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Education is Key - Knowledge is Power

 

Overall, I think teachers should be highly respected, highly trained, and allowed to do their jobs and politicians should be listening to the experts in the field and trying their best to make our K-12 and education system the best. Period. 

I believe having a strong, world-class education system is vitally important for America (and any society especially in this Century) to maintain its status in the world. I support raising the wages of teachers and attempting to restore the position to one that is desirable, fulfilling and highly respected. 

I believe in smart reform of our education system - treating every student with the respect and attention they deserve. I support STEM fields much but understand not everyone wants to be a scientist or engineer or has the capacity or motivation to do so. I believe in a balanced educational system that gives choices and presents opportunities to students of all income levels, academic potential, and so forth. I think developing self-discipline and resiliency is highly important as well.

I think a diverse and balanced education that meets the demands of today's world while still developing students as people is important. I think our education system has in the past and still does focus too much on competition and assessments and developing people to become good "worker bees" so to speak (rote memorization, assessment focusing not on content as much as following instructions and presentation), and less on actual learning, critical thinking, developing skills and problem solving - though it does seem like things are moving in the right direction. I believe education has gotten better, especially with the implementation of 5e learning methods for example (https://lesley.edu/article/empowering-students-the-5e-model-explained) and common core standards have shown some good results (https://www.vox.com/2014/10/7/18088680/common-core) in better preparing students for college but more can be done. 

"A republic is built on the foundation of knowledge." - Aristotle

 

I think it is vitally important that politicians listen to the experts in the complex field of pedagogy. I think some changes are needed in the field such as the teaching of high school biology for example - with so much focus being spent on learning about how cells work when a 14-year-old student doesn't have the frame of reference to understand the importance of what they are learning (for example). I believe college-level type classes are often much better and we should not underrate the ability for young people to learn and learn quickly especially with the internet. I do think a lot of young people and kids are doing great things now and it's not all that bad but that also young people and kids are becoming a bit too mentally fragile and mean to each other and can end up making bad choices in life because of a lot of different factors. 

 

I think politics, religion, and possible corporate influence(s) do not mix in this arena and support teaching more just facts etc. Our laws are pretty decent in this regard I believe and keeps things going (teachers having rules and restrictions that help with being able to focus on and do their job). 

 

Learning how to learn is the most important aspect of learning and the latest and greatest ways to learn are not taught to the majority - for example, MindValley.com's - Jim Kwik's "Superbrain" class is amazing (video presentation of it here and a playlist here).

Technology: - Technology is very important in  K-12 education but some of the richer people in the world and in our country (such as in California - Silicon Valley) actually pay good money to send their kids to schools that don't use technology and computers at all. There is much value in hands-on learning, writing, conversing, etc. without the use of technology. I think technology needs to be integrated but not overly relied upon. I think we could implement more troubleshooting skills into curriculum and obviously with the internet, the evaluation of sources - being able to tell the difference between truth from fiction is highly important.

 

Standardized Testing: Schools are seemingly getting better in a lot of ways but still have an overreliance on standardized testing in my opinion.

 

Teacher evaluations: I believe students should be randomly surveyed about their teachers throughout the school year and results should be shared with parents a few days or weeks before parent-teacher conferences.

 

Teacher's pay and the school: I think teachers should be more respected for the work they do and more highly paid with more autonomy and leeway unto the school (giving teachers/people more chances and the school and it's board and superintendent etc. more freedom).

Gifted and Fast Track students: In other countries, gifted students can graduate and start working on master's degrees while still quite young.  I support fast-track programs for students even in lower economic classes - poor areas such as urban and rural areas (working to develop policy that can scale down and be implemented for students to have ways to go more at their own pace and not be held back by the education system).

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