Six Quick Ideas for Educational Reform

2. WE NEED TO ABOLISH SCHOOL SPORTS. School athletics are supported by all taxpayers and yet only kids who make teams reap the benefits. Last year alone, my county spent three million dollars on field maintenance alone. As a former high school coach, I can’t tell you how many times I rode a bus home from a game with one or two kids, all of the others having been taken home by their parents. This is a waste of gas money and on money for a driver’s wage. Furthermore, for most sports high school sports have absolutely nothing to do with their ability to play collegiate sports. College recruiters come to club sporting contests and rarely bother with high school as the talent level is often too disparate to make a valid assessment of ability.

3. TAKE THE MONEY SAVED BY ABOLISHING HS SPORTS AND GIVE TOP NOTCH ATHLETIC EQUIPMENT TO SCHOOLS THAT CAN BE USED BY ALL STUDENTS IN REVAMPED PE PROGRAMS. According to the CDC 20% of American teens are obese and 13% more are overweight. That means one in three American teens are at risk of the plethora of problems that come along with being fat. Schools can help this situation by making robust fitness programs and encouraging students to utilize the equipment on their own as well. Another bonus of this is that exercise has been proven to combat the effects of ADD and ADHD. Kids are wayyyy more sedentary today and it ain’t good physically or mentally. We can reduce the problems quickly with changes.

4. PROVIDE FRESH FOODS AND JUICES AS SCHOOL MEALS. Remember that shit you used to get served when YOU were in HS? Well guess what- it’s still there! The effect on diet and mental and physical health is undeniable and some experts, like Dr. Deepak Chopra, contend that a healthy diet actually promotes positive change all the way down to a genetic level. If the athletic fields are gone, agricultural fields can replaces them. Students could work the fields while learning about chemistry, ecology, agriculture, AND providing farm to table meals for their fellow pupils.

5. CHANGE HOW WE TEACH! I am an English teacher and I will attack my subject first. I don’t see how there is any real life benefit in knowing the plot of MacBeth or The Great Gatsby. Students should read high quality non-fiction literature that focuses on real life issues like climate change that promotes critical thinking. The study of language should center around effective debate and the ability to discern good sources from poor ones. Language has real life applications that go beyond reading about some dude who got dumped and can’t get his shit together ( Gatsby). Other ideas would be turning episodes of “Forensic Files” into biology lessons, utilizing cooking to teach chemistry, and analyzing a Patrick Mahomes bomb to discover the physics behind it. Preaching to sedentary people who are being sedentary makes no sense.

6. PRACTICE WHAT WE PREACH. If you want more talented people to teach, PAY THEM. Don’t TALK about paying them. A few years ago, our county proposed a restaurant tax that would have bolstered teachers’ pay. It was voted down. YET, if you had asked people if education was their top priority, many would have said yes. Seems like cents at a restaurant was more valuable than sense in schools.

Make no mistake, if we don’t radically change education soon, it will be too late. Once the laziness that is tolerated from students and common sense measures to improve education become stagnant the result will be permanent entrenchment in a downward spiral.
I hope it is not already too late!

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Dr. Dad Bod

Dr. Dad Bod

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I am a husband, father, teacher, and soccer coach, and aspiring writer residing in Northern Virginia. More than anything, I love having fun and pushing myself!