THIS IS REPOSTED FROM (haroldshawjr.com)

I posted the following in response to the Whitehouse.com request for input on:

21st Century Education means that students are prepared to use the tools and have the necessary skills that will be pertinent tomorrow, not yesterday or even today.
What do I mean by that? Technology is growing exponentially and whatever tools we use today are going to be obsolete in a short while therefore we need to teach differently than our old Factory teaching model.

We need to teach our students to:

  • think for short term and long term affects of their actions
  • be able to look for the truth (knowing what propaganda is), not just the rhetoric that is being spewed by all sides of the issues
  • have an open mind
  • that change and flexibility are important
  • that sometimes you have to stand up for what you believe in
  • that education does not end when school gets out
  • think critically and be able to research to solve problems with reasonable solutions that harm the least.
We need to use and do teaching that is relevant to the students, not just teach them how to regurgitate facts. Building background knowledge is necessary, but it is not the only things we should be teaching students. As they say what gets tested gets taught, today we are focusing on teaching background knowledge in today’s schools because that is all that is on the Standardized Tests and that is how we are funded.
We need to go beyond that model of education to where we teach students to think about what they are learning and how it relates to them and what is going on around them. We need to teach them to question what they are learning instead of following blindly what is placed in front of them.
We need to look at the whole educational system, from the classroom, to funding, to what are the actual goals of education, what needs to be taught in school versus what is taught in our schools, to what do our children need to do to have the opportunity to be successful over their lifetime.
Without properly educating all of our youth we are setting up a classed society which will cause problems for us in the future. Look at the history of classed societies and what eventually happens to them, we are currently headed in that direction and we need to change course now.

Finally, we need to put the needs of the students first, not the adults who teach them, not the adults who administer the schools, not the adults who run corporations, are consultants, lobbyists and businesses that make money off education or the politicians who use education as a stepping stone to further their own agenda.

I apologize in advance, this is a quick write and I know it is first draft quality, but the ideas and meaning are there if not the grammar.

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