Educating the Class of 203
Part 1 Time-tested Principles Lead to Year Round School,  a Shorter School Day, Economic Efficiency, Satisfied Teachers       Please         

Change 1 Applying these time-tested principles will improve both total learning and
                    the long-term attitudes of students and teachers.
                    1) Diminishing Returns  occurs when a process like education, a variable resource, is applied to the
                       to the brain, a fixed resource, in such a way that there is a decrease in total  learning.
                    2) Diminishing Utility or satisfaction results when consuming too much of a product like education
                        leads one to to stop consuming.

                    3) These principles lead to dramatic change in school calendar.

Change 2 A year-round school calendar of four twelve-week terms with four-hour
                    days for HS  will improve
learning and decrease cost.  
                    U.S. has the best universities in the world and heir students only spend 15-20 hour fifty
                    minute hours per day in class. Germany produces the most productive workers and her
                    students finish a 1 PM..

                    1)Studies show student forget more than 10%(Appendix 2)
of their learning during the summer
 "lower-class students" lose the most according to
                         Summer Setback: Race, Poverty ...Achievement in the First 2 Years ..
 3) A more manageable system with enhanced career benefits for students.
                    4) Financial benefits for teachers result as they could teach overload courses in their off session.
                        If a system's average teacher earns  $50,000/year for sixteen courses or $3,125 per class for a
                        year round morning assignment they could could earn say $2000 per course for an additional
                        afternoon overload courses. Sixteen overloads cost $32,000 saving $18,000 or 36% of a salary.

                    5) Economic use of facilities would solve housing problems.
                        The potential cost saving for large school systems making maximum use of their
                         facilities are unlimited.
                   6) Structured Unstructured Time benefits the community. It occurs before or after a session and
                        is used by interested students at school and local facilities to enhance their Special Intelligence
and to maximize desired results. It would also provide paid/voluntary experiences for students and
                        teachers. John Dewey "...advocated for an educational structure that strikes a balance
                        between delivering knowledge while also taking into account the interests and experiences of the
                        student." wiki  In addition, time spent trying to enhance intelligence with memory training is not
                        well spent as there is no  "evidence of intelligence improvement after working memory training:
                        A randomized, placebo-controlled study. source

Change 3 All students have Special Intelligence
1) Core Intelligence centers on mathematical-logical and verbal intelligence. Skills related to
                       core intelligence are emphasized by traditional schools. SAT test, used to measure educational
                       accomplishment correlate very highly with intelligence quotient tests.
                   2) Special Intelligence is above average ability in any of the eight areas of
multiple intelligences.
                       Examples include
Mathematical, Spatial, Bodily Movement, Musical, Verbal, Interpersonal,
                       Interpersonal, Naturalist.
There are  economic rewards for people who develop skills associated with their special
                       intelligence provided they have the minimum core intelligence skills required by their career.
                       In the words of John Dewey, ..."to prepare him for the future life means to give him command
                       of himself; it means so to train him that he will have the full and ready use of all his capacities"
                       (My pedagogic creed, Dewey, 1897 Wiki).



Change 4  Individualized curriculums help students discover and enhance their
                    Special Intelligence.

                    A. Grades one to eight should concentrate on determine and exploring a student's special
                         intelligence while bringing their core intelligence up to an acceptable minimum.   Note: This
                         should be a fun time and not the rigor of some Asian countries and Tiger Mothers of the
                         United States.  Such activities just causes anxious unhappy students!  If you must test,
                         comparison to those in the students school and state would limit the negative effects of
No Grades/Homework
B) Career availability information helps students direct their curriculum choices.

Since 66% of our jobs require no additional formal education beyond high school, curriculums for many should be made more life/career skills oriented. For example, studies show that those people with self-control do better in many aspects of life and it is something that can be taught. RSA Animate – Empathic Civilization is just one example of the new areas that limiting concentration to one's special intelligence will allow.




