Can any of our legislators at the state or federal level clearly articulate a compelling, clear, and congruent vision of public education? Especially a vision/mission with the potential to maximize the probability that every child has access to quality public schools in their communities? Do the parents of current and soon to be school-age children and the business community care to understand how the lack of a clear and congruent vision for public education allows our elected leaders to avoid making the necessary and courageous decisions/votes to create and sustain an equitable, thorough, and efficient system of public education for all students? Do we, as a professed democratic society, desire a government that serves the vital interests of all its people or a government that serves a select set of special interests?
We have heard from many sources that the American public education system is “broken.” Contrary to this common belief, our current educational system was never designed for the new 21st-century mission of all students reaching higher levels of student achievement: that is to be career-, college-, and/or work-ready upon high school graduation.
We must be willing to deeply rethink and create a more congruent system of public education that, by design, has the capacity to increase the probability of all students making significant progress towards this 21st-century goal. A metaphor for how we have approached improving public education is thinking that a school bus, a capable form of transportation designed to take students from home to school and back, could be used to take our students to the moon! Moon travel required a complete rethinking of how to transport people. We need the same type of effort in the redesign of K-12 public education