Our failing schools. Enough is enough! | Geoffrey Canada

  • Published on May 8, 2013
  • Why, why, why does our education system look so similar to the way it did 50 years ago? Millions of students were failing then, as they are now -- and it's because we're clinging to a business model that clearly doesn't work. Education advocate Geoffrey Canada dares the system to look at the data, think about the customers and make systematic shifts in order to help greater numbers of kids excel.
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Comments • 552

  • Eric Schiltz
    Eric Schiltz 6 days ago

    The problem with education is all of innovation being done and over 100 years of failed education reforms. But they keep trying to reform it. Education has worked for 70-90% of us from the 1970s onward. The bogus report A Nation at Risk, April 1983, had messed up education even more. With this big push to increase the number of high school graduates, we've dumbed down the curriculum. A college graduate today knows about what a high school graduate of the 1950s knew.

    Mr. Canada is wrong in that most everyone can learn at the same levels. The Gaussian/Normal/Bell-shaped Curve explains this.

    Most can learn Elementary School stuff, pretty much no matter how it is taught. Middle School (Junior High School) and each successive level the subject matter gets more complex and therefore more kids will fail to understand.

    If you look at the education reformers, most are not educators. Even Canada's Master's degree in Education is suspect. For someone with undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Sociology the most common concentration for his Master's degree would qualify him as a school counselor and not curriculum designer. This is just a guess as I cannot find what his area of concentration actually was.
    It is funny that most parents think that their school is great and everyone else's suck. Why is that? Because of people like Canada. They show three schools in Waiting for Superman and say that all schools are like this, are representative of them. I'll stop here.

  • kingj411
    kingj411 Month ago

    Anyone else looking for his crooked finger?
    Joking aside, this dude is an inspiration for all of us

  • David Perez
    David Perez Month ago

    Clyde Drexler

  • Larry Hammersley
    Larry Hammersley Month ago

    The teachers should know were the students are in learning for the month . should they not?

  • Reyansh Garg
    Reyansh Garg Month ago

    Me: *Opens the video thinking that schools will get roasted

    Guy: Kids shouldnt get summer break

  • Daniel Fitisemanu
    Daniel Fitisemanu Month ago

    This guy is amazing, off the charts. Loved the whole talk. Appreciate the passion you have Dr. Canada.
    But that right index finger was freaking me out man.

  • Soledad Evangelista
    Soledad Evangelista 2 months ago

    Go to school yourself be a teacher and teach yourself. To see to it what these teacher have been doing at school! Then judge afterwards when you yourself experience it.

  • sdozer1990
    sdozer1990 2 months ago

    He repeats himself a lot, that is that each school does the same thing each year.

  • michael Nardi
    michael Nardi 2 months ago

    I love the black angry man

  • shane hester
    shane hester 2 months ago

    what a bunch of crap.the problem is what we are teaching kids that will not help u get into college or a job.stop teaching feminist,gender and gay stuff and focus on things that get u a job.teachers unions have made teachers lazy and not caring and after 5 years u cant fire them short of murder.

  • Afce Smak
    Afce Smak 2 months ago

    Schools are not like traditional businesses imo. We need to stop trying to bring business culture to schools.

  • Vahram Tashjian
    Vahram Tashjian 2 months ago

    "because I actually like kids.."

  • Cara Crabtree
    Cara Crabtree 2 months ago

    I forget if it's Denmark or somewhere over that way, all the public schools are the same, equally great, private schools aren't allowed. Therefore it doesn't matter where you live or which one kids attend. So wealthy families want the schools to be good, wealthy kids mingle with poor kids, become friends, and when they grow up, don't want to screw over their friends. They have no homework, more "explore" and play time, arts etc.. less hours but do astoundingly better than us, learn several languages even, involved in the decisions in the education, critical thinking, positive consequences instead of mostly negative, etc..

  • hustlemade C
    hustlemade C 2 months ago

    His presentation is stellar and he would make a damn good politician

  • A bowl of salad
    A bowl of salad 2 months ago

    This guy’s like a Black Bernie Sanders.

    KUAROO 3 months ago +1

    Till now it’s still the same

  • David Southwell
    David Southwell 3 months ago

    Anything but IQ differentials.

  • Алена Шарахматова

    Hi, I am a student of Applied linguistics in Poland😊. In two months I will be having an oral exam and have chosen "Systems of education in different countries (especially France) as my main topic. I would be very grateful if you could share your experiences and opinions about education in your country (both at school and academic degree levels). What do you like and dislike about it? Is there anything to be changed or improved? This is not an official research or anything. I just want to learn something interesting about different countries and have an interesting conversation with my examiner😁Thanks in advance for your time and willingness to help and share your point of view:)

  • theChartist
    theChartist 5 months ago

    Entertaining but empty talk

  • karmelo
    karmelo 5 months ago

    Whats with those people who succeed in the education system from those who hate the current education system?

