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08/07/2018

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Stephen Kunst

As a former public school teacher, I think the education reform movement has two major flaws which keep it from being successful.
1. Most people involved with the movement are not ground level educators. For some odd reason they choose not to become teachers, but seem to feel their untried theories to be sound, and plausible. They read a lot of white papers, and studies, then with the experience of their own K-12 education, generate a magical philosophy. In the end it seems their idea of education nirvana is one where more time is spent raising the bar and separating the student wheat from the chaff.
2. Virtually all public education is driven by the belief system out lined in the "Education Gospel" Like all faith based systems, the education gospel is a hierarchy of educational attainment goals, with a college degree as being the most divine state. As a result all practical education, including vocational, career, and technical education programs as seen as not pertaining to this educational trajectory, and thus not necessary. The Germans and the American military do not follow this educational ordering nor do they denigrate people who for many reasons choose these "lesser" paths of life. They understand that there is a needs for many different skill sets, and urge people to select one which fits their interests and abilities. We do a disservice when our public K-12 schools try to mimic that of the private schools. Their goals are different, and their outlook is different. Theirs is one which accepts that there will be winners and losers, and do not care about the losers. At one time our public schools were better at meeting a wide range of student needs, and provide support for many different trajectories. Its criminal what has happened, and the fact that hundreds of thousands of students leave school with no marketable skills.

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