Category

Education

American Center for Transforming Education

family mother father and children watching projector, TV, movies with popcorn in evening at home
family mother father and children watching projector, TV, movies with popcorn in the evening at home

Here’s How to Use Precious Family Time, Wisely

Despite their sometimes nonchalant attitudes as they try to act cool, children do care what their parents think. They appreciate it when parents lovingly take time to explain important lessons and to encourage questioning. This social distancing period may be the opposite of what you and your family want, but using the time and opportunities now could bear fruit for years to come. Read More ›
Rural road with dramatic clouds in southern Minnesota at sundown
Rural Minnesota road with dramatic clouds at sundown

Online School and the Possible Rural Fallout

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the country, schools are heading online to stay productive. But rural communities with meager broadband Internet access are stuck in digital wastelands with no clear path out. Read More ›
Sad girl pupil trying to solve an example. Schoolgirl stands with her forehead on the blackboard
Sad girl pupil trying to solve an example. Schoolgirl stands with her forehead on the blackboard.

We Are Failing Our Children

n 1983, the famous report, “A Nation at Risk” concluded that our country was failing to effectively educate our children. The authors were so critical of our schools that the preamble of the report summarized their findings by saying that; “if an unfriendly foreign power had imposed our schools upon us, we would have considered it an act of war.” That was 1983. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush held an education summit, called “Goals 2000.” Bill Clinton was the chair of that summit. After days of deliberation, another report was issued stating that, “by 2000, all children will enter school ready to learn and 90% of our children will graduate from high school.” Many other goals were listed, none of which were achieved. In 2001, President George W. Bush and Congress passed a bill called the, “No Child Left Behind Act.” This legislation was designed improve accountability and to help schools meet the needs of every student. It failed to make any meaningful difference in student performance. Read More ›
School

Why Only One Type of School?

A fascinating new micro school has been making significant strides in Arizona. Prenda is like the Splenda of schooling. An alternative to the traditional government-run school. What’s different about this new method of schooling? For starters it is placed in the homes, offices, or studios of the coaches or mentors. This not only shifts the old classroom setting, desks lined up facing the front of the classroom. It also eliminates the need for specific degrees or credentials for those who are willing to connect with young people. There is a valid concern about the qualifications of those doing the teaching. Not everyone is qualified to teach. However, the elimination of certifications opens the door for very skilled workers in fields outside of education. What else is different? The three-year range in school composition. For example, a child in second grade can work with those in fourth grade. There are no age restrictions. Rather, the learning readiness of the child determines where they are placed. One might extend this principle even further. Why should a third grader not be placed with eight graders if he or she can read at that level? Read More ›
Black Graduation Hats placed on open books
Black Graduation Hats placed on open books

Education System Not Getting Better, Only More Expensive

As Ben Franklin was leaving Independence Hall after the adoption of our Constitution, a lady asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got — a Republic or a Monarchy?” He replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Read More ›
Photo by Benjamin Massello
Interior of dome in Olympia, WA

Students and Parents Badly Hurt by the Legislature

The 2019 legislature missed out on a big opportunity this year. Instead of working to reform how our schools operate, the legislature took a step backwards by undoing much of the good work that was done in response to the McCleary court ruling just two years ago. Read More ›

The Customers in Public Education Are the Parents

This has been quite a month for parents of students in our state. First, our Supreme Court, on a Friday afternoon before a three-day weekend, decides our charter-school law is unconstitutional. The law was filed as an initiative, and then voters approved it. Now, after the opening of eight charter schools, we find out the initiative was unconstitutional. Frankly, this Read More ›

Quality Education Reform Starts in the States

Conservatives and liberals alike may rejoice at the notion that 2015 brings with it a chance to revamp the controversial 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) will be the new chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and has said that his top priority is a revision of NCLB. Alexander is on the Read More ›