  • Ms. Aviation
    Ms. Aviation 5 months ago

    Mobile County school district needs to hear this we have 11 failing schools in the county of Mobile Alabama..

  • Austin.Park
    Austin.Park 6 months ago +1

    Its 2019 and nothing has changed...

  • John Ryan
    John Ryan 6 months ago

    High School is biggest failure in America

  • Jeremy Cornwell
    Jeremy Cornwell 6 months ago

    My school system did not fail me. Speak for you're self.

  • paulbsmokin
    paulbsmokin 7 months ago

    Haha! What a lying POS!

  • chad jones
    chad jones 7 months ago

    This ship has been gradually sinking for 50 years -- but the internet was the iceberg that just ripped open the hull. Perhaps centralized factory-style "eduction" was always a bad idea. The "educational cliff" we are facing looks like this: what happens when the internet provides, for free, a better product than government can provide with nearly a Trillion dollars annual spend? What happens when free education is not just better, but significantly better. What happens next when free education becomes orders of magnitude better? In fact, that is where we are right now. And the only question is how we are going to accommodate the new reality. Our kids are going to be much much better off, but for the vast government/educational complex, there is blood in the water.

  • Jason Harris
    Jason Harris 8 months ago

    At one point in History they tried having school in a pattern of 8 months and only 2 weeks off and it didn't work, and if that didn't work then having school year round won't work either.

  • ilive4god2007
    ilive4god2007 8 months ago +1

    He is awesome! Preach, brother )

  • medved0987
    medved0987 8 months ago

    Could make it to 5 minutes. "It is bad we need to make it better" with no indicators of how it is bad, or compared to what. Just massive generalizations. Now he may very well be right, but there is no way to know it from this talk so far. I bail.

  • Candace Carter
    Candace Carter 9 months ago +14

    Imagine if Geoffrey Canada was Secretary of Education instead of Betsy Devos...

    • Paul Jackson
      Paul Jackson 5 months ago +1

      Candace Carter it’s be basically the same. Both believe in charters, vouchers and E-schools.

  • Shay Monte'
    Shay Monte' 9 months ago

    god his voice is atrocious

  • shane hester
    shane hester 9 months ago

    it all goes back to the parents of the kids.

  • Abdulmoiz Ayyaz
    Abdulmoiz Ayyaz 9 months ago

    This ted talk needs to god damn be seen by Everyone

  • Sunny shah
    Sunny shah 9 months ago +1

    Everyone learns differently.
    Some are auditory learners, some are visual learners, so learn by doing, and some learn by reading.
    School assumes everyone should learn the same way, and enforces one style of teaching and learning,
    hence some students pass, and many fail, or do not get a good grade.
    Schools were developed to create workers who can do just enough to make the company run, without complaining.
    And this is reflecting in the stupidity of the people, who after 12 years of school education, still don't know how to manage money, how to do taxes, how loans and interest works, how to find their passion,
    and how to learn new skills.
    This is why most of the population is financially illiterate, and in debt, and why 75% of the people hate their job.
    We all know that mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell,
    but we are not taught anything that is of importance in the market, and the real world.
    Schools were, and still are, a complete waste of time.
    You can learn and easily find all the facts and concepts they teach you in school on the internet these days,
    it takes less than a second to search who was the 21st president of the United States,
    yet, people are still being taught many useless facts and information that they will eventually forget.
    Schools need a revamp real bad, because technology and world is moving faster and faster these days, while schools are still stuck in the 1950s style of teaching.

  • Clarence McCall
    Clarence McCall 9 months ago

    I worked for Harlem Children Zone in the mid 2000s and it was a great experience. He is absolutely spot on when he talks about developing a network of support for students who've made it to the college level.

  • StealthCamper
    StealthCamper 9 months ago

    Is this a stand up comedian?

  • gothgay
    gothgay 10 months ago

    I'm sorry, was that John Legend?

  • Kyra Kaminski
    Kyra Kaminski 11 months ago +1

    5 years later, 2018, this still applies to schools today.

  • Kenny Parvenu
    Kenny Parvenu 11 months ago

    Everything is pyramid structure strawman

  • Aloyce Junior
    Aloyce Junior 11 months ago

    American students are lazy, but not all of them most of them.

