I created a thread on this years ago, but the more time I've had working in education, the more I want more radical changes than "reform" no longer seems like the right word. The recent actions by my governor and others to force schools to be in-person during a pandemic, or else the students won't learn as much, has just reinvigorated my feelings about how misguided the education system is (at least in the US, can't speak for other countries). Having schools open and COVID-safe has meant almost all benefits of in-person teaching are already gone or greatly diminished... and they haven't really been made COVID-safe with the circulation/ventilation, heating, regular asymptomatic testing, and PPE issues, And winter is coming. While in-person learning is more effective than virtual over long periods of time, any teacher who’s been in-person so far will tell you it’s been a nightmare and the safety measures have stopped most benefits of in-person learning. Health comes first: healthy students with living teachers and family members, it’s definitely worth it. Those vocal parents against distance learning don't understand the current state of capacity in the schools, and how it would end with students all huddled together in the cafeteria being watched over by the few adults left in the building. Those saying students won’t learn as much: true. But my opinion? For too many years we’ve been trying to cram more and more in each school year and each school day, teach things earlier, teach algebra in 5th grade, then in 4th grade... which exposes students to a lot, but over-stresses them out, and we have people in high school who still don’t know their times tables or how to write an essay. The college bubble is going to burst. The “STEM jobs of the 21st century” are starting to go obsolete now -- we’re 1/5 through this century already, and a majority of students were never going to be engineers anyways, and that’s ok! So let’s transform education. Make the high school diploma the gold standard again, make it mean something, de-stigmatize being held back a grade. Focus on the practical as the basics, learning at their own pace, and then nurture their actual love of learning. For those students who still want to do Algebra 2 and Trig, and are self-determined for a STEM job? Good for them, that can be how they nurture their curiosity. But how about we focus on making sure 100% of students not only know basic arithmetic and simple algebra, but also how to write a cover letter and resume, learn about budgeting and credit, are prepared to be informed voters and aware of other cultures, know basic facts about the universe, know how to be healthy physically and emotionally, know how to tell fact from fiction online, and build transferable skills for jobs in areas they’re passionate about and find self-fulfilling. Make learning fun, not a never ending escalation of stress. This is the opportunity to re-prioritize and make education work for all our students. This is THE opportunity to rethink education, and re-prioritize what is taught and how. We’ve been cramming too much of everything into each school day and each school year, and student stress was already very high before the COVID-19 pandemic, while at the same time failing to deliver results to our students -- failing those who “failed” and even those who “excelled.” Make the high school diploma the gold standard again instead of a college degree, rethink homework, rethink grades (both the scores/tests and the age groups and “holding back”), rethink subjects and what in them is prioritized. Focus on the fundamentals, the true practical fundamentals at the pace that works best for each individual, then life/citizenship/financial skills and personalized learning. And I haven't even touched upon how inequitable school funding tends to be. Destroy this from the foundation and build something new, something that works, for these times and the future, with people always first. What does everyone else think about the current state of Education? What do you think should change?