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Adopt mastery approaches #2: Scrap social progression (offtopic)

I'm not sure how age-based progression ever became the standard, but it stinks.

Offer students a comprehensive mastery syllabus that they can navigate at their own pace (possible within a normal school setting without anything too radical) and let them progress as they master skills. If you're 15 and still working with a bunch of 11 year-olds on Arithmetic 3, so be it.

Caveat: keep the overall age limit on schools (ie... more »

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The Department of Education should live webcast all meetings

The Department of Education should live webcast all meetings for proposed rule making and regulations where the public comment should take place. They should make these meetings available for on demand viewing and have the ability to have that content be indexed for video search. By doing this the public and stakeholders will be able to see the inner workings of the rule making process and make the content and proceedings... more »

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53 votes
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Eliminate the Federal Department of Education

The Federal DOE is a 48 billion dollar duplication of state agencies. Instead of collecting taxes from states and then distributing that money to states minus the costs of collection and distribution, leave the money where it is. Local agencies know the needs of their constituents better than a distant office and did arguably better without the DOE, which only came into existence in 1980.

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-4 votes
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Renaissance in Education rebirth of Arts/Woodshop/Home Economics

In order for our children to compete with the rest of the world we need to bring back the valuable subjects of Art, Woodshop, and Home Economics. We need to teach our children how to create with their hands.

Did you know the Arts teach kids to be more tolerant and open.
- allow kids to express themselves creatively.
- promote individuality and bolsters self-confidence.
- provide an alternative to delinquent behavior... more »

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36 votes
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OpenEducation v2.0: A Next Gen Opensource/OpenSocial Portal

A pilot project to build a next-gen Dept of Education portal for the Federal Community Cloud. The idea is to build a suite of opensocial portals, one at each Federal Agency, based on The Open Stack that will enable communication with all opensocial partners.

 

Useful Links:

http://tinyurl.com/yks78pg

http://bit.ly/cUrTv8

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4 votes
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Stop Measuring Quality by Standardized Tests

There is plenty of evidence that standardized testing is inadequate to measure what most of us really care about. (See books by Alfie Kohn, and the blog by Deborah Meier and Diane Ravitch at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/.) There is also plenty of evidence that the time and money spent on this testing take away from what schools need to do - help kids learn.

Better measures of quality are not straightforward.... more »

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40 votes
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The Recon Project

I would propose the ability to allow society to vote on the issues at hand. In an era where the majority has the internet (email,facebook), a cell phone, or landline we no longer need Neilson polls, and News statistics, we have the ability to vote and have our say be heard and accountable. Our politicians have the means to actually represent there constituents. A voter should be able to have an account where they can... more »

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Utopia: The initative to be better.

It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it is one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure. We have come to... more »

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Teach to ability and not to age

It is illogical for us to insist that a child of a certain age needs to, and is capable of, learning only a set number of items and in a certain order. Instead of trying to force all chilren to progress at the same speed we should be allowing those to can work ahead to do so at their own pace.
We need curriculum that includes progressive acquisition of skills and knowlege but this should not be linked solely to the age... more »

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40 votes
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Provide resources for those homeschooling the highly gifted.

Most people don't realise just how many parents of profoundly gifted children end up having to pull their children out of school settings and resort to homeschooling. The best and the brightest of our children are suffering from the below average education that most of them are offered.

We need an outreach / identification program for the Highly gifted. Many Universities are already beginning to offer classes to young... more »

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-11 votes
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Give them a break!!

Children are not meant to be sitting down and studying for 7 hours a day! Recess time has shrunk to almost nothing, gym is often culled if other 'more important' events need to take place and then children are penalized for having too much energy.
Schools need to incorporate multiple breaks for the children throughout the school day. Learning does not occur only at the student desk. Our elementary school recently shortened... more »

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47 votes
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National program evaluation data should be public-access

Too many national program evaluations are conducted by contractors who hold the data to themselves, when it's taxpayers who foot the bill, and one evaluation may be idiosyncratic or have methodological weaknesses. If we have a national program evaluation, evaluators must be obligated to provide the USDOE with an archivable copy of key data (made anonymous to protect privacy of individuals whose data was collected) that... more »

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36 votes
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Scrap "No Child Left Behind"

This has been a travesty. It was passed as a bill that would help school children excel, but all it has done is to take classroom time away from teaching in order to teach the students how to take a test.

It is teaching rote learning, which is not learning at all, but repetition.

It is teaching children the wrong thing. It is teaching them that test results are more important than learning the material.

It is... more »

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37 votes
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