"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How About K-14?

President Obama has been touting a school in New York City. It is a school in Brooklyn called "Pathways in Technology Early College High School". It is a school that offers Grades 9-14, six years of high school. It is a program that adds career or college-readiness to the United States K-12 education system. The school's additional two years are heavy on co-op and internships. Mentors from industry like International Business Machines (IBM) are part of Grades 13 and 14.
Above is a screen capture of the New York Daily News
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/obama-heads-brooklyn-tour-p-tech-school-article-1.1496651
When the high school graduation rate is an issue of concern, adding years to basic education must come with a strong incentive. The additional years must provide sufficient reason for parents and students to bear the additional years. For taxpayers, additional years in public schools must be justified as well. The school still has to graduate its first class. The promise is that graduates from this school have a better, more secure job prospect. This does sound similar to some of the arguments made by the Philippines' DepEd when it introduced the new K+12 system into Philippine public schools.

The case in New York, however, is still not national in scope. Things can change quite dramatically when a program is made into a larger scale. First, the school in New York is a bit exceptional at this point. This uniqueness may in fact be a factor in its ability to provide its students a more secure job outlook. Imagine, however, if all schools are like this one in New York. Suddenly, what is special is no longer there. More importantly, scaling such a dramatic reform in basic education comes with serious consequences. How does this affect community colleges? How does this affect vocational schools? How does this affect universities and higher learning institutions? These are the same questions that educators are now facing in the Philippines. DepEd K+12 has serious implications not just in basic education, but also in vocational and college education.

For example, if algebra is to remain a course in college in the Philippines beyond 2016, then DepEd K+12 has not really accomplished anything....






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