Change 5 Schools should be academically demanding for those who may fill the
                   22% of the job openings that requiring a bachelor's degree or higher. 
Elementary and secondary school curriculums should not so demanding that a substantial number
                   of students drop out or lose confidence. Pre-algebra should only be in the curriculum of student
                   possessing high mathematics intelligence. A nursing student should not have to take statistics
                    (a course I taught for 35 years) because they might someday go on for a master's degree. 
                    Nursing isn't about mathematics, little mathematics is required.  Nothing is gained and the
                    terror it creates in the non-mathematical.
See German Education System
Change 6 Maslow's hierarchy of needs should be enhanced by education.
                   A) Esteem is a requirement for self-actualization and is important goal of human development and
                       must not be compromised. Testing should be changed from being a limiting factor to a career
                       determination  factor. The result should be expressed as a student being above, at or below
                        grade level for their school.
 B) Students, especially in the Primary Grades, should advance at their own pace. 
Change 7 Tech-based Education  would spread to college education immediately but
  hopefully to secondary education. This does not mean investing in computers.  
                    Education Week: Reading, Math Software Found to Have Little Effect on Scores

Summary: We must maximize the minimum for students with average special intelligence
while maximizing the maximum for students with really high specially intelligence while
minimizing the maximum regret which our current system does not do as demonstrated
by drop outs who don't think of education as the gift of opportunity.


Sources: Global Economic Intersection, The Economist, Seeking Alpha
Businessweek, The Week , USA Today  Business Insider
 ...          author's bio


Appendix 1 Advantages of Proposed Change

Ambitious Students could take courses in both session or use the time to participate in projects like First Robotics Competition, First Tech Challenge, and First Lego League P-Tech uses the extra time to help students earn an associate's degree while earning a U.S.. diploma, all in four years.

This system would be advantageous for vocational HS as it provides time for students to work. Two talented students might even combine for a full time job. A lower minimum wage for part time students not requiring payroll taxes would help.

Sports would benefit as one sport might go in the morning and practice in the afternoon and a second sport would do the opposite  thus making much better use of facilities. Two varsity sports might constitute a course. My friend Paul is happy.

School systems could retire older facilities and free rooms could be rented to people wanting to run morning and afternoon day care for working parents.

Teachers and HS students could work in day care programs for a reasonable fee.  Students wishing to graduate early could take extra courses during a different session for a fee. 1/30/13

Appendix 3 Fix public education immediately.

      1. Treat academic all stars like sports stars, see

      2. Stress  the economic and personal skills enhancement of those in the middle

      3. Follow the lead of the cities like Baltimore in keeping kids from dropping out
4. Require the library of every school receiving federal funds keep a copy of
          Educational Outlook Quarterly on reserve and another copy with current
Edited 1/22/13 

Appendix 2 The Effects of Summer Vacation on Achievement Test Scores:
 A Narrative and Meta-Analytic Review

  1. Harris Cooper    University of Missouri–Columbia   Barbara Nye   Tennessee State University
  1. Kelly Charlton   James Lindsay   Scott Greathouse   University of Missouri–Columbia


"A review of 39 studies indicated that achievement test scores decline over summer vacation. The results of the 13 most recent studies were combined using meta-analytic procedures. The meta-analysis indicated that the summer loss equaled about one month on a grade-level equivalent scale, or one tenth of a standard deviation relative to spring test scores. The effect of summer break was more detrimental for math than for reading and most detrimental for math computation and spelling. Also, middle-class students appeared to gain on grade-level equivalent reading recognition tests over summer while lower-class students lost on them. There were no moderating effects for student gender or race, but the negative effect of summer did increase with increases in students’ grade levels. Suggested explanations for the findings include the differential availability of opportunities to practice different academic material over summer (with reading practice more available than math practice) and differences in the material’s susceptibility to memory decay (with fact- and procedure-based knowledge more easily forgotten than conceptual knowledge). The income differences also may be related to differences in opportunities to practice and learn. The results are examined for implications concerning summer school programs and proposals concerning school calendar changes."

