Exciting Proposal for Public Schools in My State


In an effort to improve the quality of public education, my state is entertaining proposals for changes in the very structure of the system. I am quite excited about one proposal in particular– doing away with grade levels and allowing students to move on to new material once proficiency in previously covered material has been shown. As one district superintendent put it:

“I feel like our system locks students into spending 12 years in school, when some students might be ready for their next challenge in a shorter time frame. It also makes sense financially. Some students may need more than 12 years and some may need significantly less.”

Yes! This step is one of the changes I have wanted to see in public schools for years. Why promote students based on age instead of mastery of material? It seems that this change would lead to improved outcomes– students get as much time as individually needed to learn each concept, and are allowed to move on when they are ready instead of when the “unit” is completed. No more pushing some students ahead before adequate understanding is reached, resulting in frustration and decreased understanding of more advanced material. No more holding students back from the next step when they have understood the preceding material, resulting in boredom and loss of excitement about learning.

My opinion of the public school system in the U.S. has been that equal access to education for all is a noble concept, but structural change to the system is necessary before the goal can be reached. This change would be a very positive step in rebuilding a functional public education system. I dearly hope this proposal is adopted.

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Linda

     /  December 21, 2011

    That change would be fantastic! Both my children were gifted and were well ahead of their peers. Being held to their grade level caused boredom and frustration. A few teachers who were on the ball would sometimes give them advanced work, but with large classrooms that was sometimes difficult. There were a few teachers, who would use them as tutors to help the other children in the room who were having trouble. This made my kids angry and their peers developed attitudes toward them causing difficulty in making friendships. I would totally support this change and would definately speak up for it!

    Reply
  2. Mom4ever

     /  December 21, 2011

    Ooh! Oo Oh! Okay that didn’t start out sounding very educated, but this is sooooo exciting. Educating children as the individual people that they are..soooooo exciting. Imagine how many children might have more of an interest. Imagine the natural personal responsibility and self respect and worth that could come about for each child when educated as individuals and not being forced into a very ill fitting mold and being given manifold forms of feedback as to their worth/ability etc. when not matching this mold. (and how many children would finish school) Ooh, so exciting..

    Reply

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