Modern children are part of the generation that is already 100% digitalized. They spend a lot of time online, and almost all the information they gain is drawn from the Internet. In general, they cannot imagine life without technology. According to the forecast of the research organization Ericsson ConsumerLab and the Swedish foundation Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, by 2025, “digital” children will make 50% of the world’s population. In this regard, the future of education will gradually move online. Actually, this movement has already initiated. For example, now in many American schools, students watch video lectures at home, while lessons are devoted mostly to discussions and hands-on practices where a teacher’s supervision is needed.
The same trend in education applies to universities. Now, almost everywhere in the world, you can listen to the courses of the best professors from Harvard and Princeton. Traditional lectures will be replaced by new forms of learning.
Talking of the Deprived
The only ones who will not fully learn online are the kids. The main goal of the primary school is not to give knowledge, but to teach a child to get educational skills, to accustom them to work in a team, to help socialize. And for this, the Internet is not needed.
Previously, education in the USA was different. Funding for a school directly depended on how its students passed the tests. The salary of teachers, by the way, too. All their school life, starting from the third grade, the children prepared for the test, and at the end of the year, they passed it. Tests were developed in Washington, only in three subjects – mathematics, computer science, English – and were the same for all states. This reform, dubbed “No Child Left Behind” (“Not a single lagging child”), began to be implemented in 2001. But it quickly became clear that it is not perfect. This was due to several reasons:
Reason # 1
High scores of tests in three subjects did not always mean that the student is ready for college, university and will bring the same high benefit to society as their points. For example, a student passed the writing tests badly, but always won the city history Olympiads, and in general entered Harvard. But it had no effect on the school’s success rates.
Reason # 2
The son of a New York professor who studies in an elite school almost always took the best essays on American dream topics in comparison to a migrant child who, for example, did not speak English at all before school. There was no clear way to determine the quality of learning and the progress of a particular student. The workload on the American students was huge, as, except tests, they had to perform tons of homework including essay writing. When it comes to essays, most students want to perform a dream essay as this will most likely influence their future career.
Reason # 3
Of course, the schools wanted to get more funding, so they intensively prepared children for tests in three specific subjects. But it resulted in that the student’s all-round development was not the best one.
As a result, in December 2015, “No Child Left Behind” was replaced by the bill “Every Student Succeeds Act” (“Every student is successful”), signed by Barack Obama. The law was approved by both parties: the democratic and the republican. Its essence boils down to the fact that the indicator of school success is not points for tests, but the success and readiness of each student for college, university, and career.
And here are the main differences from the previous program:
Difference # 1
Washington no longer imposes a uniform standard of learning and does not pull down the same tests from above. Each state has the right to independently develop a training program and tests. Mandatory tests, by the way, remain but not as the main criterion of student success, but as an opportunity to assess the level of education in different states. This does not affect the financing of the school.
Difference # 2
Now standards of preparation for school in kindergartens are introduced. A child should be as ready for school as possible to get to the best if the high ability to study since childhood is shown.
Difference # 3
The program “Race to the Top” has become part of the education reform. This program supports innovative projects in schools, new teaching methods, and high-quality breakthroughs in the field of education of specific schools, teachers, and students. It allocated 4.5 billion dollars from the US budget. Mostly money is spent on educational grants.
Difference # 4
“Lagging behind” schools are invited to take bail. For example, if a successful school helps another school with lower scores, the helper school receives additional funding.
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