TED Conversations

Daniel Powell

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Why isn't REAL reform taking place in our education systems? Education is broken, but do any of the current reforms really change anything?

Of the 34 developed countries in the OECD, the United States ranks in the bottom one-third in math and science scores and graduation rate. Our nation isn’t catching up, either, it’s falling further behind. At least 11 countries are making academic gains at double and even triple the rate of American students. Despite nearly 30 years of reform efforts, little has changed. None of the proposed reforms by President Obama (listed on the White House page for education reform) fundamentally change the educational system.

“…overall, the United States has the same teachers, in the same roles, with the same level of knowledge, teaching in the same schools, with the school day organized the same way, with much the same set of tracked courses, with the same materials, and much the same level of parental support.” –Jal Mehta, of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

In making this comment, Mehta urges us to look at educational reforms that will upend the current system. Education reform is needed, we all agree. If we’re going to change education in America, then we need to be serious about making real changes that fundamentally reshape our educational institutions. I challenge educators in America to join the conversation, and to propose profound changes to the system that will disrupt the status quo and challenge traditional education.


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    • Aug 1 2013: Deepak Behl you are selling a doomsday-cult here. Brahma Kumaris, is an Indian spiritualist cult, which is passing itself off as a university; the so called "Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University" (BKWSU). Please note the BKWSU is not officially recognised as a university nor qualified to call itself one in any country and is just a cover name.The Brahma Kumarism are a strictly "End of the World" religion based on mediumistic teachings from a “spirit entity” adherents believe is the God of all religions speaking to humanity exclusively through their psychic mediums only. They do not follow or promote Hinduism, nor do they teach “ancient” Raja Yoga as they claim. Instead they use the language of such traditions, the New Age and personal growth movements with hidden meanings in order to to attract and acquire new adherents and are noted for the secrecy which they hide their true teachings and historical revision from newcomers in order to gradually encult them. Increasingly, they are also using the appearance of coaches and therapists, and a living value program for schools. It is attempting to use false representation in order to gain influence in society. Central to Brahma Kumari beliefs is that 7,000,000,000 plus human beings must die during an imminent and desirable ‘End of the World’ which they called “Destruction” and will inspire, in order that 900,000 of their faithful followers will inherit a heaven on earth around 2036. They encourage adherents to believe that a high status can be achieved after it by donating money, property, free labor and unquestioning mental submission to their leadership, who will rule the world as Emperors and Empresses. Whilst making numerous failed predictions of the End of the World going back to WWII, 1950, 1976, mid-1980s, the religion has continued to amass great wealth. These failures have been hidden from newcomers and re-written whilst the organization increasingly seeks funding. Please sell your religion elsewhere.

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