“What did you learn while completing your project?”
Looking upon that question posed to our class, I felt overwhelmed. There are so many contestable and interesting topics when discussing the future of education. I learned so much more about pedagogical world.
Nevertheless, I managed to choose from all that I’ve learned three big matters that were eye-opening to me during my Future Vision of Education study: the existence of school vouchers in private schools, the emergence in popularity of online schools amongst secondary school students, and re-segregation in schools.
School vouchers have been on the rise. Primarily, private schools have been using them in an effort to slow the recent decline in enrollment to their schools. They are essentially taxpayer funded credit slips that parents can utilize in order to pay for part or all of the fees at a private school (Donnelly, n.d.). In 2012, these choice programs existed in 18 states, the District of Columbia, and one Colorado county (Mulaney, 2014). It included 21 voucher programs, 16 tax credit programs, and provided a around 250,000 children with almost a billion dollars in choice funding (Mulaney, 2014). I was unaware that private schools had turned to such efforts. It was a smart move by them to create these vouchers as a form of defense.
Another shocker for me is the emergence of high school and middle school students taking online classes. I know that online education is popular in college but never did I think it would reach secondary school. In 2013, 15 percent of high school students said they had taken at least one self-study online class for credit in addition to taking traditional classes in their brick and mortar school (Project Tomorrow, 2013). Moreover, 4 out of 10 students in grades 6-12 that had not taken an online class said that they would had like to do so (Project Tomorrow, 2013). When I see numbers like that and the way the future is headed, I have a feeling the role of a teacher will change dramatically. More likely than not, teachers will be moved to get online teaching jobs, even at the secondary school level. There may be less face-to-face time.
Finally, the discovery that really surprised me was the fact schools have re-segregated themselves. Today, the average Latino student attends a school that’s nearly 57 percent Latino, more segregated than blacks and Asians (Childress, 2014). The average white student attends schools that are nearly 73 percent white (Childress, 2014). I can’t believe it when I hear such statistics because many worked hard achieve integration. If schools are going to end up the way they started, why did we change them in the first place?
There is a lot more to be said as to what I learned in my project. Nevertheless, those three topics stood out the most to me. They are really challenging topics that will be discussed today, tomorrow, and for years to come. I just want to make sure I am a part of the discussion.
Childress, S. (2014, May 15). Report: School segregation is back, 60 years after “Brown”. Frontline. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/education/report-school-segregation-is-back-60-years-after-brown/
Donnelly, M. (n.d.) Private schools. Retrieved from Library Post University Library Datatbase
Mulaney, E.S. (2014, September). Public funding for private schools: The current landscape. Journal of Catholic Education. Retrieved from Post University Library Database
Project Tomorrow. (2013). Speak UP 2012 national findings: From chalkboards to tablets: The emergence of the K-12 digital learner. Retrieved from http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/pdfs/SU12-Students.pdf
Link to Future Vision of Education Case Study Presentation: http://prezi.com/eyvcw8rywgcm/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share