Together, we will create a national movement to unleash America’s largest, unlimited, and virtually untapped source of renewable energy: the minds of all of our children!!!! Customizing education for every child will ensure that never again will our children’s hopes, futures, and dreams be determined by the color of their skin, their gender, the quality of their healthcare, the poverty in their home and/or community and – last but far from least – the teachers’ and students’ ability to withstand the frustration and boredom inherent in today’s public education systems.
We start with the premise that it is not acceptable to only transform some schools. Every child in the country deserves a quality education, and any program whose goal falls short of that is just a continuation of the problem.
Emaginos promotes a solution to America’s poorly performing K-12 public education system using existing facilities, existing teachers, existing administrators, and implementable within existing budgets using existing proven best practices.
Nearly every day there is an article or an editorial somewhere describing some school or program that is achieving outstanding results and asking for more money to create more schools in that model. Sometimes they are charter schools, sometimes magnet schools, and sometimes just vouchers/choice programs. Other times they are not even complete schools, simply programs within schools like ESL, dropout prevention, remedial reading, etc. In all cases, there is strong evidence that some students are getting great benefits from the programs.
While they all ask for more money to create more similar schools/programs, none of them talk about fixing all schools. We start with the premise that it is not acceptable to only transform some schools. Every child in the country deserves a quality education, and any program whose goal falls short of that is just a continuation of the problem.
If you’re in the business of profiting from privatizing schools, then you work to make traditional public schools look bad. You bash teachers’ unions. You support politicians who cut funding for public schools. You create voucher/choice programs that drain resources from public schools. When you succeed at doing all these things, voila! The performance of the local schools suffer and the profiteers justify opening more charter schools – taking money from the classrooms and paying charter company corporate executives outrageous salaries.
There is a better way! Instead of closing or replacing public schools, transform them into Emaginos schools of discovery and innovation.
"We will create a national movement to unleash America's largest, unlimited, and virtually untapped source of renewable energy: the minds of all of our children!!! Customizing education for every child will ensure that never again will our children's hopes, futures, and dreams be determined by the color of their skin, their gender, the quality of their healthcare, the poverty in their home and/or community and – last but far from least – the teachers' and students' ability to withstand the frustration and boredom inherent in today's public education systems"
Emaginos is a company dedicated to transforming K-12 public schools to a model composed of integrated proven best practices. We oppose replacing public schools with charter schools or damaging public schools by draining resources through vouchers or school choice programs. We firmly believe in restoring the concept of the neighborhood schools as the center of the community. To achieve this vision, we begin by transforming an initial school in the district to a charter school as a model for the transformation. The charter model in this instance uses the concept as it was intended, to test and demonstrate the effectiveness and efficacy of a new model in the district. After the model is successful in the charter school, the lessons learned in transforming the initial school are used to directly transform the rest of the schools into effective public schools.
To achieve the Emaginos vision, we provide a wide range of resources from technology infrastructure and curriculum to training and other services that enable the local school district to transform and operate its schools in our proven model. The transformed schools operate for the same cost as the previous model. The result is a much better education for the same cost.
Today’s educational ship of state is loaded down with programs, dragging along additional responsibilities, and being pushed around by well-meaning forces. The result – making no headway!
If we use a sleek ship as the metaphor for America’s earlier education system, then that original sleek ship has been retrofitted into what we have today; a super-sized container ship with the holds filled with pallets of freight (buildings, vehicles, curriculum, staff, technology, etc.) and the decks stacked high with cargo containers (special education, alternative education, vocational education, pre-school programs, free and reduced lunch programs, sports programs, etc.). But it wouldn’t stop there. You would also see pods attached along the hull like a series of blisters (guidance counseling, parent/teacher organizations, booster clubs, internships, etc.). If you look astern, you would see a trail of barges being towed along (adult education, Title IX, NCLB, high-stakes tests, etc.). And alongside the ship would be a swarm of tugboats in an uncoordinated, frantic effort to change the direction of the whole affair. (The tugs represent the politicians, commissions, and reformers.) Many of the containers stacked on the deck are there to correct problems buried deep in the holds of the ship. The effect is that the ship has slowed nearly to a halt and there is no short-term way to trim it down and get it moving in the right direction.
We do not need just another tugboat. In fact, we subscribe to the recent findings from a number of studies that the original ship and all of its associated elements are dysfunctional and beyond repair. What we must do is closely examine the entire existing ship and all of its associated elements, then select those elements that are essential to having a ship that can efficiently and effectively get the passengers and all of the cargo to the chosen destination. It should be designed, built, and tested as a whole new vessel. For each cargo container, we need to look at what it was meant to fix. Then we have to look deep into the hold and examine the original issue to determine if it is still needed. If so, we have to redesign it and integrate it into the design of the new ship. The result of this overall systemic approach will be the creation of a new, sleek, efficient, and effective education vessel. By eliminating the need for the cargo containers, pods and barges the new ship gets to its destination more directly and for less money. Along the way, we will be able to pay the crew more money and the passengers will enjoy the voyage more. Then we need to get the tugboats to all push in the same direction. That is the Emaginos service!
The model schools that tested the comprehensive integrated program have demonstrated success in many ways. Here are just a few.
