ALSO -- Those OpenGov Team members,... more »
Current textbooks are expensive, and not really great. Creating free textbooks that schools could modify for their own purposes would raise the bar.
Teachers often see it as "unprofessional" to review each-others' work. Teachers should be encouraged to review each other, and maybe provide open critiques.
Qualitative assessments, portfolios, written evaluations, demonstrations of work, performances all give much greater insight into what students are learning. On the other hand, grades provide little real insight into student learning, no constructive feedback for improvement, and tend to undermine genuine interest in learning.
Access to books is the most important factor in improving literacy. This means well-funded, well-stocked school libraries with qualified librarians.
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.