San Rafael-based Edutopia Magazine, which is brought to us by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, looks to the future in its latest issue, identifying 10 ideas or trends that its experts believe can improve K-12 education. We found them thought provoking, and hope you agree.

Those ideas, in brief (and linked to the appropriate article) are:
-- The next iteration of No Child Left Behind (nutshell -- may as well accept it but make it evolve via legislation/policy work);
-- Utilize merit pay to retain teachers (seems like a no-brainer to us -- the unions might not agree);
-- Increasing utilization of online education as a tool;
-- Vocational programs (i.e., "hands-on, job-themed learning") to "energize the American workforce." (A great idea! We've long thought that kids grow up not knowing many career options, leading to a real lack of focus and goals);
-- Alternative school schedules -- adapting the school day to your students' needs
-- Social networking (schools go all "MySpace?")
-- Mandarin = foreign language of the future (billions of Chinese can't be wrong?). Could be very advantageous in into the future, though we still think fellow Californians should strongly consider Spanish.
-- A resurgence of interest in science should come once the sense of urgency surrounding our lack of achievement reaches the local level.
-- The transition of art programs to after-school and offsite venues taught by community experts ( An idea very well suited to San Francisco, we think, with our large arts community)
-- Politics in the classroom will be front and center with the national elections pending, especially considering other national issues.

Wow, a lot to digest, we know, but very, very interesting stuff (and there's even more than that in the magazine.