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Staying Current

1) John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy  covers post-secondary issues.

2) The Rising Value of a Science Degree

College Degree Value:
3) P-Tech Early College High Schools are vocationally oriented.
4) Why Motivation Beats Raw Intelligence 
'Almost Every Time'

5) Race Against the Machines that total good jobs requiring an education are losing out to machines. Editor's Note:  This is good news as machines don't eat standard of living will rise dramatically and this means education has new, important issues to deal with that requiring well educated human development specialists.
6) Oversupply of Teachers means systems can choose the best.

7) Head Start Doesn't Work

A recent Opinion article in the Villages retirement paper picked up an editorial featuring the reported 2010 Head Start Impact Study that stated thee and four year olds participants in Head Start were no better prepared for first grade than non-participants. This is the nth such article/report I've read in thirty years. There have been many studies and none have shown Head Start improves academic performance. The normal curve rules and those who think it can be changes will have to wait for generic engineering. But the normal curve applies to other important characteristics and it is these our education system must foster.

Popular but Incorrect Neuromyths' from
    We use only 10% of our brains.
    A high stimulus environment improves the brain of preschool children.
    Using a student's preferred learning style improves learning.
The Thousands of Californians Who Failed The Bar Exam Are Going To Hate This Guy
is an example of how college can teach them but can't learn them. I wonder if college law schools are required to publish Bar Exams pass rates

Data from Iceland indicates that younger students in a class do poorer in standardized test through seven grades and other studies have shown that 10% of younger HS graduates go to college. The Economist, 12/7/12, p21

Watch Videos and Understand
Formula for changing math education
Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity
Elizabeth Gilbert On Genius

E-mail or the retired teacher/editor/authorWalter

edited and written by Walter Antoniotti
copyright 21st Century Learning Products   
All Rights Reserved 

Sundry Items of Interest

1) Non-academics students possess Characteristics of success
2) School Reform Stay Focused a book review of
How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough from The Economist Magazine 1/19/13

3) Head Start leads to nonacademic value that will lead to economic and social success.

4) The Wage Affect of Offshoring examines data from Denmark to look at the connection between globalization, inequality and the value of a college degree. “With stagnating wages and lingering unemployment, income inequality is back in the headlines. Is globalization to blame for this inequality? Is more education a solution? This column argues that focusing on university education misses important effects. It presents evidence that wage effects vary markedly among those with degrees depending on their specific skill sets, and that globalization can often benefit workers without degrees.
For an economic analysis see Pure Competition Edited 1/30/13

5) Tradable goods are producing high paying jobs that require more education Germany does best at manufacturing tradable goods. She is avoiding high unemployment with job sharing, called discussed unemployment. I'm betting the recovery will bring back higher wages but hours work will stayed reduced as robots and computers do the work

Return to Class of Educating 2030



Appendix 4

The Story of Joan

An attempt to learn about the real estate business brought me in contact with Joan, middle aged women who had been a million dollar salesperson in her first year. She was well dressed, attractive, very ambition and had a talent for selling. Joan was famous for her answer to a question from prospective buyers who were aghast when they saw a foot of water in the basement of a home they might buy. “Well, think how lucky you are to know about the water. Now you can bid $3,000 lower and fix the problem for $1,000. Joan was correct; they bought and were very happy with the property. This was the middle 1970's when new starter homes were small, about 10,000 square feet, had one bathroom, three bedrooms, and cost about $40,000.

Joan wanted to be a real estate broker, but fail the test because of her poor mathematical skills. Math required for the license was using formulas, a little geometry, and multi-step word problems. Some of this was necessary for commercial developers but for what Joan wanted to do, little math was needed. But testing is a way to limit supply of brokers thus keeping commissions high.  Much of what I did was build her confidence that if she did the easy questions, a missed the few difficult questions, she would still pass. Needless to say, she passed the exam and years later, was still queen of the hill.

