Old New Ideas In Education

Cornplanter College in Salamanca, NY breaks convention to meet the growing educational needs.

Cornfield

BY: VICTORIA WINDHAM

Scores and grades! Where does your child fit? What did they do on the SAT? What about the state tests?

Those are the questions conscientious parents as well as parents who have been to college and aspire for great things for their children find themselves asking these days. They ask because today, graduation from high school and admission to a college is no longer the given it once was before No Child Left Behind and ineffective government involvement. It is no longer what it once was because with the advent technology, online Masters and PhDs, impersonal course materials, different twists on learning are as common as fast food choices. What makes it worse is these so-called new ideas are emanating from under-qualified and unproven educators.

Enter a group of experienced educators who not only absolutely hate what has happened to education, but have collaborated and arrived at what they see as a common sense approach to attracting, motivating, and educating the children who are the victims of teachers’ unions, tenure, top-heavy, overpaid administrators and a system that just doesn’t work.

“We need to cut the crap!” says Harold Beck. “We need to get rid of this academic mentality where it is all about the instructor and concentrate on the individual needs of the student learner. As far back as daycare, no one ever instilled any kind of work ethic in these kids. It stands to reason that by early high school those students don’t have a clue.”

What is the answer?

“Treat school like a job,” Doctor Beck answers. “Make it nine to five for five days a week. All work is done in school — no homework — and students do not continue in a class or subject until they pass each section. We need to allow them the opportunity to to learn at their own pace.”

What about the teacher who will not give that student the extra attention?

“We have no time for them,” the PhD in Applied Linguistics says. “We are about educating students that the system has failed.”

That is why he and a group of like-minded educators and investors have opened Cornplanter College in Salamanca, NY in the heart of the Allegany Reservation of the Seneca Nation of Indians.

“We are in our infancy,” he says. “Everyone is skeptical and we are operating on a shoestring. We need equipment and we need money. The teachers and myself are foregoing pay for now just to get up and running. The students are there and want to learn. They just don’t want nor do they deserve — the same old same-old.”

Dr. Beck is available and is willing to discuss the ideas the collaborative team have developed. He welcomes any and all contributions and asks they be made to Cornplanter College, 63-69 Main Street, PO Box 575, Salamanca, NY 14779. He can be reached at publisher@mountainlaurelreview.comor by phone at: 716-801-5160.