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