Ms. DeVos, future Secretary of Education for the United States of America, you have your work cut out for you!
Teacher training programs (and virtually ALL careers requiring a traditional 4-year+ degree) are antiquated.
Universities (the old guard who manage “the system”) have not caught on that a renaissance man’s knowledge, or a liberal arts education, is neither cost effective for students nor career readiness oriented.
As evidenced by every Early College High School across the United States, the two years required to earn the first half of a bachelor’s degree is easily attainable (particularly with scaffolded, structured support along the way) by any average functioning high school student.
The “core” courses (ie: social studies, English, math, and science) are taught, with rare exception, in a non-career oriented (“what is the relevance to my life?”) sort of way.
The United States university systems are graduating more students (with higher ratios of student debt) with little prospect for career attainment (without on the job training once hired) than ever before.
Across the board, from traditional public education to higher education institutions, “the system” requires students to gain knowledge (or as I often say, “jump through hoops”) that has little to no relevance to career readiness.
“The system”, heavily dependent upon the notion that all students be provided a liberal arts education, keeps teachers of pre-K-16 institutions (both public and private) employed (who otherwise would lack the skills to gain entry into the private sector’s “career” industry.)
The geo-centric model analogizing our core belief system about the importance of a pre-K-16, liberal arts education for all children (i.e. the “No Child Left Behind Act”) both cripples the United States’ global competitiveness and simultaneously feeds the “industry” of education.
The “For profit educational industry” within the United States wields tremendous power via special interest groups politically lobbying to maintain the exceedingly high profit margin of a “renaissance man’s education for all”. Equally wielding tremendous political power to keep the systems that keep their people employed, are educational support staffs’, teachers’, and administrators’ unions!
What we have is an educational system designed to perpetually employ itself by maintaining that the core belief of “nice to know” but not “necessary for economic survival” encyclopedic facts.
Though heretical to the foundation of the entire educational industry, the “I think, therefore I am” perpetuity of our educational model must be torn down—not only for the literal and economic survival of the United States—but for the survival of the human race.
And yet, according to Rene DesCartes’ The Discourse on Method, “If you want to rebuild the house you live in, it isn’t enough just to pull it down, to arrange for materials and architects (or else train yourself in architecture), and to have carefully drawn up the plans; you must also provide yourself with somewhere else to live comfortably while the work is going on.”
And so, Ms. Betsy DeVos, my call to action for you is to figure out a way to pull down, rework, and rebuild our educational system in such a way as not to create mass fear, employee revolts, and lobbyist protests.