Innovative Education

Aaron Sams is a teacher in Woodland Park, Colorado who thought of a way to engage his students and to make better use of his time in class. By filming his lessons and putting them on YouTube, his students were to watch the lessons online so that they could participate in labs or higher level discussions during class. His idea spread to a school in Michigan which decreased the rate of failing by more than 30 percent.

It’s time for America to start thinking about these kinds of innovative ideas.

With repetitive structures of tending to standardized testing, taking away art-based programs, and lessening salaries for teachers, students are not getting the best education that they could. Students and teachers are being tracked by their ability based on the standardized testing.


Even though President Obama claims to want to “stop teaching to the test,” his Race to the Top program does just that. Teachers and schools will be evaluated on students’ test scores, and when they do not meet the standards, the teachers will be fired and the schools will be shut down. This is problematic because teachers will focus on teaching to the test rather than creatively challenging their students with other outlets of learning besides simply reading and math.
Arts programs are deteriorating as budget cuts continue and more value is placed on tests. Students who do not excel in reading or math are considered less intelligent than those who can pass the test. President Obama wants teachers to teach with “creativity and passion,” which is not rewarded by his current program. Teachers like Sams may have consequences such as being fired for their ingenious teaching techniques.Education reform is necessary is order to combat broader issues in America like unemployment and poverty, as well as preparing American students to compete in the world economy. The United States ranks about 27th worldwide for education (although this average is only based on data for math, reading, and science). President Obama and other politicians should start thinking critically about ways to improve education throughout the country rather than using the same techniques that have been used for decades.

See also: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/does-obama-understand-race-to-the-top–ravitch/2012/01/31/gIQAUnI7eQ_blog.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/15/education/15stamford.html?pagewanted=all

-Baillee Brown

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About rowlanda12

This is a blog about the 2012 presidential election. Content is generated by students in Professor Heldman's Politics 101 class. She does not necessarily endorse the views expressed here.
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