President Obama, Where's the Change in K-12 Education?
Proposals for change since March 11th have included longer school days and a longer school year, options which he recognizes as being unpopular. The only reference to organizational/structural change has been in his push for “innovation and excellence” by renewing his campaign pledge to support charter schools. He has called for States to lift caps on the number of charter schools operating within state lines. As stated in my last post, '[t]here is no reason that we cannot encourage public schools to have the same liberties as their charter school counterparts'.
The President has recognized that the current educational system is based on a model that is no longer appropriate -- yet the proposed ideas maintain this system. The President's ideas proposed thus far still hold students to a fixed time schedule; still assume that children of the same age learn at the same pace and in the same style during a given period of time; and, rather than use tests as diagnostic tools, tests continue to be used as summative tools that punish children who have not achieved what was expected during fixed time periods through selected methodologies.
What I propose is the use of technology in a computer assisted mode (CAI) to track the progress of each student. When each has demonstrated mastery of what s/he has learned through CAI, we then can seek validation through State-implemented examinations. In this way, time is varied and competency relatively fixed; a standard that should be applied to public schools as well as charter schools, so that all children will be given similar opportunities to succeed.