Urgent Call to White House – Help Teens!

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Government Funds Promote Failing Secondary Schools

People say stimulus money simply creates new layers of bureaucracy that prolong broken secondary school programs. My question is: How will the White House Campaign to Promote Science and Math Education support teens to climb new mental  peaks?  Will successful schools proliferate through fast growing charters?

President Obama’s recent announcement to help high schools excel in science, technology, engineering and math should  bypass broken secondary schools that resist growth.

Could Stimulus Funds Help Current Teen Crisis?

Fortunately these White House initiatives will bring in innovators such as MacArthur Foundation and technology industries that offer prizes for innovative video games that teach science and math. However, what about fears that government initiatives do little to address the crisis of teacher quality?  Poor secondary school curriculum leaves far too many teens  in crisis situations.

Often, I walk through poorly funded and well-funded high schools that look more like they were crafted for yesteryears, that rewarded misplaced high school teacher priorities.  Mark S. Schneider, vice president at the American Institutes for Research, expressed concern for many of us, that White House initiatives have, “,,, nothing to do with the day-to-day teaching.”

Funds used to Protect Teachers Tend to Neglect Teens

While bypassing stagnant bureaucracies that protect teachers and neglect teens, why not take advantage of the novelty that stokes brainpower, in this White House initiative. Let’s capitalize on working memory that holds only a few new facts at any one time, by supporting less memory work and facilitating more active engagement.  That would be a first step to higher motivation and achievement for all teens.

Too little money is not the problem with education – in spite of what those who lead  broken schools suggest. Renewal runs deeper than money and growth often pays for itself through mind-bending leaders who risk change.

Teens Come to Class Brimming with Talent and Leave Empty

In contrast,  the rampant unchecked anger and frustration felt in many secondary school communities literally robs a community’s currency such as creativity, talent, and innovation.  Teens come to class daily with amazing mental resources such as natural drugs of choice for turbulent times, and multiple intelligences.  Secondary teachers possess outmoded skills and so are unable exchange students’ lived experiences into dividends that will fund their futures.

Regardless of age or background, renewed teachers could spread generous doses of encouragement that alters the brain’s chemistry through tone tactics and through increased serotonin or decreased cortisol. It’s more about finer school vision, than lack of teen talent, that prevents teens from competing well in science and in arts.

Toxic Secondary School Communities

After years of hearing about toxic work settings in secondary schools, I have finally given up on most public systems. We hear leaders admit need for renewed approaches,  yet then go on to say they see no hope for learning renewal because of policy snares. From one you hear about outmoded state demands, from another it’s blamed on parental apathy. In most, it’s really a failure to recognize the brain’s keen ability integrate what works well – with what teens need to reboot for a fast changing world.

Filled with tenured, but tired faculty – today’s broken secondary systems cannot or will not lead teens forward for finer performances. If renewal is meant to race teens to the top, as the White House claims,  it will need to draw from more robust brainpower than today’s demoralized secondary school teachers who seem content to cover content, for even a cat covers its content as one frustrated parent put it. It’s no longer my belief that rejuvenation can be found in bloated, broken systems.  Some will continue to support flawed approaches that resist change like cats run from fire. Hopefully others will join the White House campaign.

Risk Renewal that Reboots Teens’ Brainpower

  1. It’s time to step bigger and risk solutions outside pools of prevailing thought that leaves too many brains behind.
  2. It’s time to create stimulating  settings where stagnant systems no longer grind teens through outmoded rules that hold back innovative engagement. Many youth could even help lead change forward, and all can engage many more of their unique  intelligences to offer mind-bending solutions to current problems.
  3. It’s time to run past cynics who rewire brains daily to kill incentives and time to rev up brainpower that prepares teens for more peak performances beyond their schools. Let’s enable leaders for a new day in learning, one that hooks complex facts onto ordinary experiences for brilliant growth.
  4. It’s time to rejuvenate brainpower beyond the mental snares of  those who resist innovative approaches to move teens’ intelligence up a notch today. Rather than wasted efforts to reclaim lost high school brainpower, it’s now time to bypass low-performing schools and build a better approach where teens can win.
  5. It’s time to  redirect youth past educational organizations that protect bureaucratic barriers, and race them beyond stubborn bureaucrats that refuse to reclaim brainpower for learning and growth. Let’s shift approaches, not merely add time to already wasted school days.  Hopefully the White House initiatives will not lead more of the same and expect improvements, as Miami low-performing schools discovered.
  6. It’s time to rebuild trust and power-up innovations such as those who are joining forces to sponsor and promote math and science.  To enhance success for teens is to offer new hope in ever changing worlds that have already bypassed broken secondary schools.

