91005 Comments on Dr. Krugman’s Three Problems


The NY Times  opinion columnist, Paul Krugman had a recent subject for comment on solving three major U.S. problems. I read few of the comments and they addressed all the current issues: Obama, financial industry, politics etc. I felt that they totally miss the mark. My response:

In the long run, there is only one way for the U.S. to have full employment in the highly competitive global economy, transform manufacturing to serve 21st century needs and opportunity, and shrink the deficits with a sustained economic boom. To do this, we must transform P-20 education to individual paced learning where average academic performance will increase by 50% and graduation rates will soar to 90%. The legacy (Prussian based) model that has served us well into the 1970’s is mature and cannot respond to these current expectations and challenges. Only by accelerating the adoption of individualized elearning with its online, classroom and 24/7 access will these three crushing problems be resolved.

A strategic system analysis and redesign of the P-20 system including financial modeling shows elearning adoption can be implemented for a net cost of $300 per student per year for ten years (essentially, a one time capital investment spread over a ten year period). This one time net investment is for teacher practice transformation of $1500 per teacher per year, digital curriculum, real time formative assessment, data driven decisions support throughout the learning ecosystem, a computer interface for every student, school funding for competency-mastery learning instead of the existing seat time funding, and research to support emerging practices. Cost savings from construction avoidance, transportation, books, and each student moving thought the education system at a rate of 15% faster will not only pay for most of the elearning implementation but have enough left over to provide a 20% salary increase for teachers.

The major design attribute of elearning is individualizing of the engagement between the teacher and student. The driving transformative model is disruptive innovation which is at this time centered in online learning. With about 5% of education currently being delivered online, Our semi-log plot tells us that this will grow to about 50% by 2019. With political will and purposeful investment, our laws and funding models can be changed over the next few years to accelerate this adoption of this elearning transformation. Elearning supported individual paced and motivated learning is the only driving force that can transform the U.S. smartly into a new era of global competitive prowess, manufacturing leadership, and bulging coffers.


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