Updated: Nov 18
Education Change and Recovery During Covid-19
The size and magnitude of the Covid-19 “black swan” event no one was prepared for, provides a great opportunity for numerous societal, educational, and economic changes. Changes in the form of a major reset and the opportunity to really take stock of what is relevant, necessary, and develop a foundation to support the expected environment of continuous change and socio-economic growth.
The impacts of the coronavirus are cutting across the nation’s more than $20 trillion economies, closing schools, sports leagues, and art venues, canceling concerts and funerals, and shuttering bars, boutiques, restaurants, and many more organizations and operations.
Before the crisis, retailers last year announced a record of 9,000+ store closures amid widespread bankruptcy filings. As the growing pandemic forces companies like Apple, Microsoft, Nordstrom, and Macy’s to close thousands of stores temporarily, analysts say they are bracing for a monumental shift: Approximately 60% of restaurants in North America may never reopen.
How Businesses Practices Will Change
Some businesses might snap back to normal after a temporary reprieve of social distancing. But there are no guarantees how long this new phase will last, and many analysts acknowledge we do not know what businesses will look like after the outbreak subsides. New businesses and ideas are likely to bloom from the agony and opportunity of pandemic and social disruption forced isolation.
Many business practices, such as remote work and the online medical visits of telehealth, were slow to win widespread adoption because of behavioral inertia. But the outbreak — and its indefinite period of upended life — are speeding the adoption of such unfamiliar ways of doing business.
The pandemic is now a relentless destroyer of brick-and-mortar businesses as public health officials warn against in-person interactions. This pandemic and era of social disruption are boosting almost anything that can be done online or with minimal human contact — grocery deliveries, online learning, takeout food, taxes, government program, and service delivery, streaming video, even real estate closings done with online notaries.
The result is likely to be dramatic losses in local retail, travel, tourism, and dining options, with millions of jobs disappearing. The biggest and wealthiest companies — especially those that do much of their business online — will extend their gains with integrated technologies and fewer people, telework, online education, and streaming video will continue to grow exponentially, while a high number of movie theaters, schools, and traditional workplaces close their doors. Some will never reopen in a world where the shift from real to virtual suddenly has gone into overdrive.
People are changing their habits in the short term and some of these habits will stick around and become part of the future norm. There are numerous things where people are slowly shifting and transitioning away from, this will accelerate to become standard patterns for purchases, services, and material demands.
Any traditional face-to-face encounter — going to an accountant’s office, sending children to class, traveling for a business meeting — could someday seem less necessary as more remote options become publicly acceptable and widespread.
Effect on the Education Sector and How to Modernize
Education modernization is one sector that requires an overhaul and the core reason for this article. Taking into consideration the tax dollars spent at every level of government on education over the last few decades. The results are underwhelming and are not unyielding the desired results. It is apparently clear to me that throwing money at the problem is not a solution and has not provided the results we are looking for. The system administrators and managers are lacking accountability at all levels and at the same time, teachers and school boards have watered down the K-12 curriculum to a state that lacks accountability (no one fails a test), relevance, basic skills, and historical facts. In the real world, there are winners and losers, in our current education systems there are no winners and losers, this is not preparing our kids for reality.
Unions and teachers continue to make unsustainable, unrealistic, and unaffordable demands for more funding to feed a system that is clearly not working. I am yet to see an unbiased analysis of benefits per dollar spent over the last 40 years on education. We do not have access to a solid baseline to measure change, variances, and effectiveness, yet we are expected to contribute more tax dollars to education. At what point do we say enough is enough?
The time is now! The impacts of COVID-19, social disruptions and defund movement are making it very clear, that we do have options to reform education, and our choices of education channels go beyond brick and mortar. The traditional brick and mortar model is no longer viable and requires modernization across K -12 to post-secondary levels.
Closer Look at School Infrastructure and the Usage of Assets for Classes
Taking a close look at school infrastructure, the actual usage of assets for classes are typically around 6 hours a day for teaching. We must rethink the use of these assets and use the opportunity presented by the pandemic shutdown to reset and emerge with a more effective and efficient model that is sustainable and more costs effective.
An immediate change is urgent as more and more people are out of work and tax revenues are diminishing. Teachers must also prepare to modernize and transition from the old models to more relevant models. We have the opportunity to put twice the amount of students through the same infrastructure using a shift approach, no different than the manufacturing sector and at the same time incorporate online and distance learning to support those who can benefit from alternate education delivery channels, especially rural communities. This will reduce the travel time, cost of transport and not to mention emissions and carbon pollution from thousands of school buses on the roads across North America. Yes, it will come at a social cost, however, there are means to collaborate and connect to maintain social inclusion. After all, kids are tied to social media for personal connection and interaction, we can leverage this approach and link it into their self-directed integration model.
