We're Wasting Time
Implementation of "do-able" solutions for our nation’s educational crisis.
November 11, 2010
“We’re Wasting Time”
The current crop of youth will be unable to compete in the global economy in the next 10 years if we continue to fail them. Let's be candid with one another; there is plenty of blame to go around, but we've wasted almost 20 years doling out whose fault it is and what do we have to show for it?
What we must now do is implement "do-able" solutions to our nation’s education crisis by:
• Reducing class size to a maximum of 20 students per teacher and minimum 15 students per class teacher can produce the greatest benefits. Although, some researchers have not found a connection between smaller classes and higher student achievement, most of the research shows that when class size reduction are well-designed and implemented effectively in the primary grades from kindergarten through 3rd grade, student achievement rises as class size drops.
• Addressing and reducing the violence in our schools is imperative to improving the student’s academic and socialization attributes. Administrators must cease in attempting to "low ball" the statistics of violence occurring in the schools and deal with the reality that the only solution to fixing the problem is acknowledging there is a problem. We must implement and enforce:
I. Show zero tolerance for violence.
II. Implement peer mediation and conflict resolution programs in the schools.
III. Sponsor parent education programs that teach both general parenting skills and those addressing special topics like listening, communication, and problem-solving skills; effective discipline; and how to monitor the influence of the media on children.
IV. Train school administrators and staff to recognize and effectively respond to violent students.
V. Train students in conflict negotiation and anger management skills. This is where primary prevention and long-lasting results begin.
• Raise the salaries of teachers and provide them with the resources they need to be effective. Effective teachers should be paid good wages. Public schools administrations and teachers' unions are financially top heavy and only the bare minimum of resources is trickling down to the people that are "directly" responsible for the success/failure of the students.
• We must require that our elected officials abolish cutting and reducing education budgets at the local, state, and federal level of government.
• Parents must be held accountable for when their children are failing in school. Parents need to be engaged in their child's education, pure and simple. Many of the nation’s children attending public school are from single-parent homes in which the parent is working one and in many instances--two jobs to support the family.
However, parents must find time to interact with their child/children by doing the following:
I. Attend report card conferences.
II. Schedule regular one-on-one appointments with teachers
III. Become a member and participate in PFT meetings
V. Require individuals receiving welfare benefits to work as support personnel in the schools.
VI. Ask for volunteers in every church and community organization to volunteer for two hours a week tutoring young people.
VII. Teach this new "workforce" basic literacy and numeracy skills that they can teach to the children in the class in small groups of three of four to support the teacher's efforts. This way, all the children have extra support and help.
Consequently, the U.S. ranks 25th in math scores out of the world’s 30 developed countries. The U.S. Government has more than doubled the amount of funding for each student in America since 1971 yet math and reading scores have flattened. Each year, about 1.2 million students in the U.S. fail to graduate from high school, more than 70% of American 8th graders cannot read at their grade level and only 12% of African American boys in the 4th grade are proficient in reading compared to just 38% proficiency of Caucasian boys in the same grade.
At the current pace of our failing education system it will take more than just Superman--we’ll need the entire Justice League of America.
“Progressives will bring balance to the Republic.”
Anthony P. Johnson, Ultra, Ultra Progressive
Terri L. Willmott
**I support the implementation of "do-able" solutions for our nation’s educational system.
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