Joan was one of the most confident people I've encountered in many years of education. She went to school before testing sapped the vitality out of people who were not above average in both mathematic analysis and verbal understanding.  Interpersonal intelligence, easily the most important in the real world kind of intelligence, isn't considered important by our academic educators. 

The Rest of the Story

Joan had a secret to her success. She belonged to the Friday 7:00 AM Howard Johnson Breakfast Club. Two or three plus salespeople from ten or so local real estate companies met, talked a little business, and created a network. If you needed something for sale at one of your competitors, you called your friend from Friday mornings. They would call you. The more people you helped, the more people who would help you.

I once had the world's greatest house listing, A+ condition, location, and price. Two or three sales were stopped by parents coming to visit.  I had guaranteed the owner who was leaving for Venezuela it would be sold and he was nervous, but not me. With two weeks to go I called Joan and agreed to split the listing commission and it was sold the next day. Some people think Joan should go to college, I think school should be designed to maximize her special intelligence. edited 1/21/13

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Battlefield Reflections of a
Life-Long Statistic Teacher

The Normal Curve Rules

Teaching Statistics to Open Enrollment
Evening College Students by

Introduction: After years of traditional teaching I switched to Quick Notes Statistics a programmed type text and its companion Excel Statistics Lab Manual. With all the problems and their data sets written in Excel, much of the calculation requirements were removed as an obstacle to learning. Many students were familiar with the text as they had used Quick Notes Financial Accounting and/or  Economics Interactive Class Notes with Links in previous courses. These books were concise two-page outlines per chapter with practice problems and complete solutions.

Methodology: Class one began with a 30 minute summary of material covered on the first computerized take-home or in the lab test. We then adjourned to the lab with some of the better students leaving to do the work at their own convenience while the  others joined me in the lab learn to use Excel to  calculate measures of central tendency. Lectures/lab sessions followed. The class before the computerized test using Excel was a comprehensive hour or so review where I again saw the better students and after the review a few were off to the lab to finish their computerized  lab set due before the test. This procedure was followed for tests on probability and on hypothesis testing/correlation/regression.

Result: 1) Being an honor system take-home on a computer exam resulted in the same grade distribution as for traditional in class with a large note card exams. 2) More material was easily covered with less work and anxiety.  3) But only the better students learned more, much more. Students, as they had for over 35 years at four different average at best colleges, divided themselves into four groups.

Group one never really learned to use Excel to do much of anything and passed with low grades because of easy grading procedures.

Group two calculated some  statistics correctly but ran into trouble deciding which Excel menu procedure  to use for each of the eight different problems on the take home final. I had warned them that grades would go down with each tests, many would be disappointed. Some of these adults worked really hard but having to choose between finite and normal distributions, large and small samples, then between one sample and two samples eventually led to mistakes.

Group three often got the statistic correct but then had difficulty determining to accept or reject the no change null hypothesis.  All the studying in the world doesn't help because they had never really figured out what hypothesis testing was all about.

Group four had one final hurdle, explaining what the answer meant. They had correctly accepted or rejected the null hypothesis but what did it mean? They needed to write in the analysis section that the new procedure was faster or had less defects or the new diet was better or else it was back to group three and a lower grade. Less than six from a class of twenty-five got almost everything correct and got a 4 grade on almost every problem. A very few got everything correct.

copyright 21st Century Learning Products   
All Rights Reserved 

edited and written by Walter Antoniotti


Other Stuff

Popular but Incorrect Neuromyths' from
    We use only 10% of our brains.
    A high stimulus environment improves the brain of preschool children.
    Using a student's preferred learning style improves learning.
The Thousands of Californians Who Failed The Bar Exam Are Going To Hate This Guy
is an example of how college can teach them but can't learn them. I wonder if college law schools are required to publish Bar Exams pass rates

