Tag Archives: U.S. Education

Why Foundations Fund Irrelevant Education Programs

Hundreds of new technology companies are launched every year. Most have some sort of short-term success. But then most fail long-term because their product/service was not scalable. The inability for a technology company to scale means that it was not able to innovate ahead of the evolving needs of society. Therefore that technology company is not relevant to society in the future.

All foundations know that they are completely out of their league to even try assessing what current technology company can be scalable and therefore relevant to society in the future. This is sensible because organizations like Venture Capital firms that specifically specialize in this technology space, and have financial incentives to get their assessment right, are usually wrong most of the time.

In contrast, foundations take the absolute opposite approach to education programs. Foundations think they know what type of current education program will be relevant to society in the future. This is of course ludicrous because the same requirements that technology companies have to scale also apply to education programs. So if an education program can’t scale it will not be relevant to society in the future. This means that foundations have no more rational insight on the future of education than they do on the future of technology.

The failure of foundations to understand this reality starts with the very top leadership team and trickles on down. This is because all those individuals have gone through an extensive education and feel their success is due to that experience. That experience is then misconstrued as expertise and projected onto the education space. This misconception is further reinforced by hired ‘education experts’ who mold guesses on the future of education into the desired perspective the foundation seeks. This leads to a completely false sense of direction that manifests in the foundation’s created guidelines and short-term benchmarks for their desired education programs. Then non-profits scheme their proposals around those conditions to get funding. Afterward, benchmarks are achieved and success is hailed all around. Wonderful. Except that none of these education programs are scalable. Therefore none of these education programs are relevant to society in the future. Period.

These irrelevant programs then contribute to a U.S. Education system that is already over a century behind in its approach. Therefore, foundations cannot continue the same process of funding education programs and expect different results. To break this paralysis a scalable education program called LED accelerator will be introduced here. LED accelerator is a proposed dual system within U.S. Education that will foster high-level creative thinkers along with skill sets that can ultimately develop breakthrough innovators.

LED accelerator shares the goals of other dual systems like Xerox, PARC, DARPA and Google X. These dual systems were created to be vertically intensive and innovate ahead of the needs of their respective parent organization. The difference with LED accelerator is that the selected gifted students in this system have malleable brains that are simultaneously being wired for adaptive algorithms by their experiences. Furthermore, LED accelerator students will collaborate and compete while using tools that exist in the current world to manifest the products, services and philosophy they intuitively see existing in the future world. The driven LED accelerator students within each school district will continually adopt best practices to evolve their program’s culture while striving to pursue breakthrough projects.

LED accelerator will innovate ahead of the evolving needs of U.S. Education, its parent organization. In turn, the continually changing learning strategies and achievement results will provide for administrators evidence-based data on which aspects of LED accelerator can be implemented in general education. So the current process of relying on failed guesses of ‘education experts’ to originate future curriculum and doctrines will cease. The internally generated evidence-based data of LED accelerator will be the impetus to continually advance the entire U.S. Education system alongside evolving social, economic and government needs.

Consequently, foundations that fund the launch of LED accelerator in school districts across the U.S. will be the only ones that achieve a relevant impact on society in the future.

Full proposal and analysis for LED accelerator is found at: CreateLEDaccelerator.com

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The Bold Strategy to Empower American Exceptionalism

Ever since a 19th century writer described America as “exceptional”, scholars and politicians have constantly referred to ‘American Exceptionalism’ in one form or another. All understand intuitively the powerful confluence of American events and resources that have resulted in such a historic impact.

While America has been given a good foundation, in order for American Exceptionalism to become sustainable, a bold strategy must be designed and executed successfully. The following three-step process develops a bold strategy:

1. Define the main challenge.
2. Understand the critical factor within that challenge.
3. Apply organizational strength into the ‘most promising opportunity’ within the critical factor.

This bold strategy is applicable to a structured organization of any size. The following proposal is a bold strategy for the structured organization called America.

