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Common Ground Solution Proposal

Updated on September 13, 2016

Introduction

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.

-October 2015

The Problem

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.

My Proposal

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.

Summary

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.

A Poll

What is the best solution to the public school crisis?

See results

Comments

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    • Oztinato profile image

      Andrew Petrou 

      5 years ago from Brisbane

      Jack

      this is the problem everywhere. There are only isolated experiments going on. The current focus of mainstream education is extreme materialism with no ethics at all being taught. This became worse with the banning of general religious education but not replacing it with any form of neutral ethical training.

      It's a mess. Often only serious disasters can bring about changes in the grass root attitudes and change minds and systems. This is the way of the world.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      5 years ago from Yorktown NY

      breakfastpop, Your suggestions sounds like common sense ideas. Thanks for checking in.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      5 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Oztinato, I agree teaching ethics should be a part of public education. I gathered you are from Australia and may not know the problem we have here in the US with our public education system. There seems to be agreement on the problems but no agreementon solutions. The teachers union here are verystrong and they will not allow any experimentation hence my proposal.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      5 years ago

      I would disband the Dept. of Education and get the government out of the schools. I would drop Common Core and rely on common sense to do the best job teaching the kids. Political correctness must be removed from the equation, as well. Kids should be evaluated for their abilities and placed in classes with children of similar ability. If certain groups need extra attention they would get it if they were positioned in the right classes. Years ago, kids were grouped according to ability and it worked. We are so concerned with hurting feelings that we hurt everyone in the long run. More qualified teachers should be added to the mix, too.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Andrew Petrou 

      5 years ago from Brisbane

      Basic ethical training in all schools right across the ages starting from kindergarten. Urgently needed lessons in human values will make a significant difference. Non religious ethics with emphasis on tolerance, compassion, understanding, sharing, equality etc.

      Scientists are way behind in ethics themselves.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      5 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Oztinato, I'm just trying to get the ball rolling. Do you have any good ideas?

    • Oztinato profile image

      Andrew Petrou 

      5 years ago from Brisbane

      The scientific method bereft of strong ethical values is a dead end. There are still no formal or informal ethics in science, no "hippocratic oath" style commitments made and generally a backward lack of ethical values. Science keeps selling out to business and big money while forgetting ethics. Bad idea!!

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