Below are 51 reasons to risk renewal that reboots teen brainpower!

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Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset

Related blogs written recently on Secondary School Renewal:

1. No Brain Left Behind

2. MITA Brain Manifesto for Renewal

3. Death of Education – Dawn of Learning

4. Secondary and University with Brains in Mind

5. Parents’ Brains Belong at Secondary School

6. Renew with the Brain in Mind

7. Move Brainpower into Reconfigured Learning

8. Retention Lost in Lectures

9. Call for Simplicity that Adds Intelligence

10. 2 Footed Questions Lead Change

11. A Brain Based Dream

12. Talker or Brain Based Mentor at University?

13. Secondary Schools for Higher Achievement (1)

14. Myths that Shape Secondary Schools (2)

15. Math and Science Can Leak Brainpower

16. Higher Education Reinvention

17. Brainpower Response to Universities in Crisis

18. MITA Brain Renewal for Leading and Learning

19. Could Neuro-Discoveries Transform University?

20. Less Art for More Science

21. Renewal Runs Deeper than Dollars

22. Question Broken Systems with Solutions in Mind

23. Hidden Traps Undo Brainpower

24. Brain Related Renewal – Experts to Teens

25. Values for Brain Powered Climate

26. Renewal Races Teens to the Top

27. Reclaim High School Brainpower

28. Albany Blocks Brainpower while NY Burns

29. Tenure, Brainpower, and Pillars of …?

30. Reinvigorate Brain for Learning Dividends

31. Expect Neuron Pathways to Dynamic Solutions

32. Brain Related Renewal – Experts to Teens

33. A Brain’s Proclivity to Integrate

34. Steven Wiltshire’s Spatial Intelligence & Yours

35. Marks of Brainpowered Workspaces

36. Why Brain Based Approaches?

37. Move with More Intelligence

38. Mix Music and Movement

39. Reflect Change with Smart Skills

40. Reflect for Brainier Online Results

41. Reflect – Then Bolt from Meetings!

42. Reflect on Life-Changing Brain Facts

43. Reflect – then Leap like Lauren

44. Move Intelligence Up a Notch Today

45. Move to Replace Broken Systems

46. Move Tone Tools to Open Opportunities

47. Expect Value Added with Name Calling

48. Expect Active Participation by Facilitating

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50. Urgent Call for Innovative Interactions

51. Higher Education Reinvention (Describes MITA)

2 thoughts on “Urgent Call to White House – Help Teens!

  1. eweber Post author

    Eva, thanks for your kind words and also your wisdom. As I read your thoughtful comments here I envisioned passionate leaders in their field — interacting with teens in ways that learn and teach with mutual enthusiasm. This could be the beginning of great schools – where teens look to those who love their field and emulate what they do to keep it great. Yes — count me in. I personally could learn so much from experts in the field – like you! Yes, this is what would help to restore the broken pieces! Thanks Eva and keep your own passion alive! You continue to inspire the rest of us!

  2. Eva Ulian

    As always Dr Ellen, you bring the crucial points of society’s agonizing schools to the surface. I’d like to highlight the point you make that memory is to be supported by action, which there is precious little of in schools mainly due to lack of teachers with insight. It could be worth considering contacting real artist, real scientists, real mechanics, real authors, real actors, real astronauts wow… who do their job day in and day out, to rub shoulders with teenagers in schools on a part time but regular basis- even if it is only once a term, it would leave an indelible effect. It doesn’t really take astronomical funds to inspire pupils with enthusiasm, just a touch more insight.

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