New Ways of Doing Business, New Tools...

What new technologies and strategies can we use to be more open, efficient and save taxpayer money?
(@hals00)

New Ways of Doing Business, New Tools...

Fund research into optimal school start times

"From the onset of puberty until late teen years, the brain chemical melatonin, which is responsible for sleepiness, is secreted from approximately 11 p.m. until approximately 8 a.m., nine hours later. This secretion is based on human circadian rhythms and is rather fixed [by exposure to sunlight]. In other words, typical youth are not able to fall asleep much before 11 p.m. and their brains will remain in sleep mode ...more »

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55 votes
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(@svetlanamedusa)

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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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43 votes
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(@cb.rxstar)

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Truly Healthy Lunches

Doing away with sugary foods in lunches is a start, but it is not the biggest problem with school lunches! Fresh locally grown food in school lunches should be a priority of the Department of Education. Most school lunches in America consist of heavily processed industrially created food that is often times poorer quality than fast food restaurants. -The Department of Education should team up with First Lady Michele ...more »

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43 votes
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(@suevanhattum)

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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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(@liat2768)

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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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(@adamm.smith)

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Universal procedural literacy / computational thinking

Introduce foundational programming skills to all students at least by the middle-school level. A procedural literacy program could bootstrap from the computer skills (including the use of spreadsheets, programming in a data-flow paradigm), but should quickly move to take a more universal role across broader areas of knowledge. Computational thinking is important not only in STEM careers, but business/marketing and even ...more »

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39 votes
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(@venus.mkultra)

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Innovative Process / Mini Trade School Within High School

Please we beg of you, let our kids go to trade school for high school. By the time some kids get to high school they are already interested in computers, cars, sports, science, math and English. Take some of the European schools for an example, where kids high school education offers trade school quality education for those preparing for work and college. The well rounded education is boring, there is too much homework ...more »

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28 votes
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(@duncan.john)

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Schools, not prisons

Encourage schools to become less like prisons and more like educational campuses. Off-campus privileges should be the rule, not the exception. Study hall is a bad idea, compared to free periods. I watched my high school degrade from an open campus created in the 70s to a locked-down prison in the 90s. No-one would say the education was better in the 90s.

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25 votes
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(@marlow.v.rossi)

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Listen to Teacher's ideas first

There is no one more important in the learning of a child than the teacher. They are the most qualified persons to advise on what works, what doesn't, how performance should be measured and what they need in order to improve the education system and their student's learning. So ASK THEM. Form each school individually and democratically, empower teachers and involved parents to generate their own ideas. Reach out to ...more »

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25 votes
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(@evandhecht)

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Reform

As a high school senior I have numerous suggestions to better our educational system. 1. Getting prepared for college doesn't start in high school, it starts in middle school. I do think we should start preparing students as early as pre-K, but emphasis should begin in middle school. Most students and parents don't realize the fact that what courses the student takes in middle school will determine what high school courses ...more »

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21 votes
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(@lawrencesloan)

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Develop an open source, tablet PC for public school students.

The digital revolution has occurred and for our students to compete they have to have the best tools. The idea of having and open-source, free tablet PC for public school students would not only improve how children learn and interact but also save money. A smaller computer with wifi, an e-reader, and keyboard dock would cost around $120 per unit. At $200 a student, less than the cost of books for a high school student ...more »

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14 votes
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(@dgodon)

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Allow democratic innovation in public schools

Public schools are an important part of a democratic society and public funds should not be farmed out to private charter schools (whether non-profit or for-profit). And, part of that is modeling the democratic process within schools - allowing teachers, staff, administrators, parents, and especially students to have a voice in how schools operate. Learning how to work together is not only an important skill in an increasingly ...more »

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13 votes
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(@peter.row)

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Review the efficacy of graded homework

Does graded homework improve students (across multiple subjects) or is it just a sub-optimization? If a student is given more graded homework in Physics, then they won't do as much ungraded homework in Biology (especially if the grades go towards their final marks). So do students learn more by doing graded homework, or is it just a turf war between different teachers all trying to push kids to work harder in their ...more »

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11 votes
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