Thursday, July 31, 2014

Education Reform..... or Minor League Education?

Education Reform Cannot Wait!!!

Did I miss a memo?  At what point did the K-12 public schools become the "Minor Leagues" for colleges, universities, and the workforce?  

Please wake up!
we need education reform

  • The divorce rate is out of control
  • The number of suicides in the past decade is unacceptable
  • The number of people with depression & anxiety disorders is alarming
  • Communication skills are deteriorating
  • Creativity is an endangered species
  • Students are disengaged at school
  • A large percentage of students cannot identify what they are passionate about.
  • Etc......
Is there a breaking point when we decide that it is more important to teach students to be parents, spouses, self-advocates, voters, citizens, friends, consumers, etc... instead of playing this giant game of minor league insanity.  Even if we are to remain a farm league for universities and jobs, please consider the following:

Approximately 50% of the students who begin 4-year colleges do not graduate.  Maybe we should worry less about getting students into college and start preparing them for the skills necessary to succeed at college if they even decide to go there.  

Approximately 55% of the jobs that exist in 10 years are ones that do not exist now.  How can we prepare students for future jobs when we do not even know what jobs exist?

In my opinion, this giant push to have everyone "college & career ready" seems selfish and ignorant.  Are the K-12 schools getting commission from the universities?  If so, please consider reinvesting it into education reform before public education becomes irrelevant.  We are putting the cart before the horse and it is not working......AT ALL.

These are children that we have in our classrooms.  They deserve better than what we are delivering them.  They deserve to come to school passionate, engaged, and confident that we are preparing them for their futures as PEOPLE.  

What are you doing to help education reform?  To believe in reform, but not take action, is cowardly.  To stand and watch this happen, without taking action towards education reform, makes you an accomplice to one of the most unfortunate developments of the 21st century.

Students need you right now.

Do you disagree?  Let's talk.  I have an open mind and I would like to hear the other side to this story.

Oliver Schinkten
Twitter:  Oliver Schinkten (@schink10)
Linked in:  Oliver Schinkten
Google + :  Oliver Schinkten


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Education Reform: Moral Imperative

Education Reform:  Moral Imperative

I have had the opportunity to work in public schools for the past 13 years and I have absolutely loved it.  I will teach again, and I will always put 100% of my energy towards representing the students and their best interests.   Over the past couple of years our project-based learning or problem-based learning program partnered with over 100 businesses & organizations in the community.  I asked all of them (and others) what they thought students need to learn, while in school, in order to be successful in today's changing world.  The answers were always the same.  They would say:

1.  Technology - how to use it...and not just for selfies, tweeting, and texting.

2.  Know how to LEARN - in this day and age, the amount of facts you have memorized isn't as important, instead it is more important that you can learn new things effectively and efficiently.  Learn how to learn!

3.  21st century or soft skills - communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, ability to ask good questions, etc...

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills" - Will Ferrell

I am confused.  None of these critical skills are emphasized in schools or required by local, state, or national standards.  Why?  It is for this reason that I have decided to take a year of leave from teaching to help initiate and inspire change in education.  Other skills that I would add to the list of things we should teach include the teaching of INTEGRITY, CHARACTER, HONESTY, PASSION, and COMPASSION.  With the high divorce rates, suicide rates, anxiety rates, I think it is time for education to start acting like we are teaching young PEOPLE and not just acting as a minor leagues for the college/career world, and trying to program a bunch of robots.

This is why I started implementing ComPassion Based Learning and I am very passionate about this concept.  I am focusing my efforts on education reform.  I am hesitant to use this phrase, as education reform has become a joke over the past couple decades.  Usually this is associated with political agendas meant to make the politicians look good at the expense of schools, teachers, and students.  Maybe it is more appropriate to call it education transform .... because it is a complete transformation that is needed.

I love hearing insight from the community.  The opinion of everyone in the community is so important for education to stay relevant.  I am sick of pet theories from PhD's dictating the agenda for education.  Why don't we start asking the people involved?  Talk to the community, the parents, the students.  Our education system has come across as extremely selfish and ignorant.  Despite exponential changes in the real-world, the education system has been completely stagnant.  The schools are often viewed as brick buildings with locked doors.  Nobody is welcome in to offer their expertise and suggestions because "education knows what they are doing".  I am done believing that.  It is going to take feedback and insight from everyone to determine what our students need to be successful in a future that we cannot imagine.  We should start by treating them like people and not pawns in a fictional power struggle.

What are your thoughts?  What do you feel that we need to prepare students for the future?  Am I crazy?  Do I keep fighting for change?  If you disagree, I would love to hear your opinions.  I have an open mind and actively continue to seek what is right for the students.  Now, I will just have a little extra time to figure it out.


How can I help you?  Honestly?  How can I help improve the education that students are receiving?  Are there people I should talk to?  Are there lessons you need created?  Are there tutorials, professional development, or resources you need?  As stated in the beginning, I am taking a year or two off of teaching.  I am not; however, taking a year or two off of education.  I will be moving forward with 100% effort.  I will be passionately doing everything I can to empower students, improve education, and help assist those who are also trying to improve education.  Please let me know how I can help you!

Oliver Schinkten
Twitter:  Oliver Schinkten (@schink10)
Linked in:  Oliver Schinkten
Google + :  Oliver Schinkten

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Please help choose a LOGO!!!

Please help AssistEd Shift choose a logo!

We are in the process of creating the AssistEd Shift website in order to provide resources for helping assist the shift that is happening in education.  As education shifts into a more relevant, real-life, engaging, 21st century, whole person concept, we want to help anyone and everyone with this transition.  We recently posted a contest for people to create a logo for AssistEd Shift.  Please rate the logos based on how much you like them.  We are still trying to decide on which one to use.

Your insight is greatly appreciated!!!  Scroll down through the six logo choices below!

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