It has been very interesting and enlightening to learn about the public policy and economic trends that pose challenges to educators. Reynold’s video, “The K-12 Implosion,” questioning why America has been putting ever-growing amounts of money into its K-12 education system, while getting steadily poorer results, just highlights some of the issues that are faced. We continue to put more money and resources into our educational system and unfortunately often get poorly educated students. The cost of education over the last several decades has increased tremendously, but performance remains stagnant. A lot of the money is due to increased student populations and, of course, teachers-to include a multitude of specialists, aides and para educators, that didn’t exist even when I was going to school. But clearly all of the additional staff isn’t producing the results we are looking for. With homeschooling on the rise it also is apparent that more and more parents are taking educating their own children into their hands as well. I feel we need to really look at the fact that one size does not fit all with students, and continue to work on individualizing education to put all students on the path to true success. If we don’t the real cost is going to be another generation of children that don’t have equal access to a quality education.
One opportunity to continue to do this is through expanded learning opportunities after the school bell has rung in after school programs. These programs have qualified staff that can enhance children’s education with expanded use of technology, resources and time to really explore. A real collaboration between schools and after school programs could be a step in the right direction.
View this video: How Afterschool Programs Expand the Educational Experience