If America’s education system is outdated, how can we evolve? | Derrell Bradford


There are lots of times when I go out and
I talk to people, and I have a little game I play I’ll say, “Who in here has more than
one kid?” And then somebody will raise their hand and
I’ll say, “I bet sometimes you look at one of your kids and you’re like this one is mine
and other times you look at the other one and you say I don’t know where you came from.” Those kids breathe the same air, they eat
the same food, they live in the same house, they have the same parents, guardians, they
have wildly similar experiences, but the demands of their individual learning can be night
and day. And the way that we’ve organized our current
education system is not one that is meant to be dynamic enough to meet those needs. And it was also built for a less distracting
time, and our kids today they grow up in the most distracting time in the history of history. So, it is our belief as an organization, as
people who work on these issues and are trying to, again, build toward more dynamism, that
personalization or the closer the education is to the child in terms of proximity and
in terms of specialization are ways to optimize what we should be doing in the system or systems
of the future. And as a society, look, at different times
we prize different things. In the early part of the 20th century, we
had the fewest number of high school graduates in the world and then we had the most because
there was a point where as a country we decided to prioritize high school graduation and it
was a massive lift and we did lots of things to make that possible like tracking, like
comprehensive high schools, which like bells and whistles like sorting and AP and all these
other things that we’ve kind of come to know, which were meant to do something else, which
was like sort people who were going to go to college and then translate everybody else
into a workforce that doesn’t really exist anymore, so those things were the best things
we had then. I think our country, our kids, our families
they want something different now and we’d like to help them build that. If you’re old like me, and if you’re younger
than me but older than everybody else, like a lot of the senior staff, you have a longer
view on how to get things done than lots of people do in the current political moment. And if you work on education policy you can
remember that the set of ideas that are most well known, assessments and measuring progress,
like reforming the way teachers are trained and paid, charter schools and choice all these
other things, they started in the Clinton administration and then they were organized
in a more tangible way through a partnership with George W. Bush and Ted Kennedy and that
became No Child Left Behind. And then they were sort of gassed up in the
Obama administration and we’ll call that the Obama Duncan Consensus. And in all of these phases you had Democrats
and Republicans, for wildly different reasons, like urban Democrats who were deeply concerned
about under-performance for kids of color in cities primarily and a lack of choice in
those places, lots of conservatives and free-market Republicans who believe in competition and
choice and who are anti-monopolist working together to build the framework that gave
us the improvements of the last 20/25 years, particularly in urban education, but broadly
in kind of American education forever. At 50Can, and for me specifically ,we think
that’s a feature, not a defect. And we believe, especially as an organization
that is half in red states and half in blue states basically, we’re in Tennessee and we’re
in New Jersey, and what swims in Tennessee is not what swims in New Jersey. We believe it is essential to hold the center
on this, not just because our experience tells us that when people with differing views work
together amazing things can happen, but also because there are kids in Southwest Baltimore
where I’m from or on some corner in downtown Chicago or someplace off in rural Mississippi
who desperately need solutions that cannot wait for our partisanship to resolve itself. In my mind, the modern education reform consensus
and what we’re trying to build now is one of the best examples of what happens when
people can put their individual challenges aside to make the country better and we don’t
want to see that go away. We think that’s the best of us as a people,
and we’re looking forward to trying to build a new consensus that looks like that now. The most important thing about evolution is
keeping the best elements of what happened before and recognizing things that have been
troublesome or problematic and growing beyond them. And politics evolves, policy evolves and in
the best cases it gets better in both instances. And when I think about what our states do,
when I think about bigger conversations about the future of our kids and our country and
who we want to be as a nation, and how we want to empower every kid to become the best
version of themselves, I think there’s some things that we did or have done or have tried
that have been really good and have changed the lives of lots of kids wildly and for the
better. But, we also need to evolve. And as much as this is a troublesome moment
in the history of the American experiment I try to stay optimistic about what is possible
because it is also the most advanced moment in the American experience. We can talk to more people; we can make more
change; we can consolidate the ideas of folks; we can build things from the bottom up that
help very specific groups of people faster and better and with the benefit of everything
that we tried before better than we ever could have at any point other than this moment. So, it’s an anxious time. I know I’m anxious. I know our states get anxious, too. But it is an important one and I hope we come
out on the other side of this with something that’s much better for our students. They need us to.

40 thoughts on “If America’s education system is outdated, how can we evolve? | Derrell Bradford”

  1. What if we just take the current education system… And push it somewhere else

    But not into my forest

  2. It's beyond antiquated… my kids are bored to hell in school and most of what they are learning is irrelevant. Kids need to learn self awareness, resiliency, how to use their imagination, and self reliance. They are taught the opposite of this in public education.

  3. Virtually every other species I can think of evolves regardless of lacking a socialist school system. #unlearn #BigAcademia #NoCommonSense

  4. Easy answer: take evolution out of school. Bring spanking and prayer back in schools and we won't have anymore school shooting.

