“Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!” If you grew up in the mid to late sixties or if you are a fan of “classic” TV, you are no doubt familiar with those four words from Lost in Space. “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!” are words the Robot spoke every time it realized the Robinson family especially the youngest son, Will, was in danger.
The Robot had the computerized ability to sense danger, detect threats, and even read minds. If there was poisonous gas in the air, regardless of how faint, the Robot was able to detect it. If the situation was so dangerous that defensive maneuvers were needed, the Robot possessed a plan of action and the capability of performing the necessary counter movements. And if someone told a lie in front of the Robot, the Robot’s mind reading ability made it possible for the Robinson family to avoid being duped.
EVERY PARENT NEEDS A ROBOT
I’m not exactly sure when the thought first crossed my mind but recently, I have longed for a robot like the one from Lost In Space. I’ve especially wished that as parents prepare to send their children back to school that they had their very own Robot.
I suspect that if you asked most parents if they needed a Robot, the answer would probably be a resounding yes. However, what parents would want the Robot to do for them and what I believe they need the Robot to do are two entirely different things.
The typical parent would probably want the Robot so that they could subcontract more of their parental responsibilities. American parents are notorious for wanting someone else to be responsible for driving kids to school, preparing meals for and feeding the kids, helping out with homework, etc.
Nonetheless, I don’t want parents to have a Robot so that we can outsource more of our parental responsibilities. Instead, I want every parent to have a Robot to help protect their children and subsequently the future of this Nation from the daily hazards and long-term peril associated with America’s dangerous educational system.
AMERICA’S PARENTS ARE GENERALLY LOST IN SPACE
Today’s parents are comprised mostly of those who are unreasonably trusting, eager outsourcers, or the egotistical maniacs – all of whom are usually incredibly green when it comes to understanding the ways of the high-stake, cutthroat, and money-grubbing world of K-12 education. Despite so much evidence about the tragic state of America’s education, even the “enlightened” parents at times seem almost oblivious about the enormous number of educators and educational organizations that are putting America’s children in harm’s way.
Without question, it has become increasingly clear that parents – like Will Robinson – need help sensing danger, detecting threats, and reading the minds of educators. Parents need a surefire scientific device, like the Robot, to make sure their children are truly being prepared for the increasingly globalized technological society. Parents, like the Robinson Family, need a Robot of their own that will skillfully and continuously alert and warn them – “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!”.
“DANGER,WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!”
Regrettably, I don’t yet have the ability to provide every family with a danger sensing, threat identifying, lie detecting Robot. You have no idea how desperately I would love to give every parent one. I’m so sick and tired of American families being lied to about the quality of education our children are receiving. Until I’m able to give you a piece of technology that helps you detect lying educators and substandard education, I’ll have to help you the old fashion way.
Below you’ll find some buzzwords that should cause you to pause and say “hum”. These buzzwords or danger words should inspire you to do some research of your school, motivate you to examine the educational leaders, evaluate whether the school is “quantifiably fulfilling” its mission, and demand proof of any and all claims made about the “quality” of the school and education your children are allegedly receiving.
- HIGH-QUALITY EDUCATION – What is high quality and how is it quantified? Are the students’ scores on State tests in the top10%? Do 90% or more of the student’s academic proficiencies (reading, writing, math, science, critical thinking, etc.) reach the level of at least minimum National proficiency? Is there a plan for helping my child exceed national benchmarks?
- WORLD CLASS EDUCATION – How is world class education quantified? Are the students’ scores on PISA exams among the top 10% in the world? Does the school’s curriculum match or rival that of the world leaders in education? Do the administrators and teachers share the same pedigree and experience as the educators of the world’s leading K-12 institutions?
- TURN AROUND EXPERT – What quantifiable academic measurements are different? Are ALL the students improving or just the outliers? Have the masses of children reached minimum proficiencies in all subjects? Has the school come close to delivering what it promised or is it now blaming some external force for its failure? What’s the rate of educator turnover?
- INNOVATIVE LEARNING – What is groundbreaking about the school? Are students learning at advanced national and international STEM levels? How are claims of innovative learning measured? Are graduates attending the top colleges and universities? Are educators continually trained on the world’s best and next generational educational practices?
- GLOBAL PREPARATION – What does global preparation mean? Can the school provide specific quantifiable detail about how a child will be more prepared for a globalized world? Does the curriculum correspond with the highest global standards? Is there a correlation between languages taught and world leading GDPs? Are the educators themselves global citizens?
- COMMUNITY IMPACT – What quantifiable proof is there that supports the claims of community impact? Has unemployment in the area been minimized? Have health outcomes improved? Has crime been reduced? Has housing been revitalized? Has the average net worth of the community risen? Are graduates earning degrees in the highest paid undergraduate majors?
- PARENT ENGAGEMENT – Does parent engagement mean attending a PTA, Board, or similar meeting? What percentage of parents attend academic only functions? What percentage of parents attend athletic and extra-curricular functions? Is there a program to train parents to be able to advocate for their children (home study skills, backward designing the future, etc.)?
THAT DOES NOT COMPUTE!
The aforementioned are only a few of the buzzwords and a sampling of the questions you should ask whenever someone uses one of the above descriptors to define the school or education that your children are receiving. I simply can’t state this enough, when it comes to education, you must be the informed skeptic – just because someone says it’s so doesn’t make it so! “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!”
One last thing from Lost in Space and the Robot, if your child’s school can’t answer the questions feel free to borrow another expression from the Robot. “That does not compute!”
Does your child’s school routinely talk about any of the buzzwords? Have you asked for proof of the school’s claims? What will you do when you learn that the school’s claims are false?
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