I’ve been reading about the high cost of diesel fuel for school buses and I’ve got a rather radical plan about education. I have a plan to save millions–no BILLIONS in property taxes every year. Why can’t kids telecommute to class? Colleges give degrees online, why can’t schools do the same thing? Why do we need school buses? Why do we even need schools any more? Do you realize how much we could save if we dumped all the schools, fired the teachers and gave each kid a laptop with a Kindergarten CD–the do the work and pass a test that is at the back of the CD at the end of the “school year” and then they get a 1st grade CD and so on all the way through high school graduation, take the high school test and then go on to college online.
Each child would work at his or her own pace in the safety and comfort of their own home, no teasing or bullying and if they need help, there would be a virtual teacher (or maybe even a real one) to help them with whatever they were having problems with. The cost of the CDs would be minimal–about $2 each and the entire curriculum for each year could be placed on each CD. A child would pop the CD into the laptop, go to a website to view a video on that day’s lesson, then do the exercise in the lesson on the computer and have it graded instantly.
They must complete the exercise lesson before they can go on to the next lesson on the CD, you could restrict access by making the program password protected and the child doesn’t get the password for the next lesson until the previous one is completed successfully and then the CD gives the child the password for the next lesson. At the end of each week, there is a test on the lessons that the child must pass in order to get the password for the next week’s lesson. Every month there is a major test that must be passed before the child moves on. There would be no reason for brick and mortar schools or teachers, administrators, insurance, school lunches, school buses, playgrounds, or anything else. The savings in taxes would be tremendous and the kids wouldn’t have to worry about being bullied, or shot or molested by rogue teachers.
There would be no teenage pregnancy, no detentions, no missed school buses, no competition for who had the coolest whatever and the students would have the benefit of having a first class education. If the student didn’t successfully complete the prescribed course work by the end of the term then s/he would have to continue all summer in order to keep up with their class in the fall and social promotions would be unnecessary because there’s no one to make fun of a slow learner. Children who wished to graduate earlier could go to school year round or do more work to get their education completed in less time and colleges could do the same thing–most colleges now offer online classes now anyway. Going to a brick and mortar school is an obsolete concept and should be ended. Children would socialize through activities with their parents in their communities and juvenile crime would be a thing of the past. Close public libraries too–no one needs them, we have the internet to do research–put the Library of Congress online and everyone would have access. Virtual field trips would be to places like the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa instead of to a crummy local museum. Kids would have a much better education and the taxpayers would not have to pay the outlandish property taxes they are paying now.
The savings would be astronomical!! Every child would be issued a laptop and an internet access card–like a prepaid phone card–at age 6 and given the CD for kindergarten beginning on the first September 1 (after their 6th birthday) and would have to complete all the coursework by June 1 of the following year in order to be promoted to first grade–which would mean being given the CD with the first grade coursework. Of course a gifted and/or motivated child could receive the next grade’s CD early if they completed the previous grade’s coursework sooner than June 1 or if they wanted to get ahead by continuing to go to virtual school during the summer.
This is an absolutely simple concept and it would be very easy to do. It would be so much cheaper to issue each child a laptop and provide internet access–look at all the parents who are homeschooling their children using this concept! $500 for each laptop and $50 for the entire elementary, middle and high school curriculum on CDs is dirt cheap compared to the cost of building and operating schools, paying teachers and all the other employees,operating school buses, paying for insurance, fuel for the buses and to heat and cool the schools. It’s the way of the future! Wake up and smell the 21st century! Stop preparing the leaders of tomorrow with the educational traditions of the 18th century!!
The author, Teri Davis Newman resides in the metro St. Louis area and is a wedding planner. She also owns and operates a nationally recognized limousine service. She answers questions on etiquette, social situations, sex, fashion, food, wine and general advice on her blog as an off-the-cuff running commentary on any subject that annoys, amuses or aggravates her.