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My main concern in what you've said would that the "publicly-funded learning centers" of which you speak not become factory-style schools by a different name. Thus, we'd have to insure that attendance were not mandatory (like the current K-12 compulsion) or even promoted via social pressure (i.e., the way so many parents feel they "have to" send their children away from home for "preschool" even though doing so is not mandated by law). Your vision can work IF the "learning centers" were wholly optional and IF those of us who would choose to eschew them would not find our children disadvantaged. In other words, if we could assure that attendance at "learning centers" could be viewed in the same vein as, say, attending a museum or visiting a zoo, rather than as the place where all kids "have to" be in order to be deemed "acceptable," it might work. I am not convinced, though, that such an endeavor can co-exist with public funding in the realm of education...because legislators always demand "accountability" for the use of public funds, and I have a hard time seeing how they'd let go of their stranglehold on what happens in (and who attends) learning centers.
The other problem is K-12 teachers. I am a recovering classroom teacher myself - spent nine years in that system - and I saw how they spent all their time and effort justifying their existence and "professionalism" in order to scream about their "need" for higher wages. They claim that their "years of higher education" and training warrants respect that starts with "state certification" (and a concurrent disdain for highly capable educators who do not have that certification/rubberstamp). I cannot see them giving up their self-vaunted position easily, either individually or collectively (via their unions). However, the learning centers will not work if those who facilitate kids' learning there (as opposed to standing up and lecturing, school-style) are required to be "certified teachers." So maybe the whole thing gets rolling with the dismantling first of "schools of education" in colleges. They are the least necessary department on any college campus, in my opinion, and until "educators" realize that they're ridiculous, I don't see a way off the gerbil wheel...
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