  5. The problem I'm seeing from public education is trying to fit all children though the same standard size hole. Every child is unique in their interests, learning style, and learning speed. Public education makes great employees and test takers. If you get A's in school, you can be given a task with set parameters and succeed in what you are told to do. Like putting shit in a box for Amazon. What school doesn't teach you is how to manage complex emotions, financial literacy, or creative entrepreneurial creativity. We need to find a way to teach everyone in the way that is best for them, through (most likely) a personalized monitored smart (as in tech) program. We need to be able to identify strengths and weaknesses and be able to let the child work on those, NOT give them two weeks to learn something, test on it – fail – then move on to the next chapter. UGH….

    The problem much like in this video, it's a lot easier to point out the problems than it is to unify and rebuild an entire nations school system. So internet points it is I guess.

  6. You can't! America’s education system is made to make profit for corporations running private schools and banks from student loans. America's politicians are run by corporations and banks so you are fucked.

  7. I see another Big Think where the presenter has something to promote. Lately, I see people hawking their books. And, as usual, the presentation is rich with buzzwords, but poor with content. For me, my "Big Think" comes when the video is over, and I try to find what I got from it. I came here for Michelle Thatcher (sp), but I don't see her here. Bye.

  8. Based on what I went through in public school I can only say that I witnessed that teaching would devolve to the lowest common denominator i.e., the child with the lowest IQ!

  9. First of all, get rid of grades! Education should not be a competition, and grading, more often than not, reflects the personal prejudices of the teacher. Learning should be student-focused, not teacher-focused.

  10. 1. extend universal public education to include a university bachelors degree, or some sort of professional trade training after high school.
    2. shorten high school length to 3 yrs.
    3. shorten undergraduate university education to 3 yrs.

  11. First we force kids through the Play Dough mold that is primary schooling, then before they have any experience in real life we pressure them into a college that is out to make money off of them. Welcome to the world little one! Enjoy a lifetime of meaningless dead-end jobs and suffocating student loan debt.

  12. I've been having a bunch of conversations on this recently. What we need are digital curriculums (VR education comes to mind) that have heavily personalizable pacing features, and can be optimized for each student's moment to moment needs by Machine Learning algorithms.

    Teachers today are dumped with way too many students to handle. With a system like this, teacher-student interaction time could be reserved for when a student really needs that one-on-one time and it would drastically reduce the workload on teachers.

  13. Our public school system is a big expensive business and little more. Not only is much of the subject matter of little use the delivery system outdated decades ago. Shame on us!

  14. If a student gets a four-year degree, and they are unable to support themselves, including paying back the student loan that paid for that four-year degree, then they deserve a full refund because they have been defrauded.

    Podcast – The Student Loan Crisis Analysis, Perspective, Recommendations & The Hidden 1%

    https://www.chriswhalencpa.com/student-loan-crisis-analysis-2018

    #studentloans #studentloan #debt #StudentDebt #StudentLoanDebt #StudentLoanReformNow  #highereducation #babyboomers

  15. Teach the truth about its horrific history of human massacres and purchases to blithely take what was not theirs. Teach how religion allows for horrific divides of human beings for sociopaths to establish power and heavy handed controls. Get real so we can effect actual change now. Bring them up united, as in the United states of America moniker.

  16. Give the money direct to the parents in the form of a voucher and let the private market handle it.
    End the public school brainwashing!

  17. Like so many of America's problems, fixing education is about making it work for everyone, not just the rich elite. It's no coincidence the 30 countries beating the USA in the OECD rankings all have very strong public education systems and far lower student debt. Profit-making schools work to benefit their short-term bottom line and not their students' long-term futures: shareholders are parasites sucking resources out the education system to make a quick buck.

    Education is a country's future. Properly invest as a country to provide quality education for all, and the nation prospers. Fail to do so and Chinese kids with superior science and technology education will be leading the next generation of humanity, not yours.

  18. Why did you even make this video? It tells me nothing other than you wish the education system were better. Well duh. Vaguely "improving education" is the most profitable non-profit cause there is. If you aren't telling me what you are actually going to do, why waste our time?

  19. Commie Core……intentionally dumbing down America ….look up Jewish Protocols……..The Jewish Congress has taken over our school system….be a parent and teach them yourselves because our schools are communist cesspools ….that is the TRUTH

  20. The best educational system is a system you can give your kid throwing them in a government run school will always be dumbing them down.

  21. The american education system is designed to do one thing. To make zombies who show up at 9 am, go home at 5pm and never once think about anything in between.

  22. Home schooling is far better unless you want your kids indoctrinated in values opposing yours.

    Why do our kids get lessons on gay parents are better rather than teaching reading, writing, and math?

    Home schooled kids come out happier and better educated. Home schooled is not stand alone. It networks people to share teaching skills and with computer tech kids at home get more targeted schooling that fits them individually.

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