First Step: The main challenge for the America is to innovate through the growth of the economy. In turn, the growth of the economy dictates how quickly social and financial systems inside can advance.
Second Step: The critical factor for the growth of the American economy is to have communities continually innovate. In turn, the level of a community’s innovation dictates how quickly the business industry ecosystem outside can advance.
Third Step: The organizational strength of America is its ability to empower and benefit from billions of decentralized and diverse choices being made within communities. Within any one community, a school of U.S. Education (another structured organization) that can develop the creative thinking potential and skill sets of all adolescents is the ‘most promising opportunity’ to which the organizational strength of America should be applied. The reason is that creative skill sets are the core foundation for all adults to be able to innovate.

But this has not happened because American leadership does not understand this bold strategy. Consequently, U.S. Education was not set up to foster innovation but is instead focused on competing with centralized education systems of other countries. But centralized education systems will always be more effective at developing homogenous students that can memorize and regurgitate current information – which is the opposite of innovation. So the counter productive focus of U.S. Education actually has the result of flipping the organizational strength of America into a weakness.

LED accelerator would change this backward dynamic for U.S. Education and leverage the organizational strength of America. LED accelerator is a proposed dual system within U.S. Education that will foster high-level creative thinkers along with skill sets that can ultimately develop breakthrough innovators.

LED accelerator shares the goals of other dual systems like Xerox, PARC, DARPA and Google X that were created to be vertically intensive within their respective parent organization. The difference is that malleable brains of students in this system are simultaneously being wired for adaptive algorithms by their experiences. LED accelerator students will collaborate and compete while using tools that exist in the current world to manifest the products and services they intuitively see existing in the future world. The hyper competitive students within each decentralized school district will continually adopt best practices to evolve their culture while striving to pursue breakthrough projects.

Continually changing outcomes will provide for evidence-based data for educators on what aspects of LED accelerator can be implemented in the general education curriculum. The internal impetus of LED accelerator will therefore continually advance the entire U.S. Education system alongside evolving social, economic and government needs.

LED accelerator is therefore not just another education program. It is the missing piece that completes the bold strategy to empower American Exceptionalism to lead the world.

Full proposal and analysis for LED accelerator is found at: CreateLEDaccelerator.com

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Why Music and Fine Arts are Essential in Education

Introduction
Music and arts programs in education are under assault with an increasing possibility of being curtailed by legislators and school administrators during each budget session. Despite considerable research on the benefits of how music and arts wire the brain for creativity, cuts continue to happen. Parent and corporate advocacy for these programs have also seen little effect in saving them from being diminished or eliminated. This dynamic does not change because, in the end, it is all about deciding what is the priority in education.

With the pace of innovation constantly accelerating in the modern interconnected world, and as American corporations depend on creative teams to continually innovate, the clear priority is developing the creative skill sets of American students so they can be globally competitive in the future. The only way to achieve this end result is for music and arts to become central to U.S. Education. Though this may be a bold statement, it can be explained and supported from the viewpoint of interconnected education, cognitive and AI (Artificial Intelligence) paradigms.

The Education Paradigm
With relatively minor adjustments, a schoolteacher from 100 years ago would feel right at home within the modern classroom. Other than replacing books with tablets, there has been little system advancement in over a century. In the past, educational excellence meant providing students equal opportunity to learn information that was not easily or publically accessible. Today, information is available for free anywhere and anytime for anyone with Internet access. Therefore, information has become a commodity that no longer has any value in education. The process of forcing students to memorize information and then grading them on how well they regurgitate it is obsolete. Now, memorizing information is mainly needed as a foundation for innovation. The true value in education will reside solely in how students’ minds can be engaged to creatively use, assimilate and transform established information in new ways. This innovation may lead to either a conceptual or physical end product. Only levels and speeds of this creative process should be taught and graded. However, this is rarely happening in U.S. Education.

Consequently, the current state of education has resulted in the failure to achieve the main tenant of the U.S. Department of Education’s mission statement: “global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence”. Therefore, we cannot continue to approach education in the same way and expect different results.