“If you are serious about wanting to improve education, do not vote more money for the education establishment that has been dumbing down the schools for years. Vote for vouchers, tax credits, or anything else that will transfer decision-making power to parents”. Thomas Sowell
Leveraging Virtual Multi-Disciplinary Teams and Business Platforms
Leverage virtual Multi-Disciplinary Teams and Platforms to enable and support learning
Existing school infrastructure must be used more effectively for learning. We should put a moratorium on school infrastructure spending until we have effectively utilized all alternate and relevant channels to optimize learning delivery.
The traditional format is no longer relevant n affordable
As we can see from the following quotes, the issue of education reform has been percolating for some time now:
I am not sure of the source, someone said (If you have school-age children, the pandemic-induced move to online classes may give you an unusual window into their education.
E.D. Hirsch expects you’ll be surprised by “how little whole-class instruction is going on,” how little knowledge is communicated, and how there is “no coherence” from day to day, let alone from year to year. The current fashion is for teachers to be a “guide on the side, instead of a sage on the stage,” he says, quoting the latest pedagogical slogan, which means that teachers aren’t supposed to...)
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." – Nelson Mandela
“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.” – Steve Jobs
‘A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.’ –, Thomas Carruthers
‘The word ‘education’ comes from the root e from ex, out, and duco, I lead. It means a leading out. To me, education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupil’s soul.’ –Muriel Spark
“Teacher: A person who helps you solve the problem you’d never have without them.” —Unknown
“Good teachers are costly, but bad teachers cost more.” —Unknown
“Teachers are like the road signs because even when they tell you what to do you still get lost.” —Unknown
The High Levels of Resource Waste in Public Education
There is no way to "fully fund" public education. We have extremely high levels of resource waste. If all of the resources, assets, infrastructure, time, effort, and money are allocated and utilized more effectively on actual educational needs, there would be more than enough to meet demands and provide the quality of education we desire. But that won't happen.
NYC spends $22,000 per student in public schools, the highest in the county, and only 46% are proficient in math and reading. Money has been thrown at schools for 50 years and education has gotten worse, could someone in the system explain why this is the outcome we are realizing for all the $$ spent annually?
We need answers from, school boards, politicians, and unions.
Is Defund education a solution?
Should we dismantle the whole system and rebuild it without unions and boards?
Do we need education social disruption to force a restart?
FIRE the teacher’s unions; remember Reagan handling the air traffic controller’s union strike in the 80s?
If you are serious about wanting to improve education, do not vote more money for the education establishment that has been dumbing down the schools for years. Vote for vouchers, tax credits, or anything else that will transfer decision-making power to parents.
The Ability to Think Critically Should be Taught
They dumbed the public down into thinking our issues are as simple as left vs right to reduce your ability to think critically. This is a teacher issue. The ability to think critically should be taught. However, our school systems with No Child Left Behind does not allow critical thinking and opposing debates on any topic, only practice to take an exam for your entire life. This is the main failure of our system! Thus far, One-size-fits-all education is a disaster, and probably responsible for much of the current backlash against capitalism. Our whole educational system, from the elementary schools to the universities, is increasingly turning out people who have never heard enough conflicting arguments to develop the skills and discipline required to produce a coherent analysis, based on logic and evidence.
In some communities, there was a special contempt for the kind of guy who was always trying to get other guys to fight each other. Today, it is considered a great contribution to society to incite consumers against producers, women against men, and the races against each other, this is what is being produced in our current socialist heavy education system.
Albert Einstein quote. “Everybody is a genius in their own way. An issue with our school systems is that everyone is forced into taking the same standardized tests and curriculums”.
Public primary and secondary schools are getting hit with the wave now. Parents must organize locally to prevent it. At least there if you live among like-minded people you can organize a resistance.
What is lost in the system and transferred to teachers is they the teachers and boards think they know students better than parents. Wrong!
Parents know their children better than any bureaucrat in government ever could! Much power has been taken from parents. The “I can’t do it” mentality of parents is from a lifetime of government telling them “We can do it better.” But really, what does it say about an institution that makes the graduate feel they haven’t...
Our school systems are not allowing our children be children, kids get enough of being bullied by other children, stop letting adults bullying them as well by forcing them to think and act to meet the socialist agenda!
Teachers are smart and supposed to be leaders and influencers to our youth and community, then the question recurring in my mind, is why do teachers need a union?
If teachers’ unions exist...and exist merely to preserve their OWN power...Nothing will give parents "decision-making power". It is a myth.
The teachers and tier unions are supporters and enablers of the leftist agenda. The left wants a Platonic state where parents and children never interact. That way, the state has total control.
We do not have public education...we have public indoctrination.
We must stop the education “indoctrination” system from teaching Marxism from K- 12 and beyond. Please, take control of your kids’ education. Dump the Dept of Education and put control back at the local level where it belongs. Please, before it’s too late. Public education is indoctrination and parents have no say.
Time to do away with the teacher’s tenure. which makes it impossible to rid the system of teachers who no longer are meeting the needs of the students! (Whether it be due to infirmary or political bias). I fear most teachers, even the conservative ones are too heavily dependent & entrenched with the unions & school boards to support any such divestment of monies from the public school system. What is best for the children conflicts with what’s best for the “system “.
