Change education for 21st century

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No to all school construction/remodeling. No more useless debt for a system ranked average in the industrialized world. Adopt 21st century technology and thinking to configure the finest education system possible.

Actions required:

Place education in the private sector. It will configure/manage the entire program. Government will have the minimum involvement possible.

Eliminate the Department of Education plus all laws, regulations, rules, mandates, contracts and activities in the current system; start with a clean slate.

Sell underperforming schools via Chapter 11. Issue buyouts. Those qualified can compete in the new system.

Education suppliers must satisfy performance contracts. Capability and effectiveness shall be measured yearly to audit performance. Failures are dismissed.

Competitors include all education systems including public schools exceeding highest federal performance standards; plus private, parochial, charter, virtual, correspondence, home schooling and those to come.

No compulsory attendance. Responsibility shifts to students and those responsible for them.

Teach 300 courses using five premier American citizen instructors for each, a cadre of 1,500 selected competitively.

Any U.S. citizen at any age shall receive a high school diploma upon passing a two-consecutive-days written and oral examination based on reconfigured and expanded SAT-like exams and procedures. Exams will be offered quarterly. All exams are written, administered, performed and graded in English.

There will be seven differentiated exams -- modified annually -- from which one will be randomly assigned each candidate. Each day's exam is distributed the day taken. No aids will be tolerated. Apprehended cheaters are banned from taking another examination for two or more years.

Applicants must register and be qualified, documented U.S. citizens meeting all legal requirements. They shall be photographed, fingerprinted and iris scanned to ensure identity and maintain performance records and protect computer theft.

Union membership is not required.

Imagine a 1,500-person cadre of the finest, most effective teachers lecturing over the Internet to learners everywhere, translated into all languages as used by the U.N. Every state-of-the-art system and equipment shall be employed to supplement teaching.

Animation will allow dissection of worms, frogs or any critter plus laboratory experiments from chemistry through physics can be done digitally without blowing up facilities. Software entrepreneurs will devise new programs to expand capabilities into design and invention

Imagine the leap toward ending ignorance throughout the world by overriding physical, social and religion-based barriers against various groups in Third-World countries.

William L. Kelly

Walla Walla

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