New technology and resources like MooCs, Massive Online Open learning Communities like Khan Academy, Edx, and Coursera along with open courses provided by universities has made it possible for anyone with access to the internet to learn almost anything. The system of attending college after K-12 is outdated. Grade levels and credentials are not as important as the mastery of a skill set. We can improve engagement and achievement by incorporating new learning platforms and allowing learners to progress at their own pace through a series of skill mastery exams rather than being straddled to age based curriculum and credentialism. Along with cost reductions throughout the education system this approach will allow more flexibility in the deployment of educators resulting in a better allocation of resources to communities where they are needed the most.
Utilize low and no cost online education tools to create custom focused and paced curricula for students. Resources such as Khan Academy, Coursera, EdX, and Codeacademy will be used in conjunction with personalized counseling to foster student growth.
Provide every student with a personal computer beginning in 5th-6th grade. This will allow children to utilize learning tools and receive training in computer skills that are used in the professional world. Units will be replaced every 2-3 years.
Institute national competency tests for all subjects. Students can show mastery of STEM concepts ranging from high school to collegiate level. These tests can serve as credit in lieu of college courses at all universities or as a measure of competency during job hunts.