Expectations, meet the benchmarks, graduate, go to college, be successful, all things that we say to students from the inner cities to rural ones. Yet, as a nation we do not prepare our youth for tomorrow. Their education is a cookie cutter, the same for all, which makes no sense given that no human being is the same. We have not changed our ways of educating in over 100 years.
It is time we evolve, as a nation to prepare for our future, as every great nation in our worlds history has risen and eventually fallen. I believe that we are on that path down, no longer the greatest nation in the world. We may have the largest military, the most might, but without education, we will fall, and the decent has begun.
To change our educational institution does not mean, cutting funding for Public Education or diverting the money to charter and private schools. That mistake was made here in Michigan, and was lead by Mrs. DeVos, our schools here have suffered, going from top 10 to bottom third. The schools in the inner city have completely crumbled, causing neighborhoods to become ghost towns, Schools becoming empty buildings home to drugs and violence. Students having to find their way to school on streets that are unsafe, buses that are unreliable. Girls carrying weapons in their purses because they are fearful of men assaulting them. Neighborhoods filled with blight, creating fright, kids needs unmet, both at home and in school. Little water to drink, kids dehydrated, hungry, and in survival mode….
Teachers are frustrated, wanting to raise the bar, but the floor keeps falling. Kids are failing, kids are scrambling, and not learning. WHY? It must be the teachers, right? They are not taking care of business, they are not teaching and leading…right? Or maybe it is the administrators that create poor curriculums, are leading teachers, aren’t providing resources….right?
I am sorry for what I am about to say, but the bottom line is this is absolute BULL SHIT! There is a reason that as a nations our highest ranking in core subjects is 24th out of 71 industrialized countries. We are failing our youth and have been for some time now. Tick…Tick…Tick….the clock is running out! We need to make changes NOW!
As I stated in my blog post titled “Education MUST Change.” our Secondary system should be the focus of the change. Starting in 6th grade and running through 12th, so that when students leave High School they are college AND career ready. Schools that claim their kids are College AND Career ready are painfully off base. Students do not know how to create resumes, cover letters, they do not know how to find jobs, how to interview and worse yet, how to keep their jobs. Business language is not taught, Problem-solving is severely lacking in most schools, budgeting is absent all together. This is not even considering the emotional well being of our youth today. School Counselors and Social Workers are misused, their pushing paper rather than building stronger mindsets.
I am identifying the problem, but I am also proposing ways to change. Point out our problems is not all that difficult, but I am solutions based, so here is what we need to do:
Middle School: See Article: “Education MUST Change”
Additions to Middle School Education:
- Introduction to Problem Solving: 7th or 8th grade
- Developing Coping Skills 7th and/or 8th grade
- School cultures must incorporate building mindsets…building on students skill sets, and helping them expand those skills sets, not forcing one way on all.
- Students enter High School with a strong academic and career plan based on their placement during their middle school years.
- Each student would be placed in the skill set pathway (Working with People, things, ideas, or data)
- 9th grade would have some cross over through pathways
- 9th grade classes would focus more or theories, practical uses for core subjects as they relate relate to their pathway.
- 10th grade – 12th grade Students would work collaboratively, starting Project Based Activities just as their do in the Working world. Pathways would overlap as they do in their given fields.
- Students would be required to present their projects to the school and the community.
- Businesses would sponsor their given pathways. Providing mentorship, Job Shadowing opportunities, and actual job experience in the summer time.
- Students would be required to take Problem Solving as it relates to their pathway, as well as business communications and public speaking.
- Health and Wellness classes would be provided, so students would learn to eat properly, learn how what we eat effects what we do.
- Trauma care would be provided in every school, teaching students ways to cope with personal struggles. Giving them ways to build the emotional well-being, creating self sufficient young adults.
These are just a few of the proposed solutions I have for the educational system as a whole. My goal is to create my own 6-12 School system. Providing our youth with real opportunities and preparing them for a Global Economy.