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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A New Column

Hello Troops,
The Troubadour covers topics related to the Space Education Center and society as a whole. It is a place where we reward innovative thinking. It is a place where imagination is celebrated.

Tackling today's tough social issues requires the same kind of imaginative thinking as writing a piece of unforgettable music or producing a movie that brings audiences to their feet. With that in mind, The Troubadour will start showcasing these Societal Imagineers who's thinking, ideas and proposals are unique, innovative and worthy of consideration. I should warn you that these posts may cause an increase in blood pressure because tinkering with society is political and politics can be divisive. But if we are to solve our nation's problems we need innovative thinking and new ideas. Rocking the ship of Status Quo is bound to be controversial.

This new series is called.

The Doctor is In

Imagineering from The American Interest.
Moving from “time-served” processes of certification (four year BA degrees, three years in law or divinity school) to certification based on achievement can make education dramatically cheaper. It is sheer madness that most students spend 12 years in school, and another four in college. Why exactly should all kids the same age be in the same grade? One size does not fit all; why shouldn’t high school kids go free when they can pass the equivalent of a GED? And for that matter, shouldn’t school districts encourage and reward teachers and schools that are able to graduate students faster? Among other things, this would allow some of the resources not spent on babysitting high-achieving kids to go to kids who really need the help. How “right wing” is that?

The same goes for college. Oxford and Cambridge graduate their students in three years — yet few people think British college grads are less accomplished than their American peers. What is sacred about the four year BA? Wouldn’t a shift to an exam based system (students who make qualifying scores on the appropriate exams would be certified as graduates) allow more people to advance farther at less cost? And there’s an element of social justice here: the kid from a no-name school who scores high on the exam will have an edge on the Ivy League kid who partied through college and just scraped by.

And From the Imaginarium

You old timers remember this from your childhood? Was there anything more awesome?

Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope....

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