Education Delivery – Time for a change

In Conjunction with Jack Roeser

The delivery of education has remained basically the same for the past century while other industries have changed delivery methods accordingly with technological advances.

To compare, let’s first look at a summary of a couple of other industries:

Music Industry Delivery [Overview of Presentation by Derrell Bradford]:

  1. Live Performance – limited audience, time consuming
  2. Record/CD Stores – Could finally listen to performances home, but only had 1 or 2 songs of good quality
  3. Naptser – Although illegal, opened the floodgates to online music delivery, allowed people to choose specific songs
  4. iTunes – Legal downloads preserving royalty payments and increased the quality of singles
  5. Spotify – iTunes on steriods, can get music whenever, where ever and as much as you want

Movie Industry Delivery:

  1. Theaters
  2. Videos/DVD purchases – allowed movies to be purchased to be seen at home
  3. Video/DVD Rental stores – allowed temporary viewing, i.e. try before you buy
  4. Netflix/Redbox/On Demand – allowed ultimate convenience in renting movies putting Blockbuster out of business

I am not going to delve into more detail on the above industries at this time, because it is pretty self explanatory that the delivery methods in those industries have change the dynamics of medium delivery:

  • Where delivered
  • When delivered
  • How much delivered

These dynamics directly affect the final cost of the delivery as well.

Education delivery has had the same where, when and how much stay nearly exactly the same for over a century regardless of technological advances.  A teacher stands in front of a class and teaches a classroom full of students. Yes, there have been technology advances and integrations into the classroom, but no real significant changes to the actual delivery method.  Even most charter schools use the same delivery method.

There are a few exceptions with virtual charters and some online curriculum, mostly used regularly by home schoolers. In South Korea there is a teacher who has 150,000 students paying $4 per hour to watch his lectures.  He now makes $4 million per year.

Sixty years ago, most South Koreans were illiterate; today, South Korean 15-year-olds rank No. 2 in the world in reading, behind Shanghai. The country now has a 93% high-school graduation rate, compared with 77% in the U.S.

Why has education delivery not changed significantly here in the US?  Simple, follow the money. The education bureaucracy does not want to change the delivery methods. The current delivery method has three overwhelming advantages for the bureaucracy:

  1. Control over money
  2. Control over people
  3. Control over what is taught

Control over money is the main reason delivery methods are stifled.  The education bureaucracy controls hundreds of thousands of jobs of administrators, teachers, and other staff across the country.  In many areas, the school districts are the largest employer and the thus the largest percentage of families’ tax bills, typically over 60%.  With such large amounts of money being paid by the community, it allows the education bureaucracy the control to exert over people.

The education bureaucracy exerts direct control over the community’s children with the curriculum. With control over curricula, they control how children are taught.  They have dumbed down the curriculum, stifling the accelerated learners. They are slowly reducing the middle with a lower bar to the point they can say all students are successful.  If you don’t believe that, the ACT results show just 26% of students are college ready.

With the push for Common Core (CCSS) we see a trend toward the federalization of education and the total removal of local control.  The CCSS standards are opening the door to more indoctrination of students. An example is a lesson that teaches students “The commands of government officials must be obeyed by all”. Teaching an attitude of governmental reliance maintains the control from generation to generation.

You hear the line all the time, “it’s for the children”, when in fact it’s for the adults manipulating the children.  Here is what Karen Lewis, Chicago Teacher Union President, says about controlling the children:

Lewis on lying to parents:

“You have to lie, if you have to. … I used to love parent conferences cause I would just lie to the parents.”

Lewis on why she lies to parents; to make hostages of the student:

“Now I have a hostage. … Didn’t I have your back on your report card? Now I need you to have mine.”

The question them becomes, since the people in the system are trying to prevent change, how do school choice supporters overcome the education bureaucracy on it’s control?  It takes educating parents and legislators, and lots of patience.  The education bureaucracy is not going to willingly give up control.

There are many ideas and education delivery methods already in place and working.  Here are several examples:

How do you now educate the parents and legislators on these options?  This must be a 2 pronged approach:

  1. Relentlessly expose the education bureaucracy for their self serving nature
  2. Help the communities understand that alternative educational delivery systems are normal and can provide better educational outcomes

As shown above, there are already several examples that are showing results with the alternative methods. In fact Stanford University’s Sebastian Thrun put 3 of his classes online after hearing about Khan Academy.   There were 160,000 enrollees from around the world, some of which were high schooler.  The results were astounding.  The top 300 students were not Standford students.  The 301st ranked student was a Stanford student, but was not registered in the on campus classes. This example and all the others like it, must be provided to the public.

Education is at a precipice right now. There is a growing call for school choice given the poor education outcomes within our public school system. These outcomes affect the inner cities and poorer communities at far great frequency than in the suburbs, but the suburbs are now being affected detrimentally as well.  The time is now to push for full educational choice, not just school choice.  Education choice will allow the full development and innovation to change the education delivery to our children.  It is time to free the minds of our children so they can learn, whenever, where ever and how much they want to learn.  Student freedom to choose their learning style will enable more children to reach their full potential.

 

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About Lennie Jarratt

Small Business Owner, Education Watchdog, FOIA expert, Founder of For Our Children's Future

Comments

  1. Education choice specifically Public Education choice were the taxpayers has already been forced to contribute to should be markedly changed. “Free Market” Capitalism is the model here and everywhere. Introduce a Voucher Program where the parents can use it for any K-12 Education Program of their choice: Public, Parochial Private or “Virtual”. Limit this amount to a maximum total Public Sector contribution of $7K per student which immediately forces a massive restructuring of the failed and massively bloated Public Education System. Today the Parochial and Private Education Systems do an admirable job for less than $7K per student annually while the Public System averages over $17K per student in its failed System. The 21st Century System should be virtual for grades Junior High and above and this virtual system should be used as a supplement for the lower grades. The Virtual System allows every student to be taught by the Subject Matter Expert and the progress is monitored continuously so that needed support can be introduced in a timely manner. The student progresses at his or her own rate based on real merits and the grade progression is based on a solid establishment of competence not age or attendance. Clearly a nation that wants to be competitive in the Modern World could not afford a failed system like the US Public Education System unless it is a Political Plan to create an enslaved and dependent society.

  2. concerned taxpayer says:

    Another thing I have never understood is why the school year is so short, since most kids don’t work on farms anymore!

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