Teachers and school administrators are required to teach specific curriculums that may not meet the educational needs and abilities of students.
One of the worst things that ever happened to schools is high stakes testing. In some school districts, 1/3 of the time was wasted on instruction to pass the test. Vote for more competition, creative destruction, continual advancement of education, accountability for outcomes - and not more wasted dollars on indoctrinators that are only masquerading as educators.
Parents know their children better than any bureaucrat ever could! One-size-fits-all education is a disaster. (And in my opinion, probably responsible for much of the current backlash against capitalism.) If more money was the solution, we should have one of the best education programs in the world.
The unions and teachers are using kids as their political pawns. The country's public-school system is broken. As children exit the school system, they are not ready for real life and as a result, are failing in life and unnecessarily adding a societal and human services burden:
It took the Pandemic for most people to notice & address these gaps!
As we move up the education chain, Universities are going to be totally controlled by the minority rule. I mean, totally, as there is no visible counter mechanism.
Sorry for the innocent funders of their endowments. American Universities are going to be disintermediated so quickly by tech that it will not matter. It seems to me that Google is best situated to disrupt the education monopoly. Self-taught skills can be obtained through YouTube, etc. Google credentialing could catch on.
University degrees, for industry, are not maximally efficient
Maximum efficiency = corporations in-house accreditation, on the job.
Disruptive Technologies are Rapidly Going to Change Education
Disruptive technologies are rapidly going to make universities become redundant and outdated. Countries like the US, Canada, and Australia have numerous sizeable universities - to service paying overseas students. Universities are a business, more than a center for quality education, dollars over teaching. Online alternatives are rapidly evolving that will enable immersive interactive learning at a fraction of the cost. The pandemic has exposed and accelerated that!
I think technological and social change with respect to remote learning will fundamentally alter learning. The role of universities in society will reduce with time. More practical, skill-oriented, remotely delivered courses will replace degrees, the near-term destination for universities will be a transition to research and development centers
That is the counter mechanism. Universities s will have to dig into their endowments/cut costs for US students or they will run into an End of Life situation.
Maybe the old system is good for corruption, and ultimately corruption may be good for the society/business?
The issue seems the politicians and unions want complete control for the ideology taught to our youth in the public schools and federally funded colleges. They want to encourage parents to set their homes, finances, etc. to be prepared to take over their child's education. The political ideology is all children are the property of the system, hence parents must "Vote" to have a say in the indoctrination of their child. Certainly, any true democratization of our education system must include individual choice as to any parent’s children and their education.
Let us start by eliminating Affirmative Action, it brings down the quality of education so the mediocre can complete with the brighter students. Set the goal to a higher level and all classes of people will benefit in a higher mode of education. Raise education standards for a change! At the same time, we must modernize, disrupt and abolish the teacher's unions, which can't fight against it any harder than they will fight against any opposition to their agenda, while the teachers and their unions political activist continue to make a request outside their jurisdiction.
Economic Problems are a Big Deal Because We Make Them a Big Deal in Our Broken Systems
Public education has taught people that “economic problems are a big deal because we make them a big deal in our broken systems”. Economics is the study of human action and interaction. Economics is as natural to life and breathing and eating are.
At the same time, not all teachers are bad or without care, I can also verify that many teachers take it upon themselves ( not the systems of supports) to enable many kids who grew up with parents who were married at a very young age with very little understanding of education, many kids in this environment, fall through the cracks. If not for these caring public teachers, they would never have made it to college. Being on the outside, our system is broken, we spend millions on sport and on our prison system, keeping prisoners on death row while cutting our education systems. Our priorities and systems are broken.
We are forever bemoaning behavior that our flawed systems reward and our broken education feed. Our puritanical culture is built entirely around punishment, not prevention, enforcement, not empowerment, retribution, not responsibility.
It should also deal with the psychology of gullibility, the psychology of ignorance, the psychology of not teaching critical thinking, the psychology of blind faith, the psychology of never fixing systems that incentivize societally destructive behaviors.
You get what you pay for. Right now, our health care & education systems are broken, our infrastructures are outdated and investments are needed in energy innovation. These things cost money. It is a pipe dream to think we can sustain a strong nation w/o making drastic changes. Society needs and demands are changing, we are at the taxed tipping point, change is required now, no one immune or should be protected.
Everyone must find what their own strengths and weaknesses are. You do not have to be great in school to be extremely successful. Do not underestimate your abilities!
Waste of assets and infrastructure – stop building schools and start using existing assets more effectively, move to shift system, start school at 7 – 12.30 then another shift from 1 to 6 simple twice the number of student’s same asset
If aliens ever come to this planet, they will probably conclude that the purpose of schools is to eradicate the ability to think independently. From this perspective, our schools have been incredibly successful. They make a fundamentally devastating error of trying to possess truth and manipulate it to their agenda
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Dave Gajadhar is an Advisor, Speaker, Educator, and an Advocate for human prosperity and resource optimization at Resultant Group (Edmonton, AB), business modernization, resource optimization, and transition advisors.
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