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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dear Mr Obama: please change your education policies

Dear Mr Obama:

I realize there is no point in writing to you about education. Your mind is made up. Evaluate teachers; everyone should go to college; school is a big competition and there have to be winners; the 1892 curriculum cannot be changed in any way because Bill Gates and all the book publishers want it that way. 

But I will ask anyway. Please do the following.

  1. fire Arne Duncan
  2. abandon Common Core standards
  3. let teachers teach and by that I do not mean test prep and I do not mean lecturing
  4. let students learn what it interests them to learn
  5. build thousands of on line curricula, so that anyone can learn whatever they want to learn
  6. make sure that these on line students are learning to do something and not to memorize and pass tests
  7. allow students the option to get out of all the mandated standards
  8. stop pushing college, which as any professor knows is simply a four year party for most students
  9. get rid of courses (including MOOCs); replace them by experiences in which real skills are learned
  10. re-train teachers to be mentors, to help students achieve their own goals, not ones that the school has established for them

Yes, I know its hopeless. But I thought I’d ask. 

Just as a suggestion, take a look at the new computer science short courses we are now offering. Open to anyone, but not free (we spent a lot of money building them, something the government should be doing.


Roger Schank

Emeritus Professor

1 comment:

Curtis Faith said...

Please sir, can I have some more?