What You Should Do (via Marginal Revolution).
The first link on his list is to Y Combinator’s Request for Startups.
#9 on its list is Education. It reads:
Human brain power is vastly underutilized on this planet because most people lack access to a good education. Strong education systems lead to greater social mobility, better workers, better citizens, and more and better startups. A small increase in the learning output of education systems across the globe would have an enormous impact on human productivity and economic growth.
We are interested in new school models that can develop critical thinking, creativity, citizenship, and job skills at massive scale. We’re looking for ideas that combine technology and person-to-person interactions to deliver highly individualized educational experiences.
We also know that 90% of the human brain develops before age 5 and achievement gaps open up well before kindergarten. We’re interested in ventures that dramatically improve outcomes for children from birth to age five, that reduce inequality, and that have the potential to enhance the future quality of life for those children and their families. Scalable solutions in these areas should now be doable thanks to advances in brain science and technologies such as smart home devices, wearables, and mobile.
Maybe. I like simple things. But, that seems too simple.
Those gaps that open before age five, may just be the first signals of families that value education differently, rather than some deprivation of resources.
Consider soccer. Some parents/families are into it. Some aren’t.
By age 5, there will be noticeable soccer-playing gaps between the kids from families who are into it and those who are not.
The scalable solution there is soccer culture. Nothing else will live up to that on a sustainable basis.
Likewise, to improve educational outcomes, the scalable solution is a culture that values education.
Oh yeah, and competition. The education system needs more of it.