Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hugh B. Price on Inner City Education

Former National Urban League head Hugh B. Price told the Princeton Chamber yesterday that one of the strategies for improving education is to increase and enhance the opportunities for student recognition. Prizes, awards, parades – they matter more than we would think, he said.

Price has a five-year post as a visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson School, and he recently wrote a book on how the community can motivate children to succeed. We need to create the equivalent of the 4-H Fair in urban settings, where students create projects and get to display them, talk about them to adults, and win ribbons.

He cites the Educational Testing Service study on parsing education, that too often educators fail to consider the home environment. By age three the average child in a middle class Caucasian household has heard 500,000 words of encouragement versus 80,000 words of discouragement. A welfare child, of whatever race, will have heard 75,000 words of encouragement versus 500,000 words of discouragement.

In education as in sales, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Monday, May 18, 2009

“School’s OUT” - revisited

In fact, school as we know it is dead or quickly dying. American education - at an annual cost of $400 billion - has become a solid-gold life jacket: The longer we cling to it, the deeper it will sink us.

In his revolutionary book “School’s OUT,” Lewis J. Perelman shows [already in 1992] that instead of education, what we need is genuine learning: more, better, faster, cheaper.

In fact, there is a learning revolution taking place right before our eyes - and largely outside of school classrooms. A new wave of knowledge technology has put the access to enhanced learning at our fingertips. This “hyperlearning” HL technology can enable anyone to learn anything, anywhere, anytime, with grade-A results. And HL technology is getting rapidly cheaper and more powerful, while classroom teaching gets more steadily more expensive and unproductive.

The radical precept at the heart of “School’s OUT” is that hyperlearning does not represent an avenue for educational reform but a total replacement for conventional education, an essential new industry for any nation hoping to prosper in the next millennium; it is also “the greatest business opportunity since Rockefeller found oil.”

Among other items on the hyperlearning manifesto:

• Abolish the credential system that chokes progress and clouds our educational agenda.
• Push for the complete commercial privatization of the public education empire, probably the largest and last huge socialist economy on earth.
• Implement for learning at all ages the huge breakthroughs that have already been developed in the military and commercial sectors.
• Build the information superhighway network that can deliver hyperlearning to everyone.

An extraordinary synthesis of economic analysis and technological expertise, “School’s OUT” is the radical departure that will alter our thinking about learning forever; it depicts a future reality that is fast approaching and will overtake us ...

From “School’s OUT”
William Morrow & Company, Inc. N.Y., N.Y.
ISBN 0-688-11286-2

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Recommended by the U.S. Department of Education

“Learning to Learn” is the most effective student success program in higher education, recommended for national use by the U.S. Department of Education. The LTL college program has been adapted for use in public schools and corporations and is being modified for use by individual adult learners and home schooling families. Marcia Heiman, Ph.D.