I think that student motivation is the most substantial stumbling block in education. Somehow a youth culture must be set up which has education and smarts in general at its center, rather than being peripheral and even uncool. I favor student-vs-student competition at every level, with very large amounts of standardized material to serve as the "game," so that, for example, students could race each other to correctly answer questions. The important thing is that in each match there would be a definite winner and a definite loser, instead of a fuzzy sliding scale of points. The students also should be rated constantly, as in chess, and always be aware of their rating, and each match would affect their rating up or down. With such instant, painful feedback for a loss, and such instant gratification for a win, what student would willingly lag behind? As reinforcement, rewards such as greater freedom (talking, walking around, eating), money, or martial arts lessons should be made available to higher-rated students. Learning would be done during competition--much of the test material would be open book, and maybe half the time in a given school day would be set aside for studying rather than competing. For the most part, adults would administrate rather than teach, although they would be available to help explain ideas students had trouble grasping on their own. The students would have to learn most of the material independently, which is not bad preparation for future life. Students who refused to cooperate with the competitive environment or did not benefit from it could simply be moved to a more standard system (even within the same school). They would be marginalized and know it, but would retain the option of re-entering the competitive system.