levels for each subject per student.
The outcry Mr. Secretary of Education, is always “Parents need to be more involved in schools” and if there is a provision in place to allow parents or any willing individual days off from work to mentor at school in exchange for tax credits to the business providing the days off there would be more parental involvement. Businesses that support and participate in this program would have more parents taking advantage of the provision, not just for their children but also to mentor others. This provision would increase parent’s involvement and the enrichment of all students’ lives would be seen.
The National Education Association in “Getting involved in your Child's Education” mentions that positive results of parental involvement in their children's schooling include improved achievement, reduced absenteeism, improved behavior, and restored confidence among parents in their children's schooling (Boston).
The current grade levels of K-12 need to be expanded to PreK-13; this would present the best opportunities for children to learn the skill sets needed to be productive in today’s society. PreK would be half day and Kindergarten would be all day. The most radical part of this would be in grade 13, which would be setup in the 12th grade as 4 tracks to prepare children for the next level. One track would be for trade or technical training, one track for college preparation, one track for possible entry into the military, and the last one for real world preparations. The benefit of PreK starting at age three is the majority of students would still be 17 or 18 years old in grade 13.
The most controversial topic would be in the beginning of each year starting in the 1st grade; children would be tested in each subject and placed in 4 categories: special needs, low, average and advanced. Currently our system penalizes the best, and we have a tendency to dumb down the classes to make it appear as if things are better than they actually are. Having children segmented by skill levels is the best for all students by providing the proper speed of learning. There would be less labeling, since a student could be weak in English, but advanced in math.
Project “CASTLE” (Challenge All Students To Learn and Excel); would be an excellent name and it includes challenging our brightest and offering assistance to those who need more help. “No student left behind,” exposes the whole story of how we forget about the rest of students; it should say, “No student left behind, No student held down.” If we teach for the “No student left behind,” we start to teach for the test instead of teaching for the students.
I enthusiastically write to you today to clearly and unambiguously express the importance in reinvigorating the public school system. We can no longer sit back and have a conspiracy of silence to do nothing or the emptiness to say “children first” and not mean it. We must create a new system that includes tax breaks to businesses that allow mentoring, expanded grade levels, and breaking down the classes into sections of skill levels for each subject per student. Virtually all of these challenges will require new attitudes, commitments, and guts to try and reengage the public by revitalizing a lackluster education system that currently cares more about numbers than the children.
I strongly urge you, Congress, and the President to listen and make the corrections needed to help every child achieve the most they can. Our children deserve no less than the best we can give, and right now, we are not giving them the best.
We are failing them; Georgia has the lowest overall graduation rate in the nation with 54% of students graduating, followed by Nevada, Florida, and Washington, D.C. with Wisconsin having the lowest graduation rate among African-American students with 40%, followed by Minnesota, Georgia, and Tennessee. Georgia has the lowest graduation rate among Latino students with 32%, followed by Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Less than 50% of African-American students graduated in seven states and less than 50% of Latino students graduated in eight states for which data were available (Greene). For more information on just how much “We” are failing them, read the report at http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_baeo.htm remember it is, of the children, for the children, by the adults.