I'm going to make an attempt at better organization in my thoughts today. The questions and the overall issues are complicated enough, however, that I'm finding that difficult. But in the hopes of finding something that looks like an answer, it is time to bring in the rational mind and some logic. Time to analyze the requirements.
A great solution:
1. Provides students with a favorable adult to student ratio that allows for the most efficient scaffolding of knowledge and experiences, as well as stable and trustworthy mentoring relationships.
2. Utilizes the physical infrastructure of the current school system efficiently, provides maintenance of these facilities, and provides an economical avenue for continued (and timely) upgrades.
3. Is well funded in a sustainable way in order to provide for adequate teacher compensation, materials, and in order to meet the requirements under #2.
4. Is accessible for all families, regardless of socioeconomic status or location.
5. Encourages/develops creativity, logic, self directed continual learning (self initiated research), real world problem solving, teamwork, leadership skills, mental flexibility, and physical and mental health & wellness.
6. Leverages current and future technology at the same level (frequency and depth) that is prevalent in society at large. In fact, the educational world should ideally lead the adoption (and creation) of useful technologies, rather than lag behind.
7. Provides students with a decently comprehensive (if basic) understanding of the academic disciplines - including a few that aren't currently considered part of the core curriculum but certainly merit inclusion in any 21st century education. Math (Basics + Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Trigonometry), Reading & Literature, Writing, History, Civics/Government, Economics, Financial Literacy, Geography, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Literacy & Basic Programming (which language is learned is not nearly as important as getting the experience and understanding the basic premise), Keyboarding (Typing), Debate, Speech & Presentations, Theater, Music, Visual Art & Principles of Design, Fitness & Nutrition.
8. Can be implemented faster than a glacial pace with a reasonable chance of successfully nurturing a large scale of super awesome and amazing young people. :-P
And if that sounds like a really tall order - it is. What we have is not anywhere even close to meeting that wish list. In defense of this list, I will quote my Dad: You might as well shoot for the stars, if you miss you just might still hit the moon!" (Corollary - "You might as well shoot for the stars, if you miss, at least you won't shoot yourself in the foot!") You'll never get what you don't dare to dream of asking for.
Did I manage to leave anything out of that educational wish list?
My mind continues to wander...I think it got lost in this field. Again.