The names Glenn, Ashley and Carol come to mind when I think of what’s right with our educational system. It still attracts amazing human beings like them, who have real compassion, insight, talent and enthusiasm.
Glenn taught two of my three “children.” Ashley just taught my youngest. And one day many years ago, Carol pulled my daughter aside and told her, “If you don’t understand what I’m teaching you and I don’t notice, you need to grab me by the lapels and say, ‘I don’t understand.’” My quiet daughter got the message, and became an assertive advocate for her own needs.
But these wonderful teachers succeed despite the system, not because of it. Most schools are still run in an outdated mass production, assembly line system that barely works anymore to make cars, nevermind bring out the best in our next generation.
Unfortunately, our schools are not going to change much from the inside out. We need to change them from the outside in.
Government isn’t going to do this. Entrepreneurs are.
You see this already happening as entrepreneurial firms hack away at the edges of our educational system, offering test prep services, online learning and distance tutoring. Many top colleges are helping, by offering free access to some of their courses. Other schools routinely offer distance learning options.
This trend should accelerate. It has to, because many students simply aren’t being taught the skills necessary to succeed in the world they are inheriting. We already have a lot of teachers. Now we need entrepreneurs to create a better system for them and their students.