Sam Kovnar feels that there are a lot of things that the US does worse than other countries in education. For example, early start times, which research says are bad for students, still exist in many American schools.
He found the issue by observing discussions on the internet and relating them to his own experiences. On the importance of education, Kovnar says that "better education leads to a more capable workforce, which makes it easier to solve other problems in the world."
Some schools use a block schedule, where classes happen 3 times a week and 4 times a day, which gives students more freedom to manage homework and studying, and gives the teachers more time to teach in a single period. Kovnar believes that “[block scheduling] gives teachers more time to do extended activities, which couldn't be fit into a normal class period, and it breaks up the teacher's train of thought less, so it allows them to have a more continuous lesson plan, as opposed to every day having to think 'Ok where were we yesterday when we left off?' It reduces the number of breaks in the learning environment."
Additionally, having such a long summer is bad for students because they lose so much information over the summer. As a result, experts believe we should have year round school with more, shorter breaks.
Another issue Kovnar has identified is that teachers are paid very little compared to how important their jobs are. "Paying teachers more would allow higher quality teachers to be brought into schools because more skilled teachers tend to ask for a higher pay, as they deserve, so a higher pay on average would increase the quality of the teachers in general, and better teachers tend to lead to better knowledge absorption,” he explained. “Higher teacher pay would require more government funding, so giving more money to education over, say, defense, would also help to increase the quality of education in America."
Expanding on his earlier assertion about the importance of education, Kovnar stated that “Education is where we train the next generation of the workforce, and if we don't have people who can do all of the jobs that need to be filled, then our country can't function the way it needs to in order to solve other problems.”
When asked what one change he would make if given the chance, Kovnar replied that he would make school year round, because it would be a big help to both teachers and students, as less break time means less time that has to be spent reviewing, so teachers can get right to teaching new material and the students can learn it faster.