Common Ground Solution Proposal
I have a proposal that will advance the discussion and debate on the future of public education in America. I am encouraged that some professed progressives agree with a conservative that the system is broken and needs action. Instead of constant debate, I have a solution to this impasse.
We all know that the US public education system is broken. We spend the highest per pupil on education among all industrialized nations over $12,000 per year and yet we rank near the bottom in math and science.
We can do better and must do better if we are to compete in the global economy. For years, the problem has been a deadlock between politicians and teachers union and concerned parents on how to improve the system. Year after year, the results seems to get worse and the students are the big losers.
Here is a new proposal to help break the deadlock. I want to recruit all who are interested in a solution regardless of your political leanings. Once we agree that there is a problem, the solution can be had. My proposal is to use the scientific method and apply it to education.
What is the scientific method?
Details Of Proposal
How does the scientific method apply to solving our education system? By experimentation, we can determine what is the best solution. Here is my detailed proposal.
- Select three school districts in an inner city with approx. same background and demographics such as Chicago or Newark.
- Collect stats on their current test scores in math and science. This is the baseline.
- Keeping all else approx. the same, proceed with three types of school choices. (1. current status quo but with a 20% increase in funding; 2. establish a Charter school to replace the current school; 3. provide vouchers to parent of the 3rd school ($12,000) to be used for any private school of their choice.
- Pick a time frame of 3 to 5 years and track the progress of the students in each category. I would use a random proficiency test to prevent cheating. I would not use the same tests year after year to discourage the teachers of prepping the students just to pass those tests.
- At the end of the trial period, it will be clear as to which of the three school choices will produce the better results.
The 74 Million Students
Who Should Be Involved?
I would not get the Department of Education or the teacher's unions involved. This should be done locally by the school boards and with assistance from some non-profit organizations such as the 74 Million that specialize in improving education. They may ask local businesses for financial support and hire an independent auditor to track all expenses. This process should be totally transparent and fair. No preconception on the outcome. I want a fair competition among the three and let the best method win on merit.
I am a problem solver. I see a problem and I want to do something. I have been following the public school debate for years and nothing changed. This new proposal, though it may take some time, have the chance to resolve the deadlock. Let's try and do this for the children and put aside our political bias. I have no way of knowing what the outcome will be. I'm willing to go forward and find the solution using the scientific method. I hope all will be open to this idea especially the political progressives. If they really want to solve problems, join with conservatives and work together on this important issue.
Some Related Information
- U.S. education spending tops global list, study shows - CBS News
Despite the spending, American students still trail their rivals on international tests, survey shows...
- Best Education In The World: Finland, South Korea Top Country Rankings, U.S. Rated Average
The United States places 17th in the developed world for education, according to a global report by education firm Pearson. Finland and South Korea, not surprisingly, top the list of 40 developed...
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