  • Quee
    Quee 11 months ago

    5years later nothing changed. GG WP

  • Vincent Mileto
    Vincent Mileto Year ago

    50 years ago schools were much better! When I was in 1st to 9th grade 1953-1962 schools were even better, with much smaller budgets, and no Dept of education! The Dept. of ED started in 1980. Also the stronger the Teachers unions got, the worse education got! This is all a product of the 800 lb. gorilla nobody wants to acknowledge. Ever increasing far left-liberal policies! 100 trillion dollars will not help! Teachers unions priority is more money, more benefits, more power. Abolish the Dept of education!

  • Vincent Mileto
    Vincent Mileto Year ago

    This man is an idiot or a liar!

  • A Viewer
    A Viewer Year ago

    Schools are failing because they are overrun with black students.

  • Furrowed Brow
    Furrowed Brow Year ago +1

    Our failing black and Hispanic students - enough is enough.
    If you exclude black and hispanic student scores America becomes competitive again.
    The most recent PISA results, from 2015, placed the U.S. an unimpressive 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science.
    When US racial and ethnic groups are separately compared with other countries, Asian and white students regularly perform at or near the top of international rankings, while
    black and Hispanic students typically rank at or near the bottom.

  • mikey Kirby
    mikey Kirby Year ago


  • SmD71nG
    SmD71nG Year ago

    He should run gopt srectetary pf statwe

  • thebudkellyfiles
    thebudkellyfiles Year ago

    Hey, the socialist agenda of bringing down our society by destroying the schools is working just fine.
    Make everyone dumb, incapable of working at any decent job, instill in the the victim ethic, and presto you have legions of useless dickheads that will vote Democrat. It's working fine. Oh, and blame the white people.

  • Miss amazingness
    Miss amazingness Year ago

    He mentioned having schools open all year, well the problem with that is that you have nothing to look forward to, school is hard enough don't make it worse for us. Here's and example: I'm my cousins school they tried that, almost every single student started failing because they had lost Thier motivation. Summer is our only motivation. That's sad but true. They have to change our motivations to change our grades.

  • Shantele Lewellen

    Our education does look the same as it did 50 years ago+. It's like a factory. Factories are efficient, and are graded on it's quality. If it doesn't meet standards it gets tossed aside. This is the model we have for our education system, and people are not all the same. It's not one size fits all. Teachers are expected to do something about it without the resources, and have to follow a business model that doesn't make sense. As an educator this is my wish. I wish for smaller class sizes. I think this should be the first thing we do to make great change for our schools. There would be more Teachers to hire which would benefit our economy, but also the students could get the support they need. Teachers feel tremendous guilt for not being able to support all their students, and not be able to give them the attention they need, and it's not their fault. There are class sizes up to 38 students in the hands of 1 teacher. By the way, did I mention this was a 1st grade classroom. This is not uncommon to see in the poverty districts in Oregon. We need more teachers, and smaller class sizes, if we are expected to differentiate lessons to truly meet the needs of our children.

  • Ragingdragn
    Ragingdragn Year ago

    I really think the reason why they don't change much is because of money. Its ALL about money and if this failing school system keeps running. This whole country will slowly kill itself before a war even starts.

  • Tabiri Petrovich
    Tabiri Petrovich Year ago

    I went to school in England, Croatia, Sweden and the USA -and the American was the absolute worst one.

  • Tyr3ll Trinidad
    Tyr3ll Trinidad Year ago +1

    I love this part it made me feel better 17:07

  • joey bodner
    joey bodner Year ago +1

    the part at 17:07 is very inspiring

  • Docent Stef
    Docent Stef Year ago +1

    Motivating speech to do better, to find the correct priorities

  • Squid Bomb Productions

    He's still angry today

  • White Man From Town

    Blacks, require lower IQ to obtain an equal level of academic achievement. But todays 'education doesn't matter' mentality, actually hurts black people. A fair system would account for all the other factors that account for these 1 Standard deviation discrepancies in achievement, as sources of 'intelligence' (interest, curiosity, motivation, intuition, creativity; conveniently labeled as not important to intelligence), and not IQ, which is more of a glorified short term memory test:
    Whites with a bachelors degree: IQ 111
    Blacks with a bachelor degree: IQ 96
    Whites with a masters degree: IQ 114
    Blacks with a masters degree: IQ 99
    Whites with a PhD or professional degree: IQ 123
    Blacks with a PhD or professional degree: IQ 110

  • Loretta Taylor
    Loretta Taylor Year ago

    this video is so true so sad smyth elementary in Chicago i want the school shut down the school is for low in come section 8 school. I watch the school the seat in class talk to staff they did not try then bully the parent which is me them the school and the head quarters bully me too. now i am homeschooling I am the joke now.

