• Title: I didn't mean to shut down the discussion of Red Cedar
  • Author: Scott Bame
  • Date: 12/30/2015
  • Additional Categories: Recent Essays, Scott Boehme

I didn't mean to shut down the discussion of Red Cedar

I spoke previously (HERE) that I think the decision about opening Red Cedar school should be based upon whether it would improve education in the district. If it can improve education, open it. If it does not, keep it closed. I do have an idea that if education is improved, will enhance the quality of education within the school district, and Red Cedar could be the pilot school.

I had mentioned that languages should be taught early on. The brain of a child is geared for learning a language, most often the native language. Many examples show bilingual students who speak English and their parent's native language without having a foreign accent. Many other examples can be offered why in the early grades foreign languages should be taught.

But there is a foreign language that is not being considered. It is not a spoken language, it is written. This is of course computer code. Society is rewarding strong computer skills. Most millionaires these days come from some aspect of the digital world.

East Lansing could be the educational computer capitol of Mid-Michigan with the aid of Michigan State University. MSU is not the strongest educational university when it comes to computers, but they are good enough at this point to help start a pilot program (I more than strongly recommend it being Linux based) in which students at Red Cedar, if reopened, will be the school for this pilot program. I am conversationally thinking start in third grade.

As this pilot program becomes standardized, it can expand through all of East Lansing schools. By the time these students are ready for college, Michigan State University will have the time needed to become a leader in education for the digital world. It could even become a new college of MSU. The many aspects with computers and the digital world is large enough to be its own college. MSU could lead the way.

Red Cedar should be close enough to MSU in computer terms to have a network feed to and from MSU with minimal cost. This could allow those on campus to teach via telecommunications channels without the need for all the security checks needed in order to teach in our schools. This is not trivializing the process with security background checks. I am only offering a way around it while also having some of the best within our community teach.

I would like to see some discussion on PR of pro and cons with this idea as well as other ideas on how to improve the education for the school district. If East Lansing does not become the computer school, Okemos, Haslett, or Holt schools might jump in. All are close enough to MSU. With a bit more effort, other school districts could steal the possibility away from East Lansing.

Scott Bame
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