Revamping America's Educational
Best Practices ~ D Block

It could be so much better - education in America, I mean. It should be so much better. But is it as bad as Diane Sawyer, FOXNews, and other seemingly endless talking heads continue to say? Is their narrative true? Maybe it's more complex than simply using OECD and PISA test scores. You decide. No doubt, the American education system could use an overhaul. Chicago's own Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education to President Obama, likens himself as a man whose ears are open to our ideas. Let's take this opportunity to create a Best Practices board that articulates the following:

1. American students are falling behind other nations because...

2. What the nation of [your researched country] is doing that makes them successful academically.

3. Whether the U.S. should be compared to the top-scoring countries of the world. Is it possible for American students to do what kids from Singapore, Japan, Belgium, and Korea do?

4. Write a "Best Practice" idea for Sect. Duncan that is inclusive of your country's educational policies or practices with details about how to implement this idea at the federal and state levels (vertical organization). Be clear about this and prepared for critique.

5. Critique the idea designed by the other groups. Can their best practice really work here? If so, how? If not, why?

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2 years ago
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#4 was Henry and Joey^^

2 years ago
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4)
- Equal distribution of school funding
- Up the prestige of the position of teachers
- Removing teacher tenure (Our group is split on this)
- Evaluating teachers qualitatively instead of quantitatively
- Providing more financial assistance to kids who need it
- Individualizing the education system

2 years ago
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4. In the Netherlands and Italy there is a vocational education track. Additionally, the Netherlands has HAVO and VWO tracks that are of varying length, rigor, and time devoted to vocational training. Students enter the high school track at age 12 and pick between the three tracks based on previous academic achievement. Therefore students are motivated to achieve at an early age since it bears a direct correlation to their secondary and tertiary placement. Having yearly subject-specific sets of examinations also motivate students, they set to a national standard and should be implicated federally. On a state level, schools should invest more in teachers rather than extracurriculars. -Charlotte & Brie

2 years ago
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4. The best practice for America will be to increase the quality of schools. Many public schools are lacking what students need, from textbooks, to technology. If more students feel that their school fits their needs, more standouts can excel in their studies. There should also be a higher standard set for teachers in America, with better teachers, we have better students.

2 years ago
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4. Although school isn't mandatory in France till age 6, all 3 year olds are guaranteed a place in nursery school, and participation rates in formal care/pre-school for French 3 year olds is 100% (versus 51% in the U.S.). Studies show that pre-school has long-term benefits, including greater sustained academic success and higher career earnings. I think it's important for the national government to work hand in hand in promoting pre-school and making it affordable (pre-school costs are also significantly higher in America than in France).

2 years ago
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4) Similar to Japan, the United States should implement a system of rigorous and challenging curriculums at an early age, as the top PISA test schools share this ideal. Maintaining a balance between extracurriculars and schoolwork is essentially for a complete developmental experience for each student. Japan successfully merges the Asian and American systems into a healthy balance. Being immersed in a high intensity environment at a younger age mentally challenges students, and further maximizes their academic abilities. Graham & Gaurav

2 years ago
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Im going to critique the idea that we should immediately begin making it harder to be a public school teacher in america. its a great idea but it wont work because of how we value teachers in our society and the sheer number of teachers needed for our nation, I doubt there would be enough qualified people to become teachers. It's a good idea I just doubt the short term feasibility of it.

2 years ago
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Though it is good to have a vocational track as an option, putting children on that track forces them to determine their career too early causing low job retention.

2 years ago
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Starting intensive education early is not necessary. In Finland, primary education starts at the age of 7 and they only take one standardized test at the age of 16 yet Finland has higher test scores than many countries that start primary education much earlier.

2 years ago
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5. We're critiquing realgucci's suggestion of equally distributing funds amongst schools. Although a nice/kind idea, some schools should receive more funding based on the type of programs they might specialize in (i.e. having an extensive and strong science lab probably makes math and science academies more costly to run). Also funding based on achievement motivates schools to be efficient and excel to truly earn their funding. Increased funding can also create elite schools. -Charlotte & Brie