School Choice

creating a Diversity of approaches to Educating Kids

for Fractally Generative Pattern Language

Context

  • We want our kids to end up as young adults capable of Making A Living, understanding the universe, dealing appropriately with their fellow humans, and being responsible citizens of an Open Society. (GoalOfEducating Kids)

Forces

  • education is a Wicked problem
    • people don't agree on the goal of schooling
    • people don't agree on how to improve the outcomes
    • so a Monoculture seems like a bad structure to use
  • see Educating Kids for a long list of other forces

Solution

  • meta/goal: increase Diversity of structures/styles/goals
  • reduce frequency of Standardized Test-ing.
  • School Choice: have enough liquidity in the market to let students change school any year, have the funding follow the student.
  • maximize Power and Accountability at the Principal level.
  • make more Public Schools into Small Schools (Shopfront Schools), make it easier to start/close a school (Red Tape)
  • bring back Vo-Tech and ApprenticeShip programs
  • allow/support Home-School and UnSchooling models
  • challenge/barrier: how accredit unconventional schools so that they can accept School Vouchers?
  • challenge: how allow some money to go toward Virtual Learning and Educational Technology (e.g. a non-free Personal Learning Environment)
    • have the primary school pay for it - but will they resist?
    • let student/parent allocate?
      • accredit resources - like with Text-Book-s - way too much overhead/delay?
      • maybe a limited slush budget for "semi-accredited" resources?
  • challenge: what about "undesirable" students? Will they get left out, or warehoused? (Would that be a change?)
    • their voucher would be worth as much as anyone else's
      • for disabled kids, they'd probably have a higher voucher amount
        • 13% of Public School kids currently categorized as disabled?
        • Special education, which requires speech pathologists, psychologists and trained teachers, and sometimes special facilities and equipment, can cost four times more than general education. Federal funds only cover a fraction of the extra expense. Public Schools of Philadelphia, for example, spent $9,100 per regular education pupil in 2009, $14,560 per pupil with milder disabilities and $39,130 for more severe disabilities, according to a consultant's report that compared special education costs. Other districts cited report similar numbers: Los Angeles Unified spent $6,900 to school a regular education student, $15,180 for a pupil with milder disabilities and $25,530 for a child with significant needs.
        • at the other end, should TAG kids get more money than average kids?
  • other challenges/recommendations - see School Reform

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