A recent letter to the editor, I believe with tongue in cheek, suggested I become “Education Czar” for the district. The author sited my common sense approach to education and the fact that I couldn’t do any worse. It got me thinking, where I am not sure about my qualifications, I am definitely sure what my approach would be.
I’ll start by saying I don’t believe it wouldn’t take reinventing the wheel or breaking the bank to dramatically improve education in Jacksonville. What we need is vigorous enforcement of the code of conduct, to stop social promotions, to put legitimate safety nets for kids struggling either with academics and or behavior in place, to develop alternative curriculums, which means we reintroduce trades, skills and the arts across the district and finally we need to start treating teachers as valued assets by giving them autonomy, encouraging creativity and by not overwhelming them with task after task that only had a superfluous relationship to education. Instead I would want them to spend that valuable time with their students. In effect I would want to do everything we should be doing now, some might say it is common sense but aren’t.
I also believe the object of a public school education should not be to prepare every child for a post secondary education so they can compete in a global economy (the districts mantra) but to prepare every child to be a productive and civil citizen in whatever path they choose to take.
Which goes back to the letter writer’s thought, if we did it that way could it be any worse? I certainly don’t think so.