Flexible Curriculum's that address individual needs
The state of New York spends almost 90% more on education than the rest of the United States. Unfortunately, the additional expenditure does not translate to adequately prepared students who are capable of finding a job. One reason for this is the generic standards and mandates imposed on schools statewide. Additionally, the price of higher education is out of control and needs to be made affordable so that the masses can go to college and not rack up insurmountable student loans.
1) Schools need the freedom to set their educational curriculum and expectations to meet the needs of the people most directly affected by the institution. This is especially true for students in their final two years of primary education. Our solution: We would end traditional education upon completion of the tenth grade, and give students and parents the opportunity to choose the best path for the next two years and beyond, based on the talents and desires of the individual. That could mean spending the next two years in college, entering a trade or apprenticeship program, or perhaps entering directly into the workforce. Additionally, in the event that a student completes the tenth grade but unable to decide how to utilize their resources for the final two years, they will have access to that funding over the course of the next five years. This would pay for half or all of higher education for students, depending on the program.
2) Another component of this plan is to allow educators to teach and innovate based on what’s best for their students. The methods used in one district may not work for another- this is why unfunded education mandates from the state do more harm than good. To do this we would reject federal funds for New York schools, freeing them from federal mandates.
3) A significant reduction in the number of administrators per student is necessary. The previously mentioned points would assist with this, as more control in the hands of local school boards, parents and students would not require as much oversight or paper-pushing to respond to federal and state level restrictions. This would more than pay for the rejection of federal funds.
4) Amend the state Constitution to restore accountability to public education by dissolving the Board of Regents. The Department of Education should be put under the authority of the executive branch so that one elected individual (the governor) can be blamed for its failures instead of everyone escaping responsibility by blaming others.