As a teacher for 33 years, I have posted in defense of hard-working education professionals, who have recently come under a lot of false fire. They are not, as one right wing narrative goes, a pack of Liberals intent on indoctrinating American youth. Wrong on both counts. American educators mirror the political beliefs of the rest of the nation and are not dominated and controlled by leftist ideology; and, more importantly, they are much too busy delivering their assigned curriculums to engage in political manipulation. Partisan Politics is not part of those curriculums despite what partisan political bloviators like to say.

The problem is not the people who teach, nor is it what is being taught. The problem is the archaic and outdated system.

In the August 2022 issue of the National Review, the former head of the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos, wrote well about the ideal future of education, Classroom Disruption, Imagine what Innovation can do. Optimistically, she imagines the world in 2030. Here is a summary of what she foresees with commentary:

Parents and kids will have control over the choice of classes to be taken. This could be accomplished by creating an educational fund for some tax dollars that parents would control. Currently, our share of tax revenues for education are dispersed widely and broadly to all the schools in the public system. Currently school administrations produce a class schedule based on the teacher staffing needs to fill up teacher loads. The wants and needs of the individual students are secondary to filling seats.

In 2030 Betsy DeVos says, the 10 week hiatus from learning, known as Summer Break, should be eliminated. She’s right! The current system is based on getting kids out to help with the harvest. That need has been out-dated for some decades now. The future of education is a more flexible system of lifelong learning.

In 2030, Mrs. DeVos says, your child’s learning opportunities need not be confined to the local schoolhouse. Right again! With today’s technology, your child, should he or she wish, could take classes from gifted instructors all over the globe.

One very gifted instructor in the future could provide instruction to countless multitudes of eager students instead of thirty per hour for an eight-hour day. There could still be classrooms with a local instructor providing guidance and tutoring and grading and assessing the quality of the work. The best teachers would set the pace. Local teachers would provide the personal assistance and take care of the paperwork.

As Mrs. DeVos suggests, the classes could easily be much more hands on and way less theoretical based on fairly meaningless and seemingly endless examples coming from a textbook. She gives the illustrative concept of students programming a robot instead.

Mrs. DeVos envisions a future in which the need for expensive and elite private schools will be eliminated. In 2030, she says, all schools could offer an elite curriculum and all students could attend.

Instead of attending economics, history, and government for an hour each, students could, as Mrs. DeVos points out, integrate those disciplines. For example, they could be running “a simulation on how tax-rates impact new business start-ups.”

In the future, students in rural areas could, she says, be learning while driving the family tractor. They could even earn money and school credits by working in internship programs.

Another important innovation mentioned is obvious. Teaching and learning no longer must take place exclusively from 9 AM to 5. The learning can work around the parent’s schedule!

All good stuff!