  • Megan
    Megan Year ago

    He runs a charter school in Harlem.

  • Evan Flynn
    Evan Flynn Year ago

    Best thing is that you don't need to do the trial and error with your own kids for every idea. Look internationally to the most successful public school systems in the world and emulate. Finland gets to the top public schools in the world year after year. Why? No private schools. If the rich want their kids to have a good education they'd better make sure every other kid gets one too. They also require more training in their teachers. They also pay their teachers really well, too. They're given the resources to do their job. There are no tests except in their final year. There is no stigma against getting a trade instead of a degree. They have courses available to kids wanting a trade that go toward their apprenticeship courses, so they can stay in school with their friends learning and having their elective courses be trade recognised courses.they do this by building their schools near trade schools, or close enough that a short bus trip can get them there and back easily. It works. They get creative and innovative people in every walk of life, and that country is a powerhouse of new ideas and more importantly, happy people.

  • Kalum George Tocher

    This man is just simply brilliant!

  • Randy Rogers
    Randy Rogers Year ago

    Most students don't fail because they can't do the work. They fail because they don't want to do the work. I didn't hear anything about getting failing students to want to do the work.

  • Joseph Hamilton
    Joseph Hamilton Year ago

    I like this guys enthusiasm but expressing he fact that “there is a huge problem guys wake up this should be fixed” is much easier said than done.

  • Tom Cahill
    Tom Cahill Year ago

    get the govt out of education

  • Beck Parsons
    Beck Parsons Year ago

    He boasted that his charter school had a 100% graduation rate. He lied. His school failed to educate 35 of the 97 kids 2006 class of sixth graders. Only 62 graduated. That is not 100%, it is 64%, less than ⅔.

  • Timothy Brown
    Timothy Brown Year ago

    This is a bunch of nonsense. First, if children can't retain something through summer then the way they are learning is failing. If a doctor said, "Man, I can't remember a thing I learned in school about this procedure. I better go back to school!" would you trust him or his training?
    Defining success as going to college is stupid! If we managed for everyone to get a Ph.D. in some field, who would build the houses and clean the offices and harvest the crops? We value college so much because it put people in a higher social class, not because they were necessarily more useful. We need all kinds of people to do all kinds of jobs and we need as a society to value these people and the jobs they do.
    Also, the idea that our schools are failing compared to other nations is a myth. www.vdare.com/articles/pisa-scores-show-demography-is-destiny-in-education-too-but-washington-doesnt-want-you-to-k.

  • Arlan Berglas
    Arlan Berglas Year ago

    Let's collaborate to Help Students Succeed! www.HelpStudentsSucceed.info - Together WE can make a difference!

  • Gameboob
    Gameboob Year ago

    8 mind in and he's just being vague and circling and the subject. Feels like he didn't plan a coherent speech. Not worth listening to

  • Psoriasis Channel
    Psoriasis Channel Year ago +1

    This speaker is a force for good. I shared on Facebook. Thanks.

  • Arlena Willes
    Arlena Willes Year ago +1

    It's just not only failing children of color but those who have intellectual disabilities as well sad but true. A one size fits all education aka common core is failing our children.

  • Joan Landes, MA CMHC

    Your kids don't have to be trapped in government schools anymore. Check out KidCEOschool.com to find out how.

  • 박상준
    박상준 Year ago +1


  • Holobrine
    Holobrine Year ago +1

    Whenever someone in politics tells you "we can't afford it", always remember that they really mean other things are more important. In this case, ask yourself, was the Iraq or Afghanistan war really more important than our education? How about more than healthcare? How about more than college?

  • TJRO 1121
    TJRO 1121 Year ago +2

    I am tired of these mothafu**** schools in this mothafu**** country

  • Victoria Matthews
    Victoria Matthews Year ago +2

    “School systems are the microcosms of society.” In society, professional actors, singers, and athletes are highly paid and greatly respected; however, in schools, teachers are not on that level of financial gain or admiration. Like society, schools glorify male athletes, and female athletes are few and always less important. Also, students are more interested in pep rallies, school dances, sport games, and peer popularity, and those, who excel in academics, are considered nerds. In addition, the hierarchy of the school system needs reorganization whereby prestigious administrators are not over-paid and their salaries are equal to teachers . . . The structure of school systems has not allowed for change.

