I guess I see it as a ‘no brainer’. We have lots of room for improvement in education.
More students need to be excited about learning. We need to do better with all levels of students. Our brightest deserve to be challenged and energized about learning. All learners ought to be stimulated and encouraged to explore and develop. Those students that are struggling must (for their own good and for societies’) find an authentic connection to learning; the stakes are too high to accept that they are destined to be failures.
I also think that it is fair to say that there won’t be any large amounts of new money flowing into education. There will not be billions of dollars to add new programs and additional services to the current schools. No “pot of gold” is waiting at the end of the education rainbow. It won’t be magic or bailouts that get education to a higher level of service for all students.
So, the pure and simple truth is: we need to have much better outcomes for all our students while our resources stay basically the same or even become less. That is a tall order. How do we do that? That will be the challenge we, collectively will need to meet.
Here are some of my ides. We need to leverage the best learning ideas, concepts, structures, techniques, opportunities, and/or technologies to accomplish more with less. We can’t take everything from the current practice with us to the future. And that is not a ‘bad’ thing. Some, but certainly not all, of the status quo does address the needs of our learners. So, we can and should bring to the future the best of our current offerings.
I suggest that the guide for figuring out how to get to the future needs to be focused on answering the question: “Are our decision good for all kids and their learning?”
We need to be less focused on the adults and their needs as we sincerely focus on all students: from those that are struggling to those that are shining in the current system and every student in-between. All of them can benefit more form schooling.
The future of schools will be determined largely the action leadership of leveraging the best learning ideas, concepts, structures, techniques, opportunities, and/or technologies to accomplish more with less. This is a time for leaders who can help others come together to serve the learning needs of all learners. This is a time for school people who are comfortable and capable with leading and or being part of transformational change.
The time for improvement is now. The needs are clear. This is not the time for trying to tweak the current system. It is time to boldly move into the future.
Image by Gunnnar por Hafdal via flickr