For many years now Americans and politicians alike have been talking about Americas declining educational system. Yet what has been done I ask? Or should I say what needs to be done? There are some that have taken this topic head on such as the GBN (Global Business Network,) The Schott Foundation for Public Education & PEN (Public Education Network.) You can read there conclusions at there selected websites. This article is what I believe America’s new educational system should be modeled after.
America’s current educational system has students go from preschool, to elementary school, them Middle school, and on to High school. Most students will graduate High school on or around the age of 18 with just a diploma. Some that go to trade schools will graduate with not only a diploma but with a trade certificate as well. Then these students may move on to collage were it takes on average almost 5 years to obtain a Bachelors degree. This Bachelors degree 30-40 years ago only took 4 years to obtain. Why does it now take 5 or more?
What I propose is this; first we extend the school year to 200 days & add grade 13. We take away some of the holiday breaks to help accommodate the added school days. Preschool, Kindergarten will remain the same. Elementary students will begin at grade 1 through grade 5.
Following completion at the elementary school level, students will then enter Middle school. Middle school will consist of grades 6-8, & the structure will remain unchanged as this is the foundation for preparing students for High school.
Students will then enter High school from grades 9-13. However there are big changes at this level. Students in grades 9 & 10 will continue with the traditional High school format – all academics. It is here that they will begin there “exploratory” in whatever field of study they may wish to pursue. Here in Massachusetts all 10th grade students must pass the MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System – Test) in order to graduate.
If we institute that kind of test in our entire educational system at that grade. After all with the added 20 days of school a year X 10 years = 200 days that’s the equivalent to a grade 11. With this instituted we can then pursue something far better for our children from grades 11-13. Students will enter a more collage format, were by the time they are 19 and graduating from High school. Students will be not only graduating with a “diploma,” but an associate’s degree as well.
This format will undoubtedly change the collage curriculum. Now collages can institute more degree oriented classes to complete there Bachelor degree programs. Now Bachelor degrees are almost the equivalent to Master’s degrees, and now Master’s degrees are more like PhD’s. & so on.
With this new structure students are still graduating collage around the same age of 21-22, but they will have a more solid knowledge in their field of study. With this new burst of knowledge it will ultimately bring America back into the forefront of ever increasing demand in expanding technologies.
Is this a flawless format? No or course not. There are several areas not talked about that those foundations like PEN and the GBN bring up. These areas do need to be addressed but this it is meant to serve as a new blueprint to follow, discuss, and expand upon.