I know a lot of folks who are dependent on the State government school system for their livelihoods aren’t thrilled with my plan to aggressively push distance learning (primarily over the Internet) and competency tests. Naturally, they fear for their jobs (we won’t need as many actual teachers (a single teacher can communicate with 100 students who are focused on their laptops, very comfortably), but they really shouldn’t be.
The good teachers; the ones that genuinely feel compelled to impart knowledge and influence young minds; and their students reflect that he/she is making it rewarding for them, will always have a place, and a job, and most probably at a much higher rate of pay. As to the rest; it’s better they retrain for one of the new jobs in new industries that are on their way, sooner, rather than later.
Arizona’s Education system, as it is, consumes half of Arizona’s budget. And if that weren’t bad enough; our government school students rank last, or next-to-last, in the entire country. The only one who can elbow us out of the way is Washington, D.C.–and they spend twice as much as we do per student! Obviously; it’s not the money.
Of course, some of the other extra benefits we will see are 1) Outfitting each student with whatever they need to get hooked up, is peanuts (compared to staffing, maintaining and securing facilities). 2) Did I mention that the results wherever it’s being used, it is wildly successful in terms of student learning. After a year, the students are often 2 1/2 years ahead of their brick and mortar counterparts. 3) Bullying is a thing of the past. This gives parents enough time to strengthen their children to where they can defend themselves effectively. 4) Helps control the spread of epidemics and disease. A Major factor. 5) Savings for parents on gas, and time spent waking them up, getting them ready; delivering them; or picking up their child. With actual school days and classes (biology, for instance) cut to maybe two days a week, 6) we’ll also see an enormous savings in energy costs, 7) We will re-emphasize the appreciation for actually learning valuable skills; as opposed to a Certificate of Accomplishment, and 8) It’ll be capped off with a voluntary competency test. A Diploma, or even a Degree, only speak to what a student has done (sat in a classroom for 180 days per year, for so many years); but a competency test reveals ‘what the student is capable of doing–there’s a big difference.
In any event, free, easily accessible education is coming, with or without my efforts. It’s already started…