Will more money for our schools make them better?
At last week's launch, the education group had a lively conversation about key issues in education. Everyone agreed that the schools need more money and support the campaign "Close the Loophole." The big question is HOW that additional money is spent. The group honed in on two areas: class size and curriculum.
People felt that with lower class sizes in all grades kids will learn more. Not only that, teachers will feel less tired of managing large classes. Ask any teacher what it's like to teach a class of 35 students versus 25 students. They'll all tell you it makes a huge difference. The group acknowledged that 15 students per class would radically change our system. While expensive, our kids are worth it.
In terms of curriculum, the group felt that what is being taught in schools today (particularly high schools) is not relevant and engaging for students. Kids don't see how algebra, for example, will be used in their later life. A big push in education is around 21st century skills (see The Partnership for 21st Century Skills at http://www.p21.org). If our students are going to truly be prepared for their adult lives, people felt that the curriculum needs to be completely re-written, and this, of course, costs money.