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What is the causing problem in our public education system that leads to failed system.

The American education system is not working correctly. There are many reasons as to why its not working, such as the teachers are not qualified or standardized testing flunks students and so on. But what is a single issue that if corrected would dramatically correct the American education system?

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    May 9 2011: centralization. today's education system is one size fits all. we must put the choice and the responsibility in the hands of teachers and parents. any top down rules are reactionary and harmful. we (you) need free education.

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    May 9 2011: There is never one single solution.

    However, in my opinion, relegating the bureaucratical components to the bottom of the priority list will help.

    Student (and teacher) first, empirical evidence in it's proper place (last).
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    May 10 2011: Good question! Here is the central fallacy that gets everything off to a unworkable start. As Ken Robinson says schools imitate the factory model and treat kids like raw generic materials to be processed. As though intelligence were indeed generic and varied only like copper ore in the percentage per ton. A better analogy would be to say that each child is like a unique gem and needs to be studied thoroughly before it can be polished to reach its' full potential brilliance. Yet we grind them all down in an ore crusher and then wonder why so few achieve their potential and so many are wasted like diamond dust on fingernail files. It is now widely recognized that there are several types of intelligence or you could say that the "black box" contains at least seven different processors and virtually no one functions at the top level with more than a few. Some can be partly remediated if you start early enough like language or music and some never can. Insisting that medical doctors master trigonometry and inorganic chemistry only insures that we get lots of generalists for doctors who can do many things moderately well but miss out on people who might be fantastic diagnosticians if the requirements were limited to subjects with proven relevance. Also Ken R. is dead right that we choke the natural curiosity and desire out of the majority of children. Usually by the time they are 12 they have lost interest and only want to do the minimum quota to get by. Mr Pinter(below) is two thirds right when he says we need to give responsibility and choice back to Parents and Teachers and not to bureaucrats. Children are actually the most important part of the equation. How many teachers does it take to change a light bulb? Answer 1 or 1000 may succeed but only if the light bulb REALLY wants to change (learn). There are 2 reasons one should not try to teach a pig to sing. 1st no one has ever succeeded 2nd it annoys the pig. We are all pigs until we discover our own motivation.
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    May 9 2011: Answer: A strict academic system inside a society where academics mean little to nothing outside of science, math and history.

    Example: I mean George Bush was a C student, that D-Bag was president for 8 years.

    Question for this thread: What does an academic education teach?
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      May 10 2011: Nick an academic education if it is successful teaches you to be an academic and think in a narrow abstract manner till you are a stuffed sausage full of theoretical knowledge. Unfortunately T.K. is a prime oxymoron and such "knowledge" makes you unfit to be anything else but an academic. Or if it fails you may become a pseudo-intellectual poseur like Glen Beck.