@Howard Beal--I've done much research on this. Despite complaints of Utah
schools, they are miles ahead of the pack, so I see where you're coming
from.Our country does not supply enough needed skilled workers. Some
examples:* Edison New Jersey is at the center of major
manufacturing. Three fourths of the population are from China, and India.
I've been there to know.* Our engineers, and chemists are from other
countries. Car engines, and transmissions are designed by foreigners.*
Our doctors are from India, South America, etc.* Half our college
graduates are foreigners.* I've interviewed, and researched many
electrical manufacturing companies around the country, and they all say American
grads can't cut it, except a few. They recruit Asians, and Indians. The way math is being taught in our schools are very confusing, and we
do need to go back to 1940/50/60's. Just because it was in the past,
doesn't mean it was ineffective.
I wish the D-News would make up its mind. I mean last week I saw an opinion
peace that too many of our population is overeducated for the jobs that are out
there. I guess that was the home school/charter school children causing that
problem because here is this piece saying that our children aren't being
taught anything of value. Of course, not sure if Florez and others have spent
more than an hour in a public school say in the last while but they can always
seem to find a time to sound off. Then there's worf stuck in
his time warp. I know he's been there and I give credit for that, but he
doesn't seem to realize that scores of students were both as well educated
and maleducated as they are today. In reference to the latter, they just were
lucky enough to have decent paying industrial jobs to find where our poorer
students of today don't, but these people didn't do particularly well
in school, many dropped out or scraped by. And some of our best students are
still doing the amazing stuff they always have.
Nothing difficult with education:* research, and organize the data
in a presentable way* take notes, while building study habits*
memorize a paragraph of something once per month. Teaches the mind to focus.Base your curriculum around these three things, and students will excel.
The irony is thick. I would argue that the current education system is a direct
result of the legislation passed at the federal and state level that govern the
education system. Educators didn't create NCLB, our politicians did. They
are the "leaders" of the current education system and look what that has
While my son-in-law studied political science he worked part time communicating
with a company's Spanish-speaking clients. Using a broad vision of what
made that company successful he began studying the applicable federal
regulations. He became one of the few who understood them. He thought the
company's software was a bit awkward and studied how to improve the
spreadsheets by writing little macros on the side. Meanwhile his peers studied
computer science.Now he's the Director of IS/IT at corporate
HQ, and computer programmers work for him.In 1983 the "Nation at
Risk" report tried to shame our schools because countries like the USSR
graduated more high-tech engineers than we did. Well, guess what? Secretary of
Education William Bennett forgot to read the rest of the research cited by his
own report. It said that those measly few, supposedly less highly-trained U.S.
engineers ultimately out-performed their Communist peers. Our engineers were
cross-pollinated by other disciplines, more skilled at collaboration,
innovation, and creativity. They created the new technologies for other
engineers to study in their "superior" schools.We need a
broader vision of what education is.
Two plus two before. Simple math. because you can doesn't mean you should.
Even if you have the money to buy anything now. Tomorrow is another day.
I agree that education needs a vision, but I'm not sure that electing a
bunch of realtors to public office to determine that vision is the way to go.
It seems to me that Mr. Florez's approach is not a real solution, but just
a diversion. If the education system is not functioning (and I truly believe
that it is not functioning), why would we turn to government to solve the
problem? Can elected officials who are afraid of losing votes from teachers ever
be counted on to advance education? Elected officials have had many
opportunities to change things, but they ultimately have caved to the demands
from those who have short-changed our children and grandchildren.I
agree that we need to use all available innovations. I also think that neither
the methods needed nor their implementation are likely to come from current
administrators. However, wouldn't it be better to ask businesses what
qualifications they're looking for when hiring workers and then adapting
training/teaching to insure that graduates have those qualifications?
The overall theme of this piece is spot on. We teach as though nothing has
changed. Our kids are going to be living in a highly matrixed and
interconnected world. They will be competing for jobs and slots in colleges
with kids or people from around the globe. And yet, we teach to standards and
use methods that largely haven't changed in 100 years.We
recently bought the series "The History of Mankind" on iTunes - and in
the first episode my 11 year old son turns to me and starts asking really deep
questions about what he saw. That doesn't happen in todays world of text
books and memorization. Education today has little context in the world we live
in.Not every kid needs to go to college to do what they want to earn
for themselves. We teach to the same paradigm to every child, no matter what
their learning style. I was a marginal student until college. And then
everything changed, because schooling changed, and I could take classes taught
in context. Primary education needs to be blown up, rethought, and
relaunched a new... not just tweaked.
The most important thing for a child to learn is how to learn. While we don’t know what jobs there will be in the future, we
don’t really know if there will be any jobs at all. Already we are seeing
the upheaval and discontent of the lack of jobs for people all over the world.
The skills for survival may be entirely different than those required today.
Sorry but I don’t agree with the notion that our legislators
know this. It seems to me that the people in government expect the economic
model of today to last forever.
I think that John is partially correct here. We do live in a different world
with requirements for change in our approach to higher education. In painting
Utah's educators as self-interested and uninformed and unresponsive about
the changes going on around them, however, he is somewhat inaccurate while
setting up an unhelpful us versus them scenario. Have we not seen the tying of
charter schools to universities, a significant increase in online learning,
MOOCs that are starting to count for credit, the unbundling of bachelors degrees
into certificate programs for those seeking to update workforce skills, etc...
These changes argue that there exist thoughtful educators who have played and
should continue to play a significant role in educating students in our new
reality.This is not to say that there does not exist a significant
role to be played by other thoughtful folks including legislators like Steve
Urquhart who has worked very hard to become educated on education. Informed
legislators can play a role in ridding education of sacred cows that cannot be
eradicated from the inside. It is by working together that effective change
will be made.