Smart Education Reform
In my book Solutions: Ways to fix America I discuss changing America’s education system for the better. I elaborated in the document Reworking Education – Years 1 thru 5. In the document Reworking Education – Years 6 thru 10 I expand on that even more. This is a continuation of that, and splits years by career paths based on major/minor fields of study.
This is a “finishing school”: the goal is for students to graduate from this level of learning able to start a job. It differs depending on major/minor as well as the career students have chosen. This is specialized education; generic learning is done.
11th year students will have chosen an actual career at this point. Training will begin for their desired job.
Curriculum will cover STEM related topics broadly at first and then move more in-depth. Practical uses and applications will be discussed at length. Specifics will be taught when desirable.
Curriculum will pertain to the basics of trade work, including contracting, unions, and trade knowledge. The basics of several trades will be taught for a better understanding of interrelated systems. Much of this knowledge overlaps.
Curriculum will pertain to the core areas of human services such as psychology, physiology, conversational skills, and professional etiquette.
Curriculum will pertain to multiple areas of business such as finance, planning, statistics, and organizational skills. Other areas may follow.
This is simply an introduction to more structure education in their career path. The years to come fragment learning even more.
12th year students will begin learning subjects directly related to their field and profession. This is the first firm year of field-specific learning and career-specific orientation.
Students will attend intro courses for their specified field. They will also be learning about career-specific topics along the way.
Students will begin working with professionals serving as teachers. They will learn a great deal about their field and begin career-specific learning.
Students will work with advisors to help guide them to their desired career. Human services vary wildly and a generic field approach is not recommended.
Students will expand on what they have already learned with little focus on career-specifics. Students will learn office/productivity tools like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and the like.
13th year students will delve deeper into career-specific curriculum and may be sent to special schools/external learning programs to accomplish their mission.**Some career choices may require additional funding and/or require students to travel and/or pay for classes/supplies. This is necessary as some careers are specialized or hard to find enough teachers and/or students to feasibly fill localized classes. **
Students will take career-specific intro courses to help them get on their way.
Students will be working with real professionals and real materials, possibly on-the-job (OTJ) training as an apprentice depending on the career. Some will go to specialized schools (like commercial driving).
Students will work directly with educators teaching about their desired career. Medical students will learn from medical teachers, law enforcement with law enforcement, and so on.
Students will continue on their course of learning specific to their career and field. This will polish their knowledge and get them ready for college/continuing education.
Just like it is today, the government pays for years K-12. Unlike the current system, 2 more years is guaranteed for students pursuing higher education goals such as doctors, programmers, lawyers, nurses, electricians, engineers, etc.
After these additional 2 years students may opt to temporarily accept a government position at the end of their studies for real-world/on-the-job training. Not all career-choices qualify.
14th year students specialize even more, with different career paths and career choices affecting the exact education they receive.
These are essentially ‘college level’ courses paid for by the state. Some students (such as those in Trade, Human Services, or Business) may elect to enter the workforce if the career chosen requires no additional specialized knowledge (or offers on-the-job/OTJ training or certification). Those in more advanced fields will be required to stay in school through year 15; additional requirements are met through private-sector courses or via government grants and/or contracts.
Students will enroll in advanced courses related to their desired career. Students will be expected to pass these courses and any related exams before moving to year 15.
Students will participate in special schools for their given career or enter a work-study program to finish training/transition into the workforce. See career-specific sections of [future document] for details.
Students will enter a training program or receive on-the-job training depending on availability. Training programs may be performed by an individual already in the field (extended shadowing/internship). Additional options may apply since the field is so wide.
Students will continue their education if desired/required. Some students may elect to enter the workforce as a provisional employee. Possible government grants for businesses accepting them.
Completion of year 15 is equivalent to an Associate’s Degree and must be accepted by any college or other institution (be it a business or otherwise). This way everyone “technically” has a college degree.
This will be the final year of schooling for a large number of students and the final year of official state-funded education. The intent is for students that graduate this level to either continue to college on their own or to have already entered/be prepared to enter the workforce.
Students will be tested on advanced knowledge and may be required to take additional courses. The option to test out is available if students wish to learn on their own (so long as they pass their standardized career proficiency exam).
Students will either be career-ready or ready for more advanced learning via external institutions. This year preps them for a standardized exam to evaluate proficiency whether they have on-the-job training or not.
Students will take a standardized career proficiency exam to ensure they are ready to perform their actual job. Students entering fields/careers that require more education must also pass this exam to enter the next level of schooling (doctors, lawyers, etc.).
Students will take a standardized career proficiency exam to certify they have obtained the knowledge required to perform the job. Special grants may be given to students with outstanding academic performance requiring a little extra schooling (accountants, actuaries, etc.).
This is my 15 year plan. Instead of “no child left behind”, every child is given opportunity to train for the career of their choice. Core curriculum is covered so we all have a basic understanding of what’s going on in the world. Field/career specific courses are offered courtesy of the state to where workers in nearly every profession can receive education for free.