Myths About What Schools Need

  • Time=learning. So, more time=more learning.
  • Good schools have good teachers. So, better teachers=better schools.
  • Testing discourages social promotion
  • Tracking solves most classroom learning problems
  • Lack of tracking solves most classroom learning problems
  • Individual teachers create educational revolution (think Dangerous Minds and Stand and Deliver)
  • Students do not care about education

What schools actually need

  • Student-teachers as paid interns for at least two years. Every teacher should have at least one. Gives student-teachers a chance to learn the profession, make some money, not feel rushed. Gives students more adult presence in the room, more individual attention. Gives head teachers a little more breathing room, work burden less stressful.
  • More flexibility in curriculum, with teachers justifying choices to the community not the state. Even “canonical” works need justification.
  • More student choices in constructing their own education: a distribution requirement or self-designed proposal of study.
  • More integrative approach: a less condemning attitude towards non-academics as supplements to classroom activity.
  • Panels on important issues such as racism, homophobia, student voice, etc.
  • Teachers’ reimbursed by departments for book purchases (make this one of the priorities in funding).
  • Allocation of funds by community size, not community wealth.
  • Smaller schools, more freedom for students.
  • More teachers, smaller class sizes.
  • Smaller class sizes.
  • More funding.

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