TED Conversations

Bob Barboza

CEO and Founder Kids Talk Radio, Kids Talk Radio

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Can you give me one idea that would help to save public education?

We can't and should not close down public education in America. However, we have to fix it and fix it fast.

The Big Question: What would it take to fix public education in America?

You can come close to solving this huge problem by getting involved in this conversation. We suggest that you deal with one or more of the following questions. We are the folks from Kids Talk Radio and we want to start this important conversation with you. Will you help us to get a conversation going?

1. How can we pay for public education?
2. How should we train teachers?
3. Should we have teachers organizations/teachers unions?
4. What do we do with children that don't behave?
5. Do we make an investment in training teachers?
7. What do we do with students that don't speak English?
8. What do we do with students that fall behind?
9. What do we do with students that are gifted and talented?
10. How do we fire anyone in the public school system?

We would love to start a conversation with adults dealing with any of these questions. Our next project involves getting kids in on this same conversation.


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  • Jun 5 2011: These are great questions- and none have an easy answer. The fact of the matter is because every one has gone through the education system, every one feels like they are "experts." So, in that regard, since I have had surgery must mean that I can now perform that same surgery on someone else?
    I think those who are going into education should be exposed to the classroom early on in their college career. The sooner they set foot in the classroom, the better they can figure out if it is the career for them as well as pick up as many tools they can for their teaching toolbox. They should also be paid to be in the classroom when in training. Teaching is the only career that you do an internship for up to 18 weeks - UNPAID.
    I think with the current education system and government, teachers should have the right to join a union if they would like. Everyone would like the support and ability to have representation if they are needing it.
    Children who do not behave need to have consequences that fit the misbehavior and PARENTS should be included in that decision as well as making it important (if not mandatory) for parents to take parenting lessons. I know that some people will say that there are kids who do not have control of their actions/behaviors but that is why the schools have IEP's and then tailor the child's education to their learning and behavior issues. Students who do not speak English should not be in the education system. They should have to pass a test or somehow show they can understand and fluently speak English at the grade/age that they are at. If they can not, then they can not enroll. It'd be great if there were specialized schools that would target these kids to be able to get them up to speed while still educating them in their native language. Students have a responsibility to study, prepare and execute skills when they are asked to. If they do not, and fall behind, they should NOT move on.

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