Please go down this list and just jot down the numbers of your favorite ideas. Then put them in a comment at the bottom of the page like this “I like 1, 3, 5, 60, 72, 90″. This will help us arrive at the top ideas. Please only post once.
IDEAS FOR EDUCATIONAL CHANGE
THE EDUCATION SYSTEM
1. Partisan elections for anyone who has budgetary control over revenues greater than $5,000,000 so that delegates take a closer look at candidates before casting a vote.
2. Eliminate or severely limit the power of Unions.
3. Eliminate Tenure.
4. Eliminate compulsory schooling.
6. Promote the creation of smaller schools by either restructuring junior highs into:
1. 7-12 high schools, or
2. Smaller 9-12 high schools with K-8 schools feeding them, eliminating junior highs and middle schools altogether.
7. Have the legislature sponsor, with grant money from groups like the Bill Gates Foundation which promotes small schools combined with a one-time capital appropriation, a charter school “district” of two schools. This “district” would consist of a K-6 elementary school separated by a parking lot from a 7-12 high school. The purpose of which is to be an example of best structure and curriculum to function as a model for the rest of the schools statewide.
8. Less government control. The state should only require one norm-referenced test for certain grades and let local districts decide if or what other testing they want to pay for.
9. Start children in school after age 8 when they are sufficiently mature. Create free home programs for parents to teach children the basics before putting them into school.
10. Have a 4 year elementary and 4 year high school and teach them in 8 years everything they previously got in 12 ½.
11. Privatize the education market. Teachers, as professionals, could compete in the private market for jobs, pay, students, etc. All taxpayers in a given school district could be issued stock certificates in the district’s new local education corporation which stock could be traded or sold on the market or retained. The buildings, buses, administrative offices, playing fields, and other assets could all be turned over to the new Local education corporation. A grant of money could be originally gifted to the new corporation to pay initial salaries while the revenue stream from tuition was generated. All parents in such a district would be given an exemption on that portion of their property taxes that had gone toward funding government owned education. Such money could then be turned to the educating of their children if they still had children in school They could freely decide which school, or home school, they wanted for their children without interference from the State. PTA would take on an entirely new look as parents became the owners of the schools.
12. Eliminate school districts. Have each school become its own autonomous school with a board made up of parents teachers, etc.
13. Eliminate “leveled learning”. All children would be tested at the beginning and end of each year, and assigned to a classroom according to ability. Children who fall behind will be tutored, children who move ahead will be given extra assignments/opportunities.
14. School choice: parents can choose to move their children to any school. Schools get paid by the number of children that attend their school. School income is based on school success.
15. Privatize all schools/ fund all students via vouchers (each school would run itself, no school districts or just a transportation office to run buses, etc.)
16. Statewide equalization for current school property debt to be phased out after current debt is paid‐future school buildings to be paid like charter schools, incentives for under‐served areas with most funding for upkeep and new school construction tied to the vouchers
17. Non-refundable tax credits for home school expenses (maybe $200‐$400 per student, depending on age).
18. Disband school districts and replace with school boards for each school, like charter schools, and area transportation/school construction offices whose only job is to ensure schools are built/remodeled and maintained based on area needs.
19. County wide or state wide funding equalization with county “tourism taxes” going toward school building funds rather than convention centers, as well as other creative funding sources with a goal towards moving away from the property tax.
20. Every high school (including all feeder schools) in Utah be its own school district. The district would have minimal staff, 1 administrator plus some necessary staff. All offices would be at the high school. This administrator may be able to also act as a principal for the high school, and/or hire an assistant principal. I would assume that an assistant (or full‐on) principal would be needed in most cases. Each mini‐district has a 7‐member school board elected every 3 years from within the area. The elections are staggered so that there are elections for 2, 2, and 3 members each year.
21. The state pays for the education of each student through 6th grade. At the end of 6th grade students must pass a series of tests and show a desire to continue. They must also be recommended by a teacher and their principal. If they pass they can be educated for free through 9th grade. Tests and recommendations are repeated at that point. Any students who do not pass can be educated at private schools, according to parents desires.
22. All school become private. They create their own organizations, so districts and boards become a moot point. However the school wants to organize it is how it is done. The state provides tuition for children through 6th grade. The paragraph above applies again. Testing and recommendations allow students to continue 3 more years for free (7‐9), then again for 3 years (10‐12).
23. Dissolve large school districts and have community or city based school systems with their own administration and local control.
24. Bring market based forces into play. This may not be the best example, but allow teachers to be bid on for students. If a parent wants their child in a teacher’s classroom, let it cost that parent extra $ per school year which go to that teacher and not an administrator. Set it by bid so the better a teacher is, the more he/she can make.
