To determine real achievement in school, each child has his or her own MAP as a guideline to their success. This MAP takes the form of a proficiency (or learning goal) checklist developed by educators with support from parents and the student. This checklist is personal as it gives direction to the curriculum and therefore to daily projects. As they complete this check list, they know they are learning what is necessary for their future. Each check has an assessment attached to it which may be geared to a group or in some cases an individual.
The student then continuously moves forward making grade levels as well as letter grades, moot. If they “fail” a proficiency assessment, they don´t get failed into oblivion. They learn from their failure, just as we do in life, and they challenge the proficiency when they are prepared. And if it takes a little longer to learn, we wait for them. They might complete their education a week later, a month later or whenever they achieve real proficiency.
If students move through the system faster, no longer are they held back just to look good getting straight A´s, those students haven´t been challenged. They might even move to a nearby university class in the area in which they excel. Under this plan, the genius in every child will come out when it is ready, and failure becomes a learning experience. Similar to the university system, students will have time to progress on their pathway to success. If they take longer to learn, they will be able to go to school longer at an alternative site such as a community college. There they will finish their curriculum as well as take college courses. For example, if they are only lacking math skills, they can take that class at the community college as well as university classes giving them a start toward their degree or skill. If they drop out of school, they are welcomed to return at these alternative sites to follow their pathway to success. Their MAP follows them wherever they go, and they finish school at whatever age they are ready.
The question then may arise, where do students with special needs fit in? This group, often forgotten or pushed to the side, will fit perfectly into the new system of education. Remember, we now take kids from “where they are” following their MAP and serving the needs of all. And what is a MAP? It is an IEP used to guide the special needs students on their pathway to success. Now everyone has that MAP/IEP: Now students with special needs are no longer branded on their foreheads for all to see.
To prepare students for employment, skills training or a university, high schools will provide information on specific skills needed for student success. This is not an SAT! This is real information. Imagine this. Upon applying for a college or university, a student provides them with their MAP showing what skills they have achieved. Students are then accepted based on facts. Of course, other concerns would be addressed. However, if they are denied, the college or university would indicate the short comings. At that point the student could either choose a different college or university, or they could go to a community college or alternative site to improve the skills necessary and re-apply at a later date.
This can also work for employment. Students present their MAP to the employer. The employer than decides if the student has sufficient skills for the job. If more skills are necessary, the student gains these skills and re-applies.
Isn’t it time to even the playing field and make education real? Go to www.wholechildreform.com for information on my new book “Stop Politically Driven Education”.