September 9, 2014
Lily Eskelsen Garcia, President
National Education Association
1201 16 th Street, South, NW
Washington, DC 20036-3290
Dear President Garcia,
I was very delighted to read about you in the Los Angeles Times written by Sandy Banks in the August 23 rd issue. I’ve reread it several times and got more from it each time. I hope that what I want to share with you can be of some value. So, Here goes.
I served in the Army Signal Corp in World War II and after 2 years of college I maintained an educational project since 1951. I just turned 91 and can’t give up my research and development.
My Version of Quality Education
I’m hoping to implement a program called “Partnerships In Education” (PIE) which I introduced in 1987 in Los Angeles and in Santa Monica, CA, as an extended learning elective for 4th to 12th graders.
Students were given the opportunity to expand their interests by first learning some communication and negotiation skills and then applying these to contact adults to arrange explorations in the local and extended communities. They soon were able to follow an outline to arrange Field Trips, In Trips (bringing the community to the school) instead of adults doing it for them. I encouraged them to work in groups and learn how to help each other expand their potential interests. It worked and was fun.
The PIE program is designed to help students apply and integrate what they learn in their required school subjects, thereby making these more meaningful to them and encouraging them in their studies. Eventually they would be able to choose their favorite interests for arranging suitable apprenticeship projects in order to develop their potential talents and skills. I propose that as students successfully complete apprenticeships, they could receive “Certificates of Accomplishments” at public ceremonies in their schools.
It’s hard for me to think of a more motivating and innovative way to enable educators and students to become excited about education. I feel that these innovations for q uality education can promote the improvement for human relationships and for a healthier future.
Even if this has been done, I’m asking for your evaluation or response. Very hopeful, Len Harris