- In the United States, the factory-model schools prepared students
for the economy of of the early 20th century and helped lift millions into
the middle class. In 1900, the majority of students would take industrial
jobs and did not need a deep education; only 17 percent of all jobs at the
time required knowledge workers. The fact that many students dropped out
of high school, did not attend or complete college, or — more to the point
— did not learn much academically did not cripple students when they left for
the workforce nor did it significantly hurt the American economy.
- Today, countries are moving
into an economy in which over 60 percent of jobs require knowledge
workers, and we expect schools to educate all children so that they can
realize their fullest human potential, it leaves too many students
behind—and not just ones from disadvantaged backgrounds.
- Parents know, just because two children are the same age, it does
not mean that they learn in the same way and at the same pace. Each child
has different learning needs at different times. Some students quickly
learn material, whereas others struggle to grasp its meaning. These
differences often depend upon the subject or concept in which a student is
- Nearly all of us have had an experience of being stuck in a class in which no matter how many times the teacher explained a concept, we just couldn’t grasp it. The class whisked along, we fell further behind, and frustration mounted. Many of us have also experienced the reverse. Sometimes we understood things before our classmates. We grew bored when the class repeatedly drilled a concept for those who struggled to understand. A stunning number of students drop out of school not because they are struggling, but because they are bored. School should not be a place where our students are either frustrated or bored; it should be a place where they are engaged and excited to learn.
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