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This information is designed to help society become aware of the negative impact the current education system has on 30% of our teenagers and how alternative education methods can rescue many. A one education system for all is not feasible, it does not meet the needs of teenagers who walk away from the system.
Wiz kids are put in jail because they refuse to conform to passive classroom learning environments. Because the education system labels them FAILURES, they turn to criminal activity to be recognized.
Every young teenager wants to learn, be recognized, be somebody and excel. If they can't do it in the classroom, they will find another outlet, usually one that leads to self-destruction.
For intellectual teenagers, the education system inspires a vision, helps them discover their natural talent, offers opportunity to develop it, and then helps them find their first job, thereby, helping them to fulfill their desire to excel. The system does NOT do the same for non intellectuals. The education system labels them failures because they cannot master academics like intellectuals. These students are told they are failures 5 times a day, 5 days a week for as long as they can remember. Through self-fulfilling prophecy the system is proven right.
Failing students are not allowed to take vocational courses, subjects many could excel at, because high schools require students to have a "C" average or above in academic subjects. In other words, students with mechanical or technical natural talents are not given opportunity to develop these skills, they are labeled FAILURES and many fight back. The following is a composite of true stories.
The point is, our society can no longer afford to have a "one education system for all." With academic base education, there will always be a 30% high school drop out rate no matter how much money is spent, because not everyone can learn in passive classroom environments. This is a fact of life. Project based education, with academics as a byproduct, can lead many of the 30% into productive skills and lifestyles.
Every 13-year old wants to learn, be recognized, be somebody, and excel. To keep these desires headed in the right direction, the education system must adapt to the teens needs, not create laws that pressure them to adapt to the system. It is a known fact that 30% will not or cannot adapt and will walk away form from the system. There needs to be alternatives!!!
My resource on street gangs is based on a seminar I attended titled "Understanding The Gang Mentality" by Deputy Richardson, Richland County, SC, Sheriff's Department Gang Task Force. It was held in Columbia, South Carolina, USA, December 7, 2001. At the end of the lecture I was so shaken I had to sit in my car and calm my emotions down before I could drive home. No lecture has ever had an impact on me like this did. I think what got to me was, these same gang members could be living successful productive lives if they had learning opportunity in non classroom environments such as teams. Street gangs are team learning environments that engage in crime. A team is an education powerhouse, what they learn depends on the goal of the team. If the system offered alternative goals, then the system could inspire the direction of many teenagers.
Society must become aware of the need for alternative education. Political powers will only take action to implement alternatives when society demands it. Email is a powerful promotional tool that can spread awareness and inspire action. Feel free to forward this outline to interested persons and organizations. I have sent it to editors of newspapers and youth advocates, you may do the same.
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