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Education reform

Public vs. Private vs. Charter vs. Home-schooling, which of our current education systems is most preferable for the general public?  Philadelphia, once the nation’s eighth largest public education system, will close 40 public school at the start of the[masked] school years, and plans to close 6 additional schools each year thereafter.  This would result in the percentage of students in charter schools to rise from 25 to 40 percent by 2017.  With education standards and achievements lagging compared to other countries, is the closing and dismantling of our public education system a good idea?  IS the privatization of schools a good idea?  There’s no question that the American education system is broken but where should school reform begin and how should it look?  Below are some great TED talks and podcasts highlighting some opinions on education reform and some examples of innovative, new education plans.  I would like to discuss the general issue of reform and what that reform should look like, why or why we shouldn’t privatize schools, promote home schooling, or just do away with the current system all together.  During this discussion I would like to focus mainly on the below talks and podcasts as a starting place.  From there I think it would be interesting to discuss these issues in light of what is occurring in Philadelphia’s education system.  It would be great to have some teachers join this discussion if possible.  I would also like to recommend Martin's links below as well and propose we discuss Finland in-depth.  I would agree that their system is quite the opposite of ours.

TED radio hours (these feature and highlight the individual TED talks I also list below)

Unstoppable learning-

Building a better classroom-

Individual TED talks (these are featured in the above so may be repetitive to listen to both)

Sir Ken Robinson: How Do Schools Suffocate Creativity?-

Salman Khan: How Can Videos "Flip The Classroom?"-

Freakonomics: How Is a Bad Radio Station Like the Public School System?-

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  • Will B.

    Good, animated discussion. Many good questions raised.

    August 24, 2014

    • Helen R.

      This was definitely a very spirited discussion. The education of our youth is something that needs continuing discussion. There must be a workable solution to the financial crisis of the Philadelphia public schools.

      August 24, 2014

  • Brian W

    Sorry, I have to cancel late. Upon waking up at 10:15a, I just received notice that a spot opened for me, but I also have other plans for the day now.

    August 23, 2014

  • Lynne

    I was on the wait list and didn't hear so made other plans.

    August 23, 2014

  • Dana Reilly F.

    I'd like to come to this event with my husband. I truly believe this group may help save our marriage. I love my husband very much but our town hurt us

    August 23, 2014

  • Helen R.

    This is such an important topic. I can't wait to hear the discussion. I was so impressed with the rich resources for our discussion tomorrow morning.

    August 23, 2014

  • maddopaddo

    sorry I haven't had time to check out the links provided. Anyway my perspective can be summed up with John Taylor Gatto (eg and also Summerhill school, which is fully democratic with all students of any age having equal votes on all decisions with all the teachers and other adults, and no compulsory lessons.
    Gatto reveals that state-mandated compulsory education is basically a mind-control racket and perhaps the most important tool of oppression.
    This of course makes it an enormously important issue for me.

    August 22, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have to head home to NJ-- something came up...I am horribly disappointed- this is something so near and dear to my heart, I just retired after 30 years of teaching-- I could just scream. One of these days....

    August 22, 2014

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