Customized education for every child - Emaginos considers every child as special and at risk – some at greater risk than others. We deliver a customized education to each child based upon a continuous improvement model. Our students master the academic content and high performance skills without teaching to the test.
Rossier Ranking - In 2013, the Rossier School of Education at USC ranked the model elementary school third best charter school in the state of California (out of over 1,000 charter schools).
Bullying and Visually Challenged – A young girl who is visually challenged was being bullied at the traditional public school she attended. Her response was to become a bully back – reacting to aggression with aggression. It had changed her from a sweet child to a bully – much to her parents’ dismay. She transferred to the model school where her classmates responded to her challenges with loving support. She returned to the sweet child she had been and is thriving academically and socially.
Gifted Fifth Grader – Mom was concerned with her choices at the traditional school for her gifted fifth-grade daughter. The school department had already advanced her one grade and was willing to skip her ahead another grade. At that point, her fifth-grade daughter would have been with a group of seventh-grade teenage girls whose normal romantic interests in boys were of concern to the mom. The girl was transferred to the model school where she was socially with her age-group peers while receiving a customized education that challenged her academically.
Keys to the building – During a visit focus group, the president-emeritus of the American Federation of Teachers, Ed McElroy, asked a group of teachers what was different about working at the model school. One of the teachers pulled out a key ring and said that in his old traditional school, if he wanted to make copies of worksheets or get into a room other than his own, he had to fill out a form or ask a custodian to open the door for him. He held up a key on his ring and said that in the model school he can go anywhere he needs to go and get whatever he needs to do his job.
Control of the Curriculum – During a focus group of teachers, the visitor asked how working at the model school was different from their previous experience. A History teacher spoke up to say that the textbook in his old school spent very little time on the Holocaust. He felt that there are many valuable lessons to be learned so he spends a few days on the topic. At this point, the Science teacher spoke up to say that she coordinates her lessons to cover genetics and eugenics at the same time. Then the Language Arts teacher said that she has her students read literature on the topic like the Diary of Anne Frank, Exodus, The Wall, or Mila 18 during this period. The teachers are empowered. They own the curriculum and can adapt it as they see fit to provide the students the best possible learning experience.
School Culture – Even though the school is relatively small (about 100 students per grade K – 12, for a total of about 1,200 students), it is still a big group to get close to. To make the groups smaller and more supportive, the high school is divided into houses – think of Harry Potter and the houses at Hogwarts. Each house is composed of students from grades 9 – 12. The students and teacher/advisors stay together all four years of high school. There are competitions and behaviors that earn or lose points for the houses. The houses create a sense of belonging for all of the students.
The high school students are typical hormonally driven teenagers who will occasionally feel compelled to behave badly. Because of the school culture, other students who observe a situation with the potential to get out of hand give one of the teachers a warning and the teacher will intervene before the situation boils over. There is no resentment because the teacher provides a way for the situation to be resolved with anyone losing ‘face’ or being punished.
The model schools are located in a very diverse community, with a broad range of ethnicities, religions, and cultures. The students became concerned that the diversity was resulting in some avoidable issues and approached the teachers. They felt badly when they inadvertently said or did something that hurt another student’s feelings or made them feel uncomfortable. Working together, the teachers and students created a mini-course called manners that provides cross-cultural awareness, tolerance, and understanding.
As a result of these deliberate cultural efforts, visitors are struck by the sense of community that is evident when they visit the campus.
Academic Results – “Learning how to learn stuff is as important as the stuff you learn!” The research shows that 80% of what you will need to know ten years after graduation is information that did not exist while you were in school. If you are not prepared to learn on your own, you are not prepared to succeed. Emaginos focuses on teaching how to learn, not memorizing content that is only a part of what you will need to know. Model school students do very well on high-stakes tests without ever focusing on preparing to take the tests.
School Calendar – The model schools have a longer school day and academic year. This extra time pays off in many ways.
If you look at the statistics, the people who are the leaders of the largest corporations in the country collectively are not the country’s most prolific job creators. In fact, the major corporations are in level or reduced employment mode. The real job creators are the innovators and entrepreneurs whose growing small companies turn into major employers. We have to stop talking about jobs programs and job creators. There is something in these terms that implies that there is a small, existing, elite group of people who serve as the job creators, while everyone else prepares for and competes to work for these people and their jobs. That is a deeply flawed view of what makes the American economy great. America is great because everyone has the potential to be a job creator. What we need are schools creating new generations of job creators, not just workers.
Students must be taught how to get a job. And they also need to be taught how to start a company. The school career program should include a unit where they work in small teams and have to take an idea and build a business around it. Students should work in small teams solving multidisciplinary problems. This model of learning ensures that they master the traditional academic content, but it also does much more than that. As a result of their team problem-solving approach, the students learn a broad assortment of high performance skills such as leadership, researching, communications, teamwork, analysis, validation, responsibility, reliability, innovation, planning, etc. This kind of program gives students the confidence and skills to create their own jobs or companies, and potentially jobs for others as well. Every student coming out of America’s schools has to feel like he or she is a job creator, not just a worker.
Phone: (571) 921-4200
Address: 13428 Maxella Ave. #144 Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
East Coast Address: 15697 Prosperity Dr. Haymarket, VA 20169
Please contact us with any question you might have. We will respond as fast as we can.