Friday, May 08, 2009
Education is the key but that includes a lot more than what the Drone at the front of your ordinary classroom is coughing up from the State approved curriculum. The curriculum is heavy on Critical Thinking, which is considered a skill, and light on facts. Good education should start with a consideration of goals. Otherwise it becomes the equivalent of the Search for Peace in the Middle East, all Process and no Results. The unions and progressives, who hate anything that implies accountability, always ridicule any talk of standards as as a directive to "teach to the test." As a bare minimum that is an improvement on spending 175 days without covering the content on a reasonably objective test.
My idea of replacing the last year of High School with 6 months of universal common military training would place everyone in an environment where real skills and facts are taught. In addition I would mandate that the current Economics and Civics (the later in NY is referred to as Participation in Government or PIG) classes be replaced. For Econ I would start with the excellent materials produced by Junior Achievement and then sponsor every student for the NASD series 7 exams. That would at least give them a feeling for how capital markets work. The Civics would be covered best during the subsequent military based training.
I have taught at both the most dangerous school in NYC and the second best. The present system does not work. We can do better.