Friday, September 01, 2006

6 Common Sense Solutions for Schools

Ok, I am off work today, but up early with the baby. So to continue my blogging spree, I thought I would propose my recommended solutions for improving the education system.

1. Extend the school day. Parents get off work at 5 pm, kids get off at 2:30.... It doesn't take a genius to see the problems here. Sure all those dodgy after school programs would take a financial hit, but maybe then our schools could include a real physical education program and stop fobbing the teaching job off on us parents with all that inane homework.

2. Concentrate on the basics in elementary school. What do you think is more important in today's average workplace... knowing who the 3rd President of the United States is or being able to read and comprehend company policy or an operator’s manual?

3. Adopt modern technology such as PowerSchool. I am always shocked about how unorganized schools are when I visit the teachers and administrators. Imagine, I could see my children's grades in real time and the school could eliminate several tons of paper. Good for me and the environment.

4. One word... Direct Instruction... Ok that's two words, but I would of known that if my school had used D.I. when I was in grade school.

5. School Uniforms. Eliminate the visible difference between the haves and the have-nots and reduce my annual kids clothing budget. Besides, kids look so damn cute in them.

6. Stop the damn school fund raisers. No one wants to buy cheap items at exorbitant prices. If I want a candy bar, I will go to the corner store and buy one. If you need more money, raise my taxes or better yet become more efficient. Don't even start me on what I could do, if you gave me 30 kids and $300,000 a year.

7. Single sex education. Boys and girls are different! I figured it out when my son picked up my daughters Barbie doll and turned it into a machine gun. Integrate them in elective classes, but keep them separated for the important stuff.

Notes: Yes I know I could find most of this at a good catholic school, but I have five kids and work on a government salary. You do the math.

Disclaimer: These opinions are the authors and do not reflect those of the mother of his kids. She strongly disagrees with the single sex education thing.

Update #1: Yes I know the title says 6 solutions and I posted 7... see item #4. And I am too damn stubborn to change it now.

Update #2: There is a good chance that if you post a decent logical rebuttal to any one of my proposed solutions that I will ignore it even if you are right. Educrats ignore valid evidence based studies every day, why should I be any different.


elementaryhistoryteacher said...

Believe it or not I agree with you on every point. When I taught 5th grade we seperated the boys and girls when we were required by the system to teach Human Growth and Development. Believe me the curriculum was tame, tame, tame. Mainly body systems but since we mention the reproductive system we were required to seperate the sexes. I always taught the boys. It does make a difference. I enjoyed it.

Regarding Power School and programs like is a requirement of NCLB that school systems provide data to parents and naturally many are going the way of the Internet. Unfortunately many are just now getting around to it. My own system just implemented a software program for our gradebooks, however, parents won't have access to it until January. Yes, I know...go figure.

Laura said...

1) If we extend the school day later, can we start it later too?

2) I can deal with this.

3) PowerSchool is useless where I work: I'd venture less than half of our school population has ready internet access (of course who would want to go to a public library, right?) And if they have to look anything up on their own, we get complaints that they weren't notified.

4) Please tell me "would of" is a jab at the lack of DI in your educaiton life. It hurts an English teacher's heart. Also, how far should DI go? Should we still be doing DI in 8th grade? 10th? Given what they're expected to accomplish, say, for the NC 10th grade writing test, I think it's kind of hard to script what everyone needs, especially since many come with some intuitive sense of different aspects of writing that others don't have.

5) I'd be interested to see how this works. I was dead-set against it as a teen, but now...I could go for it.

6) Fund raisers in my experience have more to do with extracurriculars, at least at the HS level.

7) Boys and girls are different, but I contend that this is because of socialization. We'll leave it at that since you've given fair warning you'll stick your finger in your ears and start humming.

7.5) While your solutions raise questions for me, it does give me hope that you're at least looking for solutions other than "blame teachers, administrators, public schools, etc."

rory said...

1. The school day should mirror a typical workday. Say 8am to 5pm. Allow at least two or three recess periods for lots of play and a decent lunch period.

2. Wooo hoooo

3. Print out the grade sheets and send them home. Sooner or later everything will be wired.

4. I am pro DI especially in elementary schools. I realize its not as useful for higher grades.

5. Of course it would work. Make the rule and people would follow it.

6. You must live in a blessed school district, because we are overloaded with them.

7. Saying that boys and girls are only different because of socialization is ignoring scientific data and millions of parents’ experiences. (I will add reference later today)

7.5. Thank you.

Ms. Q said...

Rory as to your comment to number 5: make a rule and people will follow--yes, but we also need to be assured of the enforcement of that rule. Coming from your military background, I am sure any rule you deal with is enforced. In education, teachers have to deal with admins that may not enforce and then it becomes impossible for the teacher to enforce.
I agree with all points.

sexy said...