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Forum Post: Please share your ideas on how to fix education

Posted 11 years ago on Sept. 15, 2012, 12:37 p.m. EST by NVPHIL (664)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The only idea to fix education I've heard is to spend more money. Now I'm not against putting more money in the system but until we can fix the root issues of the problem it won't be enough.

The biggest problem we have is our culture. We are more concerned about idiots like snookie then we are the most brilliant minds in tthe country. When was the last time we celebrated a scientist as a nation. Did you realize most of the brightest countries have scientist on their money for example.

High school is another problem. Our smartest kids are mocked and bullied while in school. When our communities support the sports programs and ignores the science programs it sends a message to our kids that education doesn't matter. We also use a cookie cutter like approach to education. I can't tell you how many times I did no learning for up to a week because I learned the lesson the first time and had to wait for the class to catch up. With the internet we should be able to set up personalized lesson plans to push students to the limit of their abilities. Hell I've helped my friends nine year old study when she found my old algebra book and was suprised how quick she was able to learn such an advanced subjectwith my mediocre yeaching.



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[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23771) 11 years ago

Teaching is an art. One idea is to allow teachers to be the artists that they are and quit trying to control them and put them in a box. Also, stop blaming them for everything that is wrong with education in this country when it is the overall culture that is the real problem.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

Teaching "IS" an art - and not everyone has the inspiration or talent.

Yes the sorry shape of our whole society has more to do with kids doing poorly in school then most anything else.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

Teaching "IS" an art - and not everyone has the inspiration or talent.

Yes the sorry shape of our whole society has more to do with kids doing poorly in school then most anything else.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

No fed taxes for teachers.!

[-] 2 points by GNAT (150) 11 years ago

This is a good point. Taxing any public employee is a waste of time, effort, and resources. It's like a bank charging itself fees. Absurd. This is actually touching down on wasteful government practices, worthy of it's own push.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

ok I'll go with that, maybe even no state taxes.

[+] -5 points by alva (-442) 11 years ago

get rid if the DOE and affirmative action

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Wrong answer!

[-] 1 points by Johnw (44) 11 years ago

Separate the smart kids from the stupid ones after sixth grade.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

First off, you are completely right. Culture trumps any political solution to cultural issues.

But, assuming the public COULD pull their heads out of their asses....here are my thoughts:

A) Some may not agree with this, but ELIMINATE most of the Dept of Education. Take that money and put it towards the teachers.

B) Money is part of the solution. But not for computers and new desks, etc. Money for more teachers to shrink class size.

I dont need fancy gadgets to teach. Give me some notebooks, pencils and a black board and I can teach. And do it well (assuming its something Im familiar with :)

C) Standardized testing in the beginning of the year, based on teh country that placed 1st the previous year. Publicly rank our students against the world. Only then will the amount of attention be grabbed to increase awareness and hopefully bring the publics focus back to education and not morons like Snookie.

D) Stop giving so much time off to the students. Yes, I know the teachers need their own time, but the amount of time off for kids these days is insane.

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (664) 11 years ago

I like those ideas.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23771) 11 years ago

Those are good ideas.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

"Education--including higher education--is a human right. Not only should tuition be paid in total, the living expenses of students should be subsidized. Until we win that greater victory, we must meet every instance of cutbacks and tuition hikes with protest and action.", from :

fiat justitia ...

[-] 1 points by neutral (4) 11 years ago

Too far. I'm not paying for a 23-28 year old to avoid the responsibilities of life. Later they will have to work and take care of family, get used to it. You want students to be housed and fed, then stop ignoring the poverty issue that is never responded to on this forum.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

who can afford a family ?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

Do away with K-12 system.

Different kids learn different things at different rates and in different ways.

[-] 1 points by GNAT (150) 11 years ago

Replacing books with SD cards, the flat thumb drives you use in your laptop, would save a lot of money. I'm sure Amazon would be more than happy to take the moral high road and cut a deal with the school system or parents to purchase the kindle fire or whatever version is most applicable to the education system.

This would save money for the parents as well, and future versions of the kindle may also eliminate the need for student computers. Saving the school system even more money.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 11 years ago

The cost to physically produce a book is small. That is why phone books are free and catalogs are free. When it comes to text books, you are paying for the persons (supposedly experts) who wrote it. That wouldn't change regardless of the format.

Personally, I really like books. They look good on a shelf and are just more fun to read. I can't get into reading things on an electronic device.

[-] 1 points by GNAT (150) 11 years ago

As you point out, it's the money grab from publishers that are driving the cost of e-books. e-books are in fact mush cheaper to produce. By around 20%. There are ways of removing the profiteers from the school book publishing industry such as contracting the content to universities. There are many ways around it. Making excuses to keep the current system is not answering the question of this thread. You should always offer a suggestion following an argument against, it's good debate and good for progress.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 11 years ago

Putting together a textbook can be a daunting task. I just grabbed the "Pathologic Basis of Disease" which I had laying around from dental school and it is over 1000 pages packed with (at the time) current information. Over a dozen experts in their fields contributed and another author then compiled it into this massive book. Unless there was good money to be made, who in their right mind would do it?

A suggestion for keeping costs down that I employed quite sucessfully throughout college and dental school is buying previous editions of textbooks. We all know the new edition thing is usually a scam. I normally would save 70-90% off the cost of the new edition by scouring the internet for the previous edition of a book. Normally it would be identical, almost word for word, with only an upgrade to the graphics.

