Sunday, February 5, 2012

Economy & Education

One of the major issues in the contemporary education system that I have been contemplating this week revolves around monetary concerns. Typically economic issues trump environmental or education issues. This claim can be evidenced by an analysis of the current events in western society revolving around education and the environment. Back at home in Twinsburg, Ohio, my old high school is attempting to rework their budget, and may make detrimental changes due to the budget cuts. They have discussed multiple solutions over the previous months. One example would be to remove block scheduling, which would require less teachers. For those who do not know what block scheduling is-- it consists of four class periods a day that are about an hour and a half long. For the first half of the year, students will take four classes, and after winter break students will take four different classes. This type of scheduling has multiple strengths, preparing students for a schedule that more closely resembles collegiate life, while also giving teachers and students more time to focus on one subject. The only real weakness I have found with block scheduling involves AP testing, but that is moot point for my current meditations. If THS decides to get rid of block scheduling, then they can have one of those periods be a study hall, allowing for one or two teachers to supervise a larger number of students in an auditorium, gymnasium, or cafeteria. This would lower the average teacher to student ratio per period, allowing for THS to fire teachers without tenure. Other solutions consist of restricting busing for students who live within  a mile or so of the school. And there has also been talk of requiring the students to pay for extracurricular activities.

I am unsure of why economic issues tend to trump educational issues, but in order to shift education away from education and towards a craft, one ought to be able to separate the two types problems. It seems as if the standardization of education is a result of putting economic issues on a pedestal, which can be evidenced by high-stakes testing. I unfortunately do not have a solution for this yet, but I am sure something will come to mind shortly.

The Jesse Jennings

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