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Dear Congress

A students most crucial years for learning are while they are in elementary
school, middle school, and high school; however, these years are being wasted. It is
proven that other countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, South korea, and Japan,
engage all of their students at the same rate. They are consistently ranked highest
according to the article, “Asia Tops Biggest Global School Rankings” by BBC News.
Why are we sloping further down the charts? The difference is American education is
not centered around learning.
Students have very different abilities when it comes to learning. Howard Gardner,
a famous psychologist, says there are seven types of intelligence; Linguistic, Logicalmathematical, Musical, Bodily-kinesthetic, Spatial, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal. With
this spectrum of intelligence, it's nearly impossible to pinpoint ones intellect with a
standardized test. The process is ridiculous for our modern era of information. It’s time
to evolve.
Are you aware that a student attending junior high, or high school will be more
focused on achieving a passing grade rather than understanding the scientific method
or how to write a perfectly constructed essay? This puts the higher level educators at a
disadvantage. We can implement intelligent changes that can fix these issues. Right
now, there is a proven method being used online that is used for math. It’s called the
Khan Academy. The Kahn Academy will start with simple addition making them perform
various computations until they master it and can move forward. Students can reach
calculus through a way that is specific to the individual learning process. Although, it
doesn’t have to be just computers, we could incorporate it into interactive gyms, dance
studios, and many other subjects. Lots of these technologies can scale freely and
updating them won’t be harder than sending out patches. Simply updating won't
demand the problems with finding good teachers. Focusing the most brilliant minds to
create the system andmake modifications. This solution won’t require additional
teachers, or demand more teachers coming out of college.
At work, or in your daily life how often do you have to specialize in several
subjects? Our entire american culture is built around specializing in one specific
process. If you want to achieve success then you need to master only one process,
offer it as a service to others, and in a unique way.
I know that our educators believe the more subjects studied, the broader their
student’s perspectives will become. The diversity will improve critical thinking skills. This
type of technique does have beneficial uses to break students out of a repetitive
behavior. However, using it as the foundation for school system is a problem. Learning
is a form of conditioning the brain. We should be encouraging students to locate their
unique groove, and to help them develop a process in which they can develop those
important critical thinking skills and retain the information at the same time. We need
individuals that are going to explore new scientific fields, and to design improved
products or smarter houses. In other words, we need to incorporate our education into
the real world as well.

We can change this for future generations. We need to do what we are most
scared of, and learn from other countries to fix our education system. We should adapt
our classrooms to systematically identify the same techniques as Khan Academy; a
learning system which centers around the individual, scales to meet ones needs, and
can rapidly update. Our schools should focus on determining how a student learns best,
adapting their courses, and appeal to a specific type of knowledge. This is how we are
going to make America into an intelligent, innovated country.

Nicholas Bradberry