[-] 1 points by GNAT (150) 11 years ago

Universities could perform the same function with ease. This would also lead to revenue for the universities even with a 50% cost reduction for the content. The printing companies could be replaced by offices added to the department of education that would handle production and shipping. I see no reason not to do this aside from the luxury of reading from paper.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 11 years ago

I really don't think letting the Federal government get their hands on anything is an effective way to reduce costs.

Most of content in textbooks is already being provided by universities, but again, professors don't work for free. I just looked at income statements from a few of the biggest publishers and their profit margins fall in the 5-10% range. So I really don't think the same people supplying the same content to different publishers is really going to reduce content cost by 50%.

The big scam is churning out new editions that are nearly identical to the previous. If people didn't fall for that, the market would be flooded with perfectly good used textbooks that would push the cost right down.

[-] 1 points by GNAT (150) 11 years ago

The argument of privatization is fundamentally flawed. You can never show where (overhead+profit) < (overhead) it's false. Math is not mystical or philosophical, it's not debatable. The true formula for public v private is (overhead+profit) > (overhead).

Because of evolving science and other areas of study, relying on used books is not a sustainable practice. Fast updates of new information is why we even have the use of technology we have. Why would we revert our technological evolution?

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (664) 11 years ago

What about having textbooks internet based. That way you only need to update the text and not worry about distribution.

[-] 1 points by GNAT (150) 11 years ago

The networking capacity to make that happen would be quite expensive and also expensive to maintain. You would need several T1 connections, multitudes of routers, and an on site IT specialist at every school. BIG infrastructure issue.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago


Internet learning as well. Check out Kahn Academy for the future of ed.

Year round classes. 3 year BA. Shortened college. More college courses before end of highschool.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 11 years ago

Can't overhead be different between two companies? Like I said, when I think of the federal government I don't really think of efficiency. I can't really speak for other industries but dental practices can have overhead ranging between 50-80% depending on numerous factors. That is a huge range for businesses that are essentially providing almost identical products.

[-] 1 points by GNAT (150) 11 years ago

If the management in public areas are lacking, fire them and hire the right people for the job. It still does not justify privatizing everything. It does justify high pay for well performing public employees.

[-] 2 points by Mooks (1985) 11 years ago

I agree 100%. Unfortunately our public sector is almost completely controlled by the unions and therefore employees who are lacking stay around for 30+ years and pay has nothing to do with performance, thus the tremendous inefficiencies.

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (664) 11 years ago

Yes. School should be nothing more and nothing less then educating our children.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 11 years ago

You make a good point but to implement these things, like personalized lesson plans, would indeed cost a lot of money.

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (664) 11 years ago

It would be worth it. We wouldn't be facing most of the problems we are now if our population was educated.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 11 years ago

We need to change the culture first. As you point out above, people care more about Snookie than getting a good education. There are millions of children in American who aren't even taking advantage of what is being offered, regardless if it is enough or not. Obviously a lot of that blame falls on the parents.

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (664) 11 years ago

I agree with changing the culture and parental blame. To many parents look at school as a free babysitter and not a tool for the kids advancement.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

free college

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (664) 11 years ago

Not only free college but kids should already have learned what basic college courses teach nowadays.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

I don't believe schools are failing

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (664) 11 years ago

They do what they are designed to do decades ago. The problem is they don't come close to pushing the limits of what students can learn. The ideal system would be more mentor/mentee thenteacher/student. Find the strong areas wether math, science, art, etc. and customize lesson plans focused on those areas. Also have experts work with the most promising in their fields. This woud motivate the kids and any expert that is passionate about their field would love passing knowledge to the next generation

[-] 1 points by NoePig (4) 11 years ago

Get the athletics OUT.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 11 years ago

What if all athletics were pay to play?

[-] 0 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 11 years ago

We may not celebrate scientists but I have yet to see the "nation" as a whole celebrate snookie or propose putting her on our money...yet.

We used to have schools where you couldn't participate in the sports programs if you didn't have the sufficient grades and conduct required. We used to have schools where people looked up to the kids with good grades and made getting on the honor roll a goal for themselves.

BUT, because each student was achieving according to their abilities, desires, the end result was that some students naturally accomplished more than others-and that (it was determined) was making the kids who accomplished LESS feel bad.

And we can't have anyone feeling bad. That's why we give ALL kids trophies for participating instead of celebrating and awarding the teams who have better abilities.

Smart parents counteract the "messages" sent from society with their own messages that educations DOES matter and that each individual is responsible to find their own talents and be accountable for how they develop and use them.

What message do our kids get when they hear that everyone is the same and that it's wrong to accomplish more, or be more successful in something than anyone else? What message do they get when people are bullied and mocked and even lied about for their accomplishments above and beyond what others might have accomplished?

What on earth would make them WANT to succeed or reach higher than anyone else if they are going to be vilified or have it taken away from them if they do?

The price of an equalized, everyone-is-the-same society is first the removal of "celebrating" excellence, and then the loss of desire to excel at all. Which is why our country is falling behind when it used to lead.

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

The best thing we could do is remove children from the classroom environment. Also it would seem that the reeducation of teachers and the complete revamp of our current curriculum is in order