This post is sponsored by the XQ Institute.
Selecting a high school for my sons was a very difficult decision for me. Both of my sons were blessed to receive a private education from kindergarten through eighth grade. However, when it was time to choose a high school for my oldest, I could no longer afford to send them to private schools. Therefore, I found myself having to learn about my local public school system.
Although, it took time for me to find the right program for my oldest, by the grace of God, I was able to place both of my sons in a school that offered great programs. However, both schools were in upscale areas. Therefore, if they had not received such a wonderful education prior to me requesting transfers, they would not have received the opportunity to attend.
I attended private school my whole life and even attended a private college. I didn’t realize how unequal the school systems in my area were until I found myself looking for a public school for my boys.
As, I mention, I was very blessed to place my kids in great schools. However, I have friends that were not able too because they did not live in the area. These are areas where the homes cost millions of dollars to purchase, which ultimately meant if you couldn’t afford to live there your child could not go there. I think children should be given the same education no matter how much money they have or where they live.
Our world is changing, and for our youth to be able to compete, I think our nation’s school systems should be restructured. After my experience, I think there are 3 ways we can build better High School.
Invest in our Teachers
Solid teaching begins with the instructors. Therefore, teachers should be provided with high salaries that include a month bonus for classroom achievements. So when over 80% of the teachers’ class grades were over a 3.0, the teachers would be rewarded for their hard work with a bonus. Teachers are underpaid, and the bonus may encourage them to put in the extra time to give consideration to students that need additional help with their class work.
Make Learning Fun
My kids both are visual learners. Therefore, I’ve always had to create games or find fun activities that enforced whatever they were learning in school. I think schools should include monthly field trips and weekly hands-on assignments that reinforce the current lesson plan.
Our society is run online, from banking to receiving the latest news and even keeping up with family members. Surprisingly enough, not every home has a computer. However, maybe we should issue a laptop to every freshman and require homework assignments to be done via online questions. This would equip them with the tools to stay up to date with technology.
If money was not an issue and you could create the perfect school, what would it consist of?
The XQ Institute is in service of parents and pioneers, entrepreneurs and teachers, business leaders and administrators, youth and education experts–who are joining a movement to rethink America’s schools. Together, we can use our knowledge, rigor, and creativity to create a new model for school itself.
XQ: The Super School Project is an open call to reimagine and design the next American high school. In towns and cities far and wide, teams will unite and take on this important work of our time: Rethinking and building schools that deeply prepare our students for the rigorous challenges of college, jobs, and life.