It was with great dismay and astonishment to read that some members of the Florida Legislature are considering funding $200 million to charter schools as a way of solving failing public schools.
This will most certainly result in the accelerated dismantling of public schools, creating a further downward spiral for many children who already are living in an oppressive climate of poverty, violence, and fear. Any reasonable person would agree we need to do something. But creating a parallel school system isn’t it.
Instead, why don’t we consider an evidence-based, cost-effective program that can actually improve school performance? The Quiet Time Program, using the Transcendental Meditation technique (TM), has been shown to reliably reduce mental and physiological stress, create orderly brain functioning, and promote development of intelligence, creativity, and problem solving. When TM is utilized as part of the school curriculum, several positive changes occur: violence, truancy, and disciplinary problems all decrease, and academic performance improves.
The program has been implemented in hundreds of public and private schools around the world with great success. More than one million children now practice the TM Technique for 15 minutes twice during the school day — before classes start, and at the end of the school day. The results have far exceeded what educators thought was possible. And it can be implemented for a fraction of the proposed funding being considered, and with better outcomes.
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To address a systemic problem, you need to address the root causes, and stress is a major factor. The Quiet Time Program does that very effectively. Based on the data, Transcendental Meditation should be considered a fundamental piece of any effort to improve school performance.
Gary and Naomi Greenfield,
of the TM Program
for Broward County,