I posted this over at One Utah in a post about the fall of vouchers and what comes next. If we don't come up with some ideas (and likely, even if we do) vouchers will be back.
Of course we want to privatize public education! It works so well with health care. A few people are getting really rich and the rest of us are out of luck. Lets do that to our kids too!
Here’s my suggestion (besides smaller class sizes and paying teachers more)… There is a charter school near me that is grouping kids into “pods” for various subjects. If a student excels at reading but is struggling in math, the “pod” they are in for reading will include other students who also do well in reading, and their math “pod” will be with other children of a similar ability so that the teacher can focus on the needs of that group of students instead of trying to teach to everyone and leaving some students bored and some confused.
I think that implementing this type of ability grouping would require smaller class sizes, or at least some teaching assistants so that classes can be mixed and broken down into small groups of children.
As children master a concept as a group, the group can advance, as children master concepts individually, they can move throughout the different groups as needed. No on gets lost in the classroom, and no one sits bored because they have already mastered what is being taught.
It will be interesting to watch test scores at this particular charter school over the next few years.