Monday, February 13, 2006

Re-tooling education

Two interesting articles this morning. The first tells us that a local private school is doing so well that they can consider leaving their Davidson County location and build a new $20 million dollar campus in Sumner County. The second comes from Business Week magazine and tells us

More parents believe that even the best-endowed schools are in an Old Economy death grip in which kids are learning passively when they should be learning actively, especially if they want an edge in the global knowledge economy.

One popular critique of conventional education likens it to a mass-production institution that is failing to adapt. Schools, critics say, are like old industrial assembly lines, churning out conformists who could function well in rote factory jobs or rigid corporate hierarchies but not in New Economy professions that demand innovation and independent thinking. Indeed, the Education Dept. states in a report that the most promising learning developments, such as e-learning and virtual schools, are occurring outside the system.
Two things to consider here:

1. If these parents aren't coming to Davidson County anymore, there is little chance they're going to shop and live in Davidson County. I know some of these families and several of them chose that school and based their home purchase on the ease of getting to that campus. Will this be another business that leaves Davidson County for greener pastures in the more prosperous ring that surrounds our county? Will we be more accommodating and supportive of a sports team than this school that for 25 years has been educating our children?

2. It's time, past time, to re-tool our public education system. Every day it becomes clearer and clearer that the goal of the caretakers of this system is less about educating the children and more about preserving their system and their control over the process. When will citizens and parents have their fill of second best? When will educrats and politicans in their pockets let go of their own agenda's and really, really, put children first?

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