Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Yes Men

Here's a daydream:
We call a press conference and announce to the public that, starting tomorrow, all children in the United States will begin attending clean, fully staffed, and well-equipped schools where healthy meals will be served to all for both breakfast and lunch (at a table, in a dining hall, with time devoted to enjoyment and conversation--a lesson in living a civilized life.)
All children will be able to attend equally well-staffed, clean, well-equipped pre-schools beginning at age 3, earlier if parents have a voucher for state supported child care.
At the end of the day, students can return home or stay-on to receive enrichment from para-professionals in the arts, sports, literature, receive assistance or supervision for homework or projects, take museum trips, hikes, culture walks, work with the elderly, in libraries, or participate in organized crafting or games.
Services to students in need will be provided by intinerant dentists, opthamalogists, and health officials who will come on site to provide routine eye examinations, dental work, or health screenings.  Also on site will be social services personnel and a open closet to equip students for any needed weather related clothing or for special occasions where more professional attire is required.
School will be conducted year-round, with regular breaks of two to three weeks for rejuvenation (a longer break in the warmer months), further enrichment or tutoring, or time with family.
Teachers will spend two-thirds of their day in front of students and one-third of their day working with their peers to conduct lesson-studies, prepare plans for collaborative projects, brainstorm solutions to building-level issues, meet with parents, confer with community leaders for real-world projects serving community needs, locating volunteer opportunities for secondary students, or observing their colleagues.  At least one of the extended breaks will involve teachers in professional development or leadership opportunities that serve the teaching profession.
All decision making will be child-centered.  Professionals will control delivery of curriculum, making flexible adjustments in the classroom to meet the needs of individual learners.  A raft of paraprofessionals will provide one-on-one instruction to students who need assistance in meeting curricular goals.

Like the Yes Men, the announcement should be made.

Let the public consider their own feelings when it is declared a hoax.