Suggestions for additional
school district reforms
Thanks for the article on Dan Frydenlund’s vision for Clear Creek School District. Inspiring greater parental involvement and implementing pay-for-performance for teachers is ambitious and important for CCSD to provide the best education for our children and become an example district for Colorado and the nation.
But let’s not stop there. Suggestions for additional reform in CCSD:
• Colorado P-12 students must be competitive with the best students in the world, e.g. Finland, Singapore, Korea, Japan, Shanghai, etc. It’s not sufficient to have a better education system than just Arizona, Utah, Kansas, Massachusetts, North Dakota, etc.
• Colorado education standards must be revised to be equivalent to these countries immediately, not in five years
• Implement SB 10-191, Teacher Effectiveness Act, immediately.
• Push hard to enroll all Colorado children in early-childhood education. Invest to assure early-childhood education effectiveness.
• All school years are extended to 200 days
• Daily/weekly schedules designed to provide appropriate learning environment for students in each grade level.
• Teachers viewed and treated as skilled professionals. They will be employed/paid 12 months per year. During the 61 days they are not in the classroom, teachers would do the following: professional development, internship in real-world positions, continuous updating/upgrading course material, vacation, holidays, other.
• All teachers must have college-level education in the courses they teach in P-12, e.g., physics, English, history, etc.
• All teachers must have college-level education/training on 21st-century skills and how to weave/incorporate the learning and practice of these skills into all courses they teach.
• Push to fix CSAP or equivalent so that it helps improve the education process instead of dragging it down. Implementation of SB 191 should include this.
• Provide an appropriate number of vouchers in all districts to create a competitive environment that will inspire all P-12 schools (public, charter, private, etc.) to strive to provide better education and a better education experience.
• School administrators and teachers are in constant contact with their “customers”: students, graduates, parents, businesses, colleges, universities, military services, etc., to learn how their grads are performing and what changes are needed to better meet the “customers’” needs.
We need all Clear Creek citizens to participate in all CCSD reforms.
Good teachers should foster creativity
Comparing children to snowflakes brings to mind the recent scientific challenge of the nature of creativity, and how does one foster it in people, especially children. Since no two children are alike, it is a heavy challenge to try to reach them in a meaningful way to help them learn their own special gifts.
That is what a good teacher has to do. And before them, the parent and family members should consider what it takes to help the child build on what may be their own perspective now and in the future. If the scientists don’t know what creativity is, how can the rest of us? Clearly, it is a state of mind. If we do not know what the individual’s special gifts are, or might be, how can we help them? Good teachers seem to know what to do. They recognize that each child, every single one of them, is an individual, and they must teach without destroying the natural desire to know how the world around them works. The teacher must do this by encouraging the child to question, to accept at least on a temporary basis what they are experiencing in the classroom, and to think about other ways of seeing things and of solving problems.
A good teacher does this by encouraging a child to think and question. If the child seems to be on the wrong track, the teacher must accept this as part of the learning process and encourage the child to think further about the topic and do this without hurting the child’s perception of themselves.
How do you measure a teacher’s ability to accomplish this atmosphere in a classroom? Are you aware that every single one of us has the ability to be creative? Those who really know their subject have not lost confidence in their own strengths and really want to go further with a perceived problem will be able to find a creative solution. Some say you have to be rested. So maybe the scientists did learn something about the subject.