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There has been ongoing discussion about the quality of public education, but what are we doing? It's confusing to parents and children alike to navigate the programs, testing, and paperwork.  In short, some things have to change.

In a book entitled “Waiting for Superman” edited by Karl Weber, Bill and Melinda Gates write “As we move forward in our education efforts, our strategy has at its heart the relationship and interactions that take place between students and teachers in the classroom.  In short, we are now focused on effective teaching.”  Further, they go on to say that effective teaching requires four things in support of teachers: clear and consistent standards; constructive, meaningful feedback; information and data on students’ strengths and weaknesses; and inclusion in the process.  I agree.  

We need to start listening to our teachers and allow them to be an integral part of the discussion – they are our professional educators.  We need to rethink the mandated standardized testing.  We are overburdening our teachers and administrators and taking away from instructional time.  

We need to begin an “evolution of the classroom” which will include:

1.  Flexible teaching methods and stable curriculum,

2.  School choice and charter school options, including technical high          schools and expansion of apprenticeships for those students not            planning to attend college,

3.  Full integration of technology, which does not just mean giving each      child an iPad but realizes that our children today are living in a                connected world and they are processing information and learning        in ways that we did not. In referring to the students of today,                  Bill and Melinda Gates phrase it this way: “They’re native to a digital      age, but they’re shoehorned into an archaic learning model.”,

4.  A spirit of collaboration in the classroom, and

5.  Development of partnerships with non-profit organizations,                    businesses, and those in the faith community. 

Paid for by Sylleste Davis for SC House 100
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