Fixing Education

Fixing the Education problem in the US is easy:

  1. Put children first, not the teacher union. The goal should be knowledge for the children, not welfare for teachers and not employment for the support personnel.
  2. Open the system by letting former professionals teach – teaching needs not be a career, but a skill that any decent professional should have already.
  3. Import good and cheap teacher from abroad if needed. They would be delighted to earn US teacher salaries.
  4. Measure everything and run the system on the results. Everything gets measured in real life. Every job candidate is tested before getting the job.
  5. Allow and encourage competition. Children should know where they stand on a statistical chart. Schools should compete to attract children just as universities compete with each other.
  6. Make education the community’s responsibility, not Washington’s or State Capital’s – local decisions mean better accountability.
  7. Copy best practices from abroad. Not everything translates well, but certain patterns, such as the number of hours spent in school, are easy to recognize.

Pro/Con Notes

Con: Teachers are extremely disadvantaged in the financial department. That has nothing to do with gender, but how the government is extremely hostile towards education. A master’s degree will only get you $1K more per year than a bachelor’s, for example. Hardly worth the investment. It’s therefore no surprise that most teachers are leaving education today.

Pro: Actually, why do we even need professional teachers? Why can’t other retired professional simply teach without needing an education degree? Here’s a testimony: “I volunteer to tutor high school kids on upper level math, AP chemistry and physics, and college entrance exams. The kids are mostly from the local public high schools, which are in the top 10% in the nation. These are not problem kids, just ones that are motivated to do better. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “You are the best math teacher I ever had.” “Can you teach at my school?” and similar. I tell them I am not a teacher, I am an engineer.”

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