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How Student Achievement Is Like Global Warming 10 Years Ago

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Ten years ago there was lots of debate about whether global warming was real or not, and it often seems like that's where we are these days when it comes to research on overall student achievement in the US. This week, a new Bruce Fuller study came out that suggests a falloff in testing gains since NCLB was implemented (Education Week). But a few weeks ago another study from the Center on Education Policy said differently. So where's the consensus? There isn't one. And until there is -- which may never happen -- it's going to be mighty hard for anyone to push for, much less take, bold action towards improving schools.
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So, what are our options? Instead of waiting for policy change, parents and their kids need to begin to recognize the opportunities for getting an outrageously relevant education in creative ways. If you can't get it at your local high school--and you probably can't--you need to get out and discover the surprisingly simple and affordable options for a multicultural, off-the-charts global education perfect for the wild, wild future.

Good news: it doesn't rely on the typical standards. You can get into a great university without taking an AP course or even taking the SAT, and you can save thousands of dollars in college tuition once you open your eyes to the possibilities that exist outside the traditional soccer player/valedictorian/student body president path.

Perhaps the solution isn't pressuring the government for changes in education policy. Instead, we need parents to see that they have not only the responsibility but the POWER to prepare their kids for the future even if (especially if) the schools are unable to. If we can show parents--and kids--ways to skip the SAT, save thousands in college tuition, and get a great education without the angst and debt associated with the modern university experience, THAT will be a powerful force for change.

I'm writing a book on this subject based on my experience with four kids who have jumped the track. We've learned amazing things about the way the system works--and more importantly, where it doesn't.

Thanks for keeping us posted on the state of the schools!


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