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Redditors Talk Education: What Changes They Would Most Like To See

Sara Newman |
June 19, 2014 | 1:04 p.m. PDT

Deputy Editor

Problems in the education school start hurting students from an early age (Twinpic/KimberlyBarris)
Problems in the education school start hurting students from an early age (Twinpic/KimberlyBarris)
Anyone who has been in the school system long enough has at one point or another come across an ineffective teacher who has been teaching for too long and with too little enthusiasm thanks to the job security granted to them by tenure. 

Similarly, in times of educational budget crises, most people have stories to tell of young, passionate teachers being the first pink slip recipients for no other reason than that they were hired last.  

On June 10, however, Judge Rolf M. Treu’s ruling in the Vergara v. California trial flipped the tenure system on its head. He struck down five key provisions of the California Education Code as unconstitutional, effectually overturning the systems that had kept seniority and job security in place.

“All sides to this litigation agree that competent teachers are a critical, if not the most important, component of success of a child’s in-school education experience. All sides also agree that grossly ineffective teachers substantially undermine the ability of that child to succeed in school,” wrote Judge Treu in his 16-page ruling

READ MORE: Teachers Left Feeling Undervalued After Vergara v. California Ruling 

Teachers, plaintiffs and judges certainly aren’t the only ones with views about what changes should be made to improve the education system. And tenure certainly isn’t the only policy that people are hoping to change.

Most discussions—at least most discussions that can hope to have any real effect—are between educators and policy makers. 

But just about everyone has gone through the education system themselves. Such novices are a step away from the complicated politics of education and can instead approach the discussion with fresh ideas and greater hope.

READ MORE: Changes To The Louisiana Education System Also Changing Lives 

Reddit may be more than just “the front page of the internet;” it may very well be a place for real suggestions about how to continue improving the quality of education in American.

  1. First, make it harder to become a teacher, and actually pay teachers what they're worth, which is a [lot] more. Second, give the teachers back more power. Third, banish creationism and teach science. Fourth, reinstate the music and art programs of every school that had them cut. Finally, eliminate all the "common core" "no child left behind" "standardized tests." - sifu_scott
  2. Not have common core. Teachers are so focused on passing the common core standardized tests that they rarely have time to teach anything else. - PC509
  3. [Give] all schools equal funding. I know it's not that simple, but if we try to move towards equal funding (by population or whatever), I think we would see some improvement because there wouldn't have to be standardized state tests and such. - DrPinkLemonadeVodka
  4. I would start by eliminating standardized testing all together. This has single handedly destroyed our educational system. - ElDochart
  5. I'd make it mandatory to teach all students at some point how memory works. We force them to memorize so much, and that's basically the point of school, but they end up trying to use strategies that don't actually help and get frustrated when they get poor test scores. - Salticido
  6. When a student is assigned a honors course, make the honors course not a greater work load but challenging. Too often are we finding that the school systems are just overloading honors students rather than giving them more challenging work and this results only in stressing the mind emotionally in contrast to more challenging work which develops the mind. - Running_Cougar
  7. Reward teachers who are good, not teachers who have been around longest. - programo
  8. Fix Tenure. It was implemented with the right mind set but is completely broken. - My_Password_is_This
  9. A laptop for every kid and most of learning would be done through games. Want to get far in the game? You better know the answers to your history homework. Need more lives? Solve these equations. Want the DLC? You'll need to maintain a B+ in the class. – GlassArrow
  10. Remove anything involving religion and double teacher's salaries. - Spawndaemon
  11. I think we need to make all faculty hiring tenure-track and cut the funding for every other Dean…Good students are driven to despair when they find out that 5+ years of toiling relentlessly will lead to a position that pays little in terms of money and respect. Meanwhile every other deadwood adept at politics doubles or sometimes triples his salary by becoming Dean of Haughty-sounding nonsense. - plosone
  12. Administrators get no more than twice what the lowest paid teacher gets paid. Teacher to teacher mentoring. Smaller class sizes (no more than 18 in a classroom). Required parent participation in schools and employers must give time off (like they do for jury duty). All schools get the same amount of money per student. No teacher/administrator tenure at k-12 level. Teachers/administrators can be fired for cause which is plainly spelled out. No local school board influence on science, math, history, civics and social science and all must be taught in every grade level appropriate to age. No religion taught in school including religious history or theory. Leave that to the churches and to the home. Sex education taught in 5th or 6th grade. Art/music in all schools. Lunch must be cooked in school kitchens using nutritious ingredients. No outside food vendors. No private schools get public money. - Tazz221
  13. Make emotional intelligence, empathy, critical thinking part of the curriculum from kindergarten. - notjawn
Contact Deputry Editor Sara Newman here. Follow her on Twitter here



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