Data from Iceland indicates that younger students in a class do poorer in standardized test through seven grades and other studies have shown that 10% of younger HS graduates go to college. The Economist, 12/7/12, p21

Watch Videos and Understand
Formula for changing math education
Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity
Elizabeth Gilbert On Genius

Need Material for this space

















Epilogue: The Cost of a Misdirected Education

My Keene State College 1990 Economics 101 class was given data showing that average college graduates make much more than high school graduates. They had seen it before. That is why most of them were in college. Then I showed them median income of college graduates. They were disappointed with the lower number. I explained how some really high earners make the mean higher than the median. Then I showed them data indicating the bottom quarter of college graduates earned about the same income as high school's top-quarter. They became more unsettled. Then I gave them the lowest income statistic of all,  median income for those with just a bachelor's degree. Those with higher degrees were left off. From the back of the room I heard  "you mean they are ripping us off.  

It took about twenty years, but I pleased to report that, because of the Great Recession,  mass media coverage of the decreasing economic return from a college education is no longer sporadic . But like any unwelcome news, parents, teachers, and politicians will be the last to react properly. The collateral damage has been immense. It will continue to be so unless some responsible mass media helps makes an educational system that improves the well-being of all students . Here is the collateral damage of our love affair with college.

College graduates who can't find a job and dropouts owe over one trillion dollars in outstand college loans and are finding they do not have the skills to earn a positive economic return from their investment.

Disgruntle U.S. graduates and dropouts whose needs were not met by their investment of many years in school and from whom society receive little support. In fact, many need society's support.

But some took the path less traveled. 

My fourteen year-old nephews announced he wanted to attend a neighboring carpentry high school. Four years of getting up early and getting a ride from his father to grandmother's house where he waited for the school bus to take him to a new, strange school. At fourteen! After school he walked the three miles home from grandma's house. No one told him from anyone, he just didn't like academics and decided on a vocational education. Now a successful small contractor, his biggest problem is convincing his wife they don't need a new Volvo every two years.

His younger brother was much more academic, but found school a waste of his lazy, but conniving mind. He dropped out early in the 9th grade, eventually went in the military, kept looking for a good job in corrections until he found a unionized one working for the state. No one had to tell him that investing in a 40K in addition to the state retirement plan was a good idea. He also bought car mortgage insurance a year before not being able to pay said liability.  

Epitaph: Many of our best and brightest did make a proper investment in college and there are enough of them to maintain our nation's well-being. Imagine a country where the school system maximizes all kinds of all Special Intelligence rather than maximizing the math/verbal intelligence of everyone including those with whose learning disabilities requires special attention. Edited 1/30/13

Older Generations Accumulate, Younger Generations Stagnate
from http://www.businessinsider


More Interesting Thoughts


" The mind is not a vessel to be filled , but a fire to be kindled."  Plutarch The Week Magazine 11/02/12 p199

Edited 1/30/13

Obama Wants to Move U.S. Up

Early Years  Education The Economist Magazine 2/9/13

"Finland on top (it scored direly in the OECD study). At least 98% of children aged five or six are in pre-school education there. Finland also dominates the overall league tables for education performance, so perhaps the scope for improvement is slight. Other enthusiastic providers of pre-school education like Sweden, Norway, France and Belgium and Denmark do not score particularly highly on attainment in later education, whereas Japan, which combines early-years provision with a fiercely competitive exam culture, excels. So too does South Korea, where the state until now has provided under half of pre-school places. So pre-school is no panacea, says Andreas Schleicher, who oversees the OECD’s big triennial PISA report on educational attainment. “Drilling children” in early years does not lead automatically to learning gains, he says."

Editor's Note: I'd trade two more years of early childhood education for two less years of high school in a second. Academic kids not mature enough to leave home for college could go to junior college or work for a while, maybe as workers in a vast public/private pre-school industry.