  • Lenny23217 5
    Lenny23217 5 Year ago +2

    School succeeded in making me fail.

  • acrophobe
    acrophobe Year ago

    schools aren't businesses, and shouldn't operate like them. enough of this "business model" nonsense.

  • Mr incrdible
    Mr incrdible Year ago +3

    love to see positive black people changing the world keep the good work up.

  • A. F. Nik.
    A. F. Nik. Year ago


  • Mark Paren
    Mark Paren 2 years ago

    Interesting presentation, however ... the education system has worked well for a large portion of the population.

    • Cody Mondeel
      Cody Mondeel Year ago

      Mark Paren
      No it’s failing terribly

  • Justin
    Justin 2 years ago +2

    comparing business and public education is a fallacy because businesses can choose their products, whereas public educators can not.

  • RussianDrago
    RussianDrago 2 years ago +6

    I think the problem is that school has become a money making machine and the Government DOES NOT want to stop making money!

  • Free2BMe
    Free2BMe 2 years ago +3

    Wow!!! One of THE BEST Ted Talks I've heard. Thank you Mr. Geoffrey Canada!

  • The Life Of Aboi
    The Life Of Aboi 2 years ago +1

    Please come to Inglewood Unified School district. Our schools our failing!

  • Lee Howard
    Lee Howard 2 years ago

    Its always about money.

  • Jessica Sha
    Jessica Sha 2 years ago +5

    our teachers on their phones during class time 😤

    • vengefulfork
      vengefulfork Year ago +2

      yep same and if the teachers see any phone a student owns the office immediately gets it

  • Gregory Fuller
    Gregory Fuller 2 years ago

    I think we should get ride of grades level like 1st to senior years and I do a scale system while students move to the next class when they able to do skill required in that scale and we could get More Steve jobs and bills gates in this world by having 7 years in college who able to do all the skill required in the scale level

  • alexis grasso
    alexis grasso 2 years ago

    Agreed, Dr. Canada! but for one thing: let's encourage innovation in public schools and track the results. Only support for excellent, free, primary, public education can insure that it is not merely our affluent children who succeed!

  • Grant Parker
    Grant Parker 2 years ago

    The reason why school is out during summer is because before air conditioning was invented it was very hot in schoolhouses, this is pretty outdated nowadays

  • Voltaire Voltaires
    Voltaire Voltaires 2 years ago +1

    Our schools are not failing. There's room for improvement but they're certainly not "failing."

    MARITZA ALVARADO 2 years ago

    Coincido en que los problemas de la escuela siguen siendo los mismos desde hace más de 200 años. Las políticas educativas no se construyen desde las bases sólidas que la comunidad educativa requiere.

  • Mr. Handy
    Mr. Handy 2 years ago

    Thank god my country no longer has to deal with this...

  • Ando Rexurix
    Ando Rexurix 2 years ago +1

    The whole issue with the education system is the premise where you're being stupidly marked over subjective fields, such as English and other artistic courses. It's a static system, that simply does not fit everyone.

  • Rose Dempsey
    Rose Dempsey 2 years ago +48

    I LOVE this man. I wish he was Secretary of Education and could convert all our schools to what made his Harlem Children's Zone such a success

  • FlashHD
    FlashHD 2 years ago +7

    Look at your neighbor and copy the one who is doing the best without compromising fun.
    Finland has innovative education and Holland has the most rehabilitation penal system.

  • SpiffingLadyCat
    SpiffingLadyCat 2 years ago +18

    looks like Prince Ea has drawn a lot of inpsiration from this

  • ritnim
    ritnim 2 years ago +187

    This is one of the Ted talks that are extremely under acknowledged and deserve way more attention.

    • Alexander Carvunaris
      Alexander Carvunaris 2 years ago +3

      yes we all agree with this, you must be active and spread information that is what we all must do.

  • Canned Distrait
    Canned Distrait 2 years ago +5

    I think education shouldn't exist, we should just learn things on our own.

    • ross john
      ross john 2 years ago +2

      PINKY Zz so you think the government is trying to Brainwash the American people threw the public school system yet you are ready to join the Army and work for that same government. Forgive me for seeing some flawed logic.

    • Canned Distrait
      Canned Distrait 2 years ago

      Amen man!

  • El Hass Jr
    El Hass Jr 2 years ago +1

    In my country the problems are beyond this!

  • Andrea Samadi
    Andrea Samadi 2 years ago +2

    I watch this TEDTALK once a quarter...and this time, it's the last. Enough is Enough...stay tuned Geoffery Canada...I am going to be in touch with you. We have run out of time...