ANSWERS: 8
  • Our whole educational system needs a major overhaul - updated books in EVERY classroom, and a set standard to which all students should meet before graduating. In theory, the "No Child Left Behind" thing would have worked had the government not been testing teachers and pulling funding from schools who didn't meet standards and actually needed it. We need to give our schools the necessary funding to further and improve education, I think.
  • Considering that if we stop spending for war for 1 day, we could remedy several school districts budget shortfalls, I'd say that we have a problem with fund allocation at a government level and priority. It doesn't help that we have money leaking into Iraq for a war that shouldn't be happening. If we (America) stopped pissing other countries off so much by sticking our nose in their business, we wouldn't be such a huge target for terrorism. I think that education should be a priority, and not in the sense of being the first to be cut to balance a budget.
  • Change the tests so they test for what American students already do best. Problem solved.
  • Less government involvement, more parental involvement. I see one answer here is that we need to spend more money on education. I disagree, I think the money spent should be more WISELY spent. We have been pooring boatloads of money into education for decades, with no real positive effect. The funds should be being spent on teachers, good teachers, and poor teachers should be terminated. The only way to attract the best is to have the job pay more. We should spend less on layer after layer of Administration and unnecessary programs and more on good teachers. Stopping the massive invasion from Mexico would be a huge help as well but that is another debate altogether.
  • I'd say move away from the factory model of education, attempt to add wisdom rather than just knowledge the goal of our educational programs, and if some people are planning to get PHD's to use merely as a weapon, don't admit them into our PHD programs.
  • There was a time when public education was the total responsibility of state and local governments...and they were held accountable bigtime for even the least of failure that became obvious in their systems. The federal government played no part in financial aid or in making rules and regulations covering it. When that changed, beginning somewhere in the 1960's, I believe, when the federal government got its foot in the door, promising that their aid would not impact on local administration, all hell began to break loose...and public education has been on the downslide ever since. The politicians in D.C. lie through their teeth about everything...and there's little to be done about it. So far removed, they obviously couldn't care less about what you and I, or anyone else, think or want about anything. It is, in my mind, the principal reason this great Country is facing so many problems this very day. Get public education back into the hands of the local governments, and hold them accountable without their being able to throw up their arms by pointing the finger towards Washington, and public education, the most expensive in the world, may...just may...have a chance. The federal government keeps wanting to control more and more...when they can't even begin to handle what they already have. It's my opinion...a distressed one for the young people who follow me. It saddens me knowing what I'm leaving them.
  • quit teaching the test and get rid of the "no child left behind" crap, stop spending more money on prisoners and prisons than we do on schools and education update teaching standards and materials (computers, new texts, up to date information) train teachers to teach in a way that reaches modern children and not use the same methods used for 60 years now, require better standards for becoming a teacher, offer better incentives and pay. include life skills and things that will be applicable to the real world (balancing checkbooks, cooking, paying bills, job searching/applications/interviews) for highschool students. Better vocational education options for those who will not be going to college. instilling respect and worth in the educational system not only by the parents (some people think education is solely the responisibility of the school and not the parent and others think of it as daycare and take little interest in the education of their child as long as they pass)but also by the students...in korea when I lived there students went to school 6 days a week sometimes for 10 hours a day. On saturday they did not do classroom stuff, instead they helped clean the school and keep it in good shape. This I think saved money AND taught the children respect and accountability for their place of learning.
  • Education itself needs to be revamped. Some of it will cost money, beyond a doubt. But I think it's time that the US started, perhaps to follow the European model and dual track the educational system. Not everyone is going to go on to college. And not everybody who goes to college will find that college is for them. Start the whole system with a good base in mathematics and language education. You can translate language education into phonics if you would like. THROW OUT SOCIAL PROMOTION!!! I'm not saying to fail every kid who gets a 49 final mark. But for God's sake don't promote a kid who is reading two grades behind the level he should be so that his feelings don't get hurt. Some standardized tests should be a must, mathematics being a good example. I don't care where you live, what color you are, what gender you are, 2+2=4. And given a couple of years, every school district in the country should be in step with this easiest of standard testing. Make English the official language. Generations of immigrant children and children of immigrants grew up speaking one language at home and another at school. If you can't communicate at your grade level, start a year or two behind. The smart kids will catch up. Those who won't catch up will at least stay at their level. A little work will create standard testing in the English language. That said, it's an international world right now. As soon as the kids start school, offer a second language. Kids can pick up science basics and history basics (some of which can be used for teaching in English class) when they get older. But languages are best learned by the young. Make sure that tests are different and well mixed within their disciplines so that teachers cannot strictly "teach the test". In fact, if there were as many as 10 or 20 or the same level tests created, there is no reason that the same class couldn't be handed 5 or 6 different tests. Send them all to a central grading facility. Let the schools see the results, not the tests. Make the tests count as part of the students' marks. Some students will slough off tests that don't mean anything to them directly. REWARD TEACHERS!! Some teachers get the most out of their students with friendly persuasion. Some get the most out of their students by seeming to scare good marks out of their students. Whatever works. Give the teachers bonuses in line with the marks their kids get. If some areas don't get marks up to standards, pay the teachers more in base salary to teach there than they would get there in the suburbs. Reward students. Don't be afraid of corporate sponsorships. Good final marks. Reward the students. Good standard tests. Reward the class. Pizza lunch from Pizza Hut, MacDonalds lunches. Organic foof companies can get involved if the districts would prefer. For the top student, scholarship money can be put in a trust for college. In higher grades, computers and even cars can be prizes. Companies choosing to donate to higher income schools would be required to donate to lower income schools as well. By at least the sophomore year of high school, it should be relatively obvious which students would be college bound (particularly if they already have scholarship money). Those students who wouldn't be going to college would be switched (this is where it is similar to parts of Europe) to apprenticeship programs. These programs would be more directed to labor related classes (machining, mechanics, plumbing, electricity, electronics, commercial cooking, etc.) These students would be past the need for Shakespeare and calculus and would be better trained for the job market. I would be better if these student could choose that direction earlier. But, teens, understandably, would have a tough choice to make and more time might be required. Like it or not, cut sports programs for "normal" schools. Replace it with the odd, for now, concept of academic sports. Certain schools could be designated, into the high school years, as athletic schools. But the money currently spent on the football, basketball and other sports programs can be put back into the academic programs. The purpose of schools is academic, not as a training ground for college sports (which shouldn't be a training ground for pro sports). I could go on, probably for pages and pages. But the bottom line is to make scholarship, not sports, not the social life, the main purpose of schools. Once you have a change of direction there, everything else will fall into place.

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