25. Schools from K-12 would be centered on academics, not sports.
26. Eliminate compulsory schooling.
27. Lunches would be eaten outdoors (weather permitting) if brought from home, indoors if purchased. No free lunches or breakfasts allowed.
28. Parents would select the schools for the children and provide transportation to the schools. No district provided transportation.
29. Require the School Board to spend as much time talking to parents as they do with teachers and PTA leaders.
30. Do away with school district boards. Schools would be run more like charter schools. If one school wanted to mutually cooperate with another, fine, but that engagement could be dissolved at any time when the relationship no longer becomes helpful (attracting more children to their schools).
31. We need partisan elections for anyone who has budgetary control over revenues greater than $5,000,000 so that delegates take a closer look at candidates before casting a vote.
32. Give principals their school budget and let them fully manage it.
33. Eliminate “experts” that currently are employed by the district. Experts such as these can be contracted or hired if it fits within the budgets.
34. Have an administration that is willing to stand up and say “enough nonsense” you (math) teachers will get in line or move on.
35. Give principals their school budget and let them manage it completely.
36. School districts that graduate a student in math with passing grades who goes to college and needs remedial math, that class work is paid by the school district to bring that student up to college ready levels.
37. Administrators need to spend a certain amount of time each week or perhaps each semester as classroom teachers so that they can stay current on what it is like to be in the trenches.
38. Videotape a “best” teacher of every subject at all grades and put the videos online for use by anyone. Parents who are homeschooling may benefit in using them and students who miss class can possibly find what was covered and catch up.
39. Clearly identify the standards of excellence you expect of teachers.
40. Pay teachers a professional salary to attract the best talent. Must be accompanied by tenure elimination.
41. Require all teacher candidates to pass the American Board Passport test on competency and methods
42. Teachers, as professionals, could compete in the private market for jobs, pay, students, etc.
43. Teachers start a group similar to the Oathkeepers organization, but one which was for teachers. These teachers would vow to teach the Constitution as the supreme law of the land in their classes and fight against the encroachment of socialist philosophies.
44. Change teacher qualifications and pay structure (a bachelor degree should be sufficient, or even an associates for elementary school teachers, or significant experience in applicable field; pay should be based on performance/years of service and not to degrees held.)
45. Have a set of ethics and rules for teachers. Things like: Professional, Open minded, focus on the students not themselves.
46. Have all elementary teachers teach from the Singapore series and have them teach according to the book, not according to their whims and desires.
47. Support group for teachers that are NOT members of the UEA.
48. Improving the morale and excitement of the teachers. They need to feel that the community loves them, wants to help them, and that they are given the support to make improvements. If they have a desire, and know how to do it, they will.
49. Offer teachers, who can pass a test to certify they are qualified to teach specific classes, $15,000 ‐ $20,000 in additional pay each year, so that qualified people will be attracted to math teaching profession.
50. Our teachers need to be taught deep subject area content knowledge instead of taking education courses.
51. All teachers need to have neurologists and neuropsychologists teach them exactly how the brain works and how cognitive learning takes place. Then teachers need to use that knowledge to role play various situations where cognitive learning strategies are actually applied. The neurologists/neuropsychologists need to evaluate the teachers’ responses and help them learn the cognitively superior methods that work best based upon brain research.
52. Teachers need to devise their own classroom discipline policies and run them by their administrators to be sure that there are no conflicts with district discipline plans. Once the two sets of discipline plans are aligned, then teachers need to be consistent; and administrators need to back them up when student referrals occur.
53. Teachers need to study how the ACT and SAT tests are formatted and what concepts they test. Other tests need to be studied for their content so that teachers are thoroughly familiar with the type of learning that they need to implement into their classrooms in order to get students ready for nationally normed tests.
54. Professional educators should be asked to dress professionally. Shirt and tie, no spandex, sweat pants, tight clothing, revealing clothing for the ladies. That way, we can have expectations that the children will have good models for appropriate dress.
55. Parents must sign a parental responsibility pledge at the beginning of the school year.
56. Parents would be required to donate time to the school. One hour per month per child (or more) would be a great benefit to all the students.
57. Invite grandparents into the classroom as teacher‐volunteer helpers.
58. Have a set of ethics and rules for parents to live by. Things like they should never say, “why should I help you learn your times tables, that is the schools job, besides that in the real world you can always use a calculator.”
59. We would hold parents responsible for the upbringing of children. If they did not send them to school prepared, in every way, there would be consequences that would cause them to reconsider their priorities.
60. Students who are repeatedly disruptive in class or repeatedly arrive without doing homework would not be allowed to return to the class until Mom/Dad or other guardian attends class with the student (parental pressure on students to do well in school).