Educators will be forced to experiment with teaching systems for decades to come until the evidence clearly points to a final process to implement. This will be a messy transition with many failures. Generations of students will be caught in the cross hairs of those teaching system experiments. During this transition, students who participate in music and arts programs will be in a classroom experience that will continue to engage their minds to expand creative abilities. But that calls for an explanation of the mind and how music and arts influence it.

The Cognitive Paradigm
While Neuroscience is making progress in understanding the human brain and how to measure intelligence, there is comparatively little progress in understanding the conscious, thinking human mind. Neuroscientists have no serious model of the detailed mechanisms of how the mind actually functions. The widespread assumption is that somehow millions of neurons fire in the brain to produce the mind. They equate brain with mind and intelligence with consciousness, even though each are separate things. So in order to help understand what kind of future education system needs to be implemented, the following advanced model of the mind is given.

The attributes of thought, intuition and emotion cannot originate from a brain cell that dies every 12 years. Furthermore, cells break down into molecules, atoms and subatomic particles. Consequently, there is simply no capacity within the construct of matter to harbor the mind. In computer terminology, the brain is like an adaptive biological motherboard while the mind is a separate operating system that runs and restructures the brain.

The human mind subconsciously saves to memory all sensory information input that the body sees, hears and experiences. Memory is therefore just established information that the mind can access, use and assimilate to attain unique perspectives. In this process, the mind’s force (e.g. volts) and transmission capacity (e.g. amps) is limited by how the physical brain is neurologically wired. It becomes necessary, then, for the brain to be constantly rewired by the mind to accommodate the mind’s force and transmission capacity needs. So the more the mind is stimulated to assimilate information, the more the mind rewires and expands the brain’s capabilities.

But the physical brain offers resistance (e.g. ohms) to the cognitive mind rewiring it. The addition of emotion to this process acts as a catalyst that stimulates the mind to greater output while simultaneously increasing its force to overcome the brain’s resistance. Emotion can range from fear to inspiration and from conflict to harmony. Therefore, having opportunities for students to experience controlled emotion while learning is needed within education. One of the triggers for emotion is the interaction with music and arts. That experience then stimulates the mind to assimilate information in ways that would not have happened otherwise. This ultimately leads to creativity.

So if the purpose of the mind is to create new information then an explanation needs to be given on how it is different from AI.

The AI Paradigm
AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology is constantly improving in its ability to instantly access and deliver relevant information. AI will eventually eliminate all future jobs whose main requirement is using memorized information. Furthermore, AI capabilities are advancing to creatively use, assimilate and transform established information into new information. So AI is already and will continue the process of being able to innovate e.g. IBM’s Watson. This capability alongside advancing (mechanical and then biological) robotics will scale and radically change the role of humans in society. AI will even replace humans performing most of the base functions in the STEM disciplines, just like calculators have replaced the need to do complex arithmetic by hand.

In the future, the only advantage humans will have compared to AI is our aforementioned (non-linear/divergent) thought, intuition and emotion. These unique attributes give humans the potential of innovating new information at such advanced levels and speeds that AI can never attain. Unfortunately, this cannot be achieved if students are not engaged in creativity

Conclusion
Students have been the first to sense the obsolescence of the education system. Ask teachers and they will tell you how students now regurgitate-and-forget information they are learning. The ones who have adapted to play this game the best, receive the best grades. This is just an evolutionary response because they know that memorized information is no longer necessary for their survival. Students are using AI as a tool outside of school every day to source any information they want. Their intuition is telling them that being forced to memorize information in school is essentially relegating them to compete with AI. They instinctively understand this is not just counterproductive, it’s self-defeating.

Students now want and need to become more creative. This corresponds with the demands of an evolving business ecosystem in which corporate survival now depends on the creativity of their adult teams. Consequently, all priorities in U.S. Education now must refocus on how to teach and develop students’ creative skill sets. This, and only this, will keep America competitive in the 21st century. But currently, few classes in school other than music and arts stimulate creativity. That is why music and fine arts are essential in education.

Evidence for these paradigms, along with documentation on the ultimate education system that will empower American Exceptionalism to lead the world can be found on: AntonKrutz.com/education

Written by Anton Krutz

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