If there’s one overriding truth that I know about the world, it is the following; there are simple solutions to every problem in existence. The cumulative effect of 30+ years of sitcom viewing is that I know that every wacky situation life presents can be resolved in approximately 22 minutes, not including commercial breaks of course, and that tougher situations may require “A very special episode” starring Sally Field.
Why would education be any different?
I recently read in my local paper that our local school district was being sucked away from Earth’s gravitational field and that it would soon be hurtling towards the sun at near light speed until it would ultimately be consumed by our brightly burning neighbor to the…well, whatever direction the sun is from us.
Now, of course I jest, it will take our school district years to reach the sun before it is engulfed in its fiery bowels, but that leaves us with this quandary until that day arrives.
How do we fix education?
The following easy to follow steps should juuuust about do it…
1) Stop spending any money on teachers- What’s that you say? Insanity you cry? Hold on, my impetuous friend, and hear me out. Education gurus and politicians will site studies that say that class size has nothing to do with educational achievement. Here here, I say! Once you’re educating 45 kids, what’s another 7? It’s almost the same. I just want to take this concept to the next level.
You see, what we do is eliminate teachers entirely. We will still send kids to school, and we’ll even have 1 or 2 administrators that make class schedules and fulfill basic services. Those kids will sit in class rooms until someone decides to take the job of educating them. We all know that teachers are basically dumb, so it will be easy to fill positions with inexperienced volunteers. People generally assume that teachers will take less money because they are so altruistic, so why not just find those housewives out there that are just watching soaps all day to do it for free! I’m telling you, we fill the schools with kids, and just sit and wait. Someone will do it.
Estimated savings: Crapload of money
2) Stop spending any money on teaching materials – Listen, who needs curriculum? Just a bunch of benchmarks and standards, what it really is is a bureaucratic nightmare wrapped inside a tragedy, packaged as an enigma. Since I received an education in the US, I don’t even know what that last phrase meant!
What do we do then for books, materials, things of that ilk? One word baby….Google! It knows everything! And listen, what are we teaching kids anyway? How to think? Not! Bloom’s taxonomy is just a bunch of hooey. We’re teaching them to excel at tests! So most classes, we’ll just sit kids in front of their computers, teach them how to use Google, and hope they use their class time productively to learn about subjects we give them. The rest of the academic year should practically take care of itself.
Estimated savings: Huge crapload of money
3) Stop spending any money on technology – Wait, doesn’t that contradict what I just wrote? Not at all, we just rely on students to bring their own. Just about every kid, even the ones at the poorest schools, have a smartphone or iPod or something. The BYOT, or “Bring your own tech” initiative is what we’ll call it. You can almost feel Adam Smith’s invisible hand caressing the pocketbooks of millions of taxpayers across the country.
Estimated savings: Ginormous steaming crapload of money
Steve Hendricks is the author of “Fending off China: How Sitting our Students in Teacherless Classrooms and Letting Them Play Around with Google on their Smartphones for 13 years will Help America Stay at the Top of the Heap.”