61. Ability groupings for students so they progress at their own rate.
62. Stricter guidelines for behavior and firmer consequences for bad behavior.
63. A school in each area that has a trailer/classroom designated for these kids to go to when they are suspended. There should be a very strict teacher, psychologist and several aides who would teach intense behavioral remediation. A suspension should be three days (but could be longer depending on time between when the program started and when a student was suspended). The student should be required to stay at home until the beginning of the next three day program would begin. Parents would be required to participate in a class one evening. A student would return at the end of that time with a “clean record”. The student cannot return until the course is completed.
64. Have a set of ethics and rules for students. Students should be willing to do things like be challenged and be willing to struggle and meet the challenge. Students should have an attitude that math is a necessary tool to be learned and used in life.
65. Let students advance as fast as they want.
66. Videos online of all lectures for all subjects accessible to children who are homeschooled or missed class.
67. Adopt TX history standards (call us a Constitutional Republic)
68. Solidify K-8 math using Singapore or Saxon and then have 2 years of math required in H.S. instead of 3.
69. Require a class on the founding documents of our country for graduation with 75% of the time spent on the U.S. constitution and the original arguments the Framers went through to produce the final product.
70. Religious principles need to be re‐emphasized over “how to make money”.
71. Exposing kids to deviant sexual behavior as an accepted lifestyle needs to be challenged.
72. Teach real life skills!
73. Put teachers in charge of the class room again. Give them the authority and respect needed to control the classroom.
74. Stick to the fundamentals. Reading, writing and math. Then history and science. Keep it relevant.
75. Let kids be individuals. Recognize achievements and talents. Promote self respect and individuality.
76. Stop this equal treatment, no matter. No more “pc”.
77. High school–back to tracking again. Choose college prep or general. College prep would be all advance and honors classes, 3 years language, 3 years of math, 2 years science (Biology/Chem), 3 of English. General tract would require the same in math and English (lower level classes), tech or shop training, 1 yr science (general) and electives. All students would have to show proficiency in reading, math and history.
78. Promote problem solving skills and critical thinking.
79. Mandate that all Utah schools offer the following honors classes. (Notice there is no pre‐calculus): 8th Algebra I; 9th Geometry ( Proof based); 10th Algebra II / trigonometry; 11th College Algebra / Analytic Geometry; 12th Calculus.
80. New required class for graduation on the Constitution using The Making of America.
82. Solidify K‐8 math using Singapore or Saxon and then have 2 years required in H.S. instead of 3.
83. Standards in place for all core subjects. Until mastered, you would not advance.
84. Actual career paths, at least directions, would be in place so that no kids would be aimlessly wondering about schools. These plans would be selected by the parent.
85. Academic instruction would be LIMITED to reading (first, process all done by 2nd grade), writing (not too much creative but book reports, short subject papers, etc), mathematics along the lines of Saxon of course, history EVERY YEAR, from Western Civ to U.S and constitutional history.
86. All founding documents should be introduced as early as first grade. They should be more deeply studied each progressive grade with Jr High and High School requiring proficiency in those subjects.
87. Geography would play an important role in the study of History, Mathematics and Science. Early grades could be introduced to fun experiments, touch on Biology and Zoology with NO (NONE, NADA) animal rights, endangered species, global warming, etc!! Eliminate the fear tactics used in some schools, forcing the very young to assume that they are responsible for ‘saving’ the earth!! Throughout this curriculum, music and art can be integrated.
88. Eliminate sex-ed, gay rights, health-ed (except how it relates to some aspect of science) and any other nonsense that has nothing good for children.
89. Physical education. Lower grades, once a day for 45 minutes with 2 free recesses (morning and after lunch). I would even want my school to allow dodge ball!! Jr. High and high school should require PE every year. Maybe save the dressing out for 9th and up.
90. Lunches would be eaten outdoors (weather permitting) if brought from home, indoors if purchased.
91. Eliminate free breakfast and lunch programs.
92. Elementary grades (K-6), subjects would be taught by specialists in the subjects (those specialists can teach multiple grades). Morning classes would be strong in academics: Reading/writing, mathematics, foreign language, and social studies. Afternoon classes would be for enrichment and would meet 1 to 3 times per week: art, music (choir), science, applied math, PE, drama. Secondary grades (7-12) would have, minimally, 7 period days. All students would be required to take: PE, English, Mathematics, Science, & Foreign Language every year. In addition, World History, American History, American Government, Geography, Computer Applications, and Economics would be required at some point during secondary education and all students should be required to pass a civics test to graduate (How our government works).
93. Testing would be done on a weekly basis and students falling behind would be required to attend tutoring in order to stay up with the class. Volunteers from the community and the student body would be encouraged to participate in one-on-one tutoring of students in need of extra help.