Ad in New York Times Proposes Big Changes in Schools
Every industry is transitioning from the Industrial Age and undergoing fundamental change, except education. The education system advocated in a new book by Morton Egol, The Education Revolution: Spectacular Learning at Lower Cost, would abolish age-based groupings of students in individual classrooms, teacher-taught lessons, year-end tests, and virtually every other feature of today's schools. The NCLB federal legislation would increase resistance to change at a critical time and make matters worse. Egol placed an ad on the opinion page of the New York Times on November 25, 2003, entitled "Yesterday's School System Should be Left Behind", to espouse a vision for America's schools, calling on every Governor to withdraw from NCLB and each stakeholder group to take the actions necessary to transform America's education system for the new era.
Here's the ad.
YESTERDAY’S SCHOOL SYSTEM SHOULD BE “LEFT BEHIND”
PRESIDENT BUSH: We need a new education system to replace the current Industrial-Age model, not your Administration’s “No Child Left Behind” Act, which is “more of the same”—more tests and more control over students and educators. Here is a better approach.
A VISION FOR A NEW EDUCATION SYSTEM: Instead of treating students as passive objects on an assembly-line and subjecting them to year-end tests that limit the scope of their learning, schools should allow students to be self-directed, to demonstrate their capabilities when they are ready, and to be free to develop their full potential. Traditional classrooms should be abolished and replaced by one large room, housing 150 multiage, self-directed “learners” and five teachers working with them continuously. Students would participate in a variety of internships and be exposed to several mentors and career possibilities. This new, self-paced system would allow every child to succeed and would cost 20% less, saving the nation $75 billion annually. Seventeen states would save more than $1 billion annually, ranging up to $14 billion for New York State.
GOVERNORS: Every state should reject the President’s program, which emphasizes more standardized testing. Instead, the states should adopt the above vision for education and design a totally new system for learning in the Information Age.
EDUCATORS: School boards and district superintendents should drop plans to build traditional schools. Instead, they should conduct a community visioning process, leading to prototype schools based on the new vision. If school districts fail to establish these schools, teachers should band together and form charter schools.
PARENTS AND CITIZENS: Parents should demand that school districts act to transform the system. The new, one-room schoolhouses will widen school choices for parents and stimulate competition. All citizens should participate in school board elections and pressure school leaders to achieve better results at greatly lower cost.
BUSINESS LEADERS: Business should lend its expertise to school leaders in their community visioning and implementation of prototype schools. Business involvement in internships would boost the productivity of both students and businesses.
PHILANTHROPISTS AND FOUNDATIONS: Philanthropists must not make matters worse by making gifts that only perpetuate the traditional education model. Philanthropist funding of the community visioning process and the prototype schools can spark dramatic change throughout the entire system and can be the gift that keeps on giving.
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Visit www.wisdomdynamics.com for the complete vision and a summary of the new book by Morton Egol: The Education Revolution: Spectacular Learning at Lower Cost.
Wisdom Dynamics LLC
P.O. Box 174
Tenafly, N.J. 07670 firstname.lastname@example.org
Advertisement on opinion page
New York Times
INDEX OF NCLB OUTRAGES