Education Finally Catches Up

For a very long time colleges have been filling the banks accounts with money from big donors to build palaces for their students.  What the ROI has been on that for students paying for their tuition is unclear.  What is clear is that many of them are in debt up to their eyeballs and will be for years to come.

It is time for massive change and it has been a long time coming.  Many industries that have sat back on their heels watching technology take over have finally realized it is time to get on the bandwagon from the art world to grocery to education.

I am a huge believer in education but does it make sense to spend $65k a year for four years and go into debt for fifteen years or more?  What if you can get the same education and diploma for a total of $65k at the best universities in the country online?  What if you could connect socially with people in your area to get that social part? One of the best things about college is the social part.  Sitting around at 3 am discussing the virtues of democracy was my favorite part of college. How do we keep that going without the extreme costs?

This cost bleeds down all the way to nursery school.  Public education has become a large bureaucracy spending more money on the administration than the students.  It makes zero sense.  How do we take what we have learned from the students being home on the group classroom back to being in a physical space?  What worked, what didn’t and how do we get the costs down? Veronique Mintz, an 8th grader in NYC, wrote an op-ed about why she doesn’t want to return to the way school was being run. Worthy of your time.

When I saw in 5 and 6th grade I went to a school that was trying new ideas in education.  The building was constructed specifically for this new idea with open rooms, no classrooms with desks but pods that were all about self-learning.  The key was really having the right educators in place to make sure those that weren’t self-motivated were being ushered along in the right way. Unfortunately, that wasn’t happening in my grade but definitely was in my sisters. I was self-motivated to be the best tetherball, war, and jacks player in the grade.

We must begin to rethink education from the ground up when it comes to cost and physical space.  Socialization is key but so is cost.  Each state and city should create small task forces of forward-thinking educators who are making it work during Covid-19 including students like Veronique. Who are the teachers on the ground that can help each state and county think about how we bring education into the future because the future is right now.

It is time to think about more community and National connections to share curriculum and classes, how to lower costs and the integration of technology. Public education has many success stories but in many places it is abysmal. It is unacceptable. Education has been forced to change in the last few months. Let’s embrace it and build on that. It is time for massive change. Our future is our children.