Thursday, March 29, 2012


I'm not generally a big fan of out-sourcing in school systems: kids need a stable group of caring adults around them in order to learn best, so bringing in a changeable group of people to serve lunch or clean up messes isn't the greatest idea ever. (If you get coffee before work or a drink after work, isn't it nice to be able to order "the regular" and get what you want?)

But there is one aspect of education that could be out-sourced, or rather crowd-sourced, effectively: scheduling. Set up your constraints (how many classes of physics, how many gyms, how many teachers, which combinations of classes have to be possible) and offer money for the best solution for the master schedule. Offer a bonus for optional aspects (all biology teachers have a common prep once a week or all 9th graders have the same lunch).

We're just starting scheduling for next year, along with the traditional complaints that students have to give up classes they want, take regular classes instead of honors, or skip prerequisites all in the name of "fitting into the schedule". Isn't it time we tried something new?

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