I value openness and transparency. This first post is intended to tell you where I stand and where I am headed so you can decide if you are interested in walking with me for a while. The summary below is a 50,000 foot overview of the landscape. I plan to expand on each of these points in future posts.
Here, in a nutshell, is my point of departure:
- I believe that learning may well be the ultimate Good.
- I believe that the purpose of formal education systems (like schools) is to facilitate specific learning outcomes desired by a community.
- I believe that compulsory education can be a powerful public Good, but that it brings with it certain moral obligations on the part of those who provide it.
- I believe that our systems of education (public and private alike) produce less than 50% of the learning that even the average student is capable of. In particular, I believe that we have the capability to produce twice the learning we are currently producing in half the time at a fraction of current cost.
- I believe that if we chose to we could accomplish this today, for the average student, in our existing public and private educational institutions.
- I believe that the stakes in this area are very, very high. In particular, children’s life courses are being determined powerfully by the quality of their education. The fate of entire societies will in turn be determined by their citizens’ life courses.
- Because the stakes are what they are, I believe that knowing how to provide better education for every child creates a moral obligation to do so – for every child – and to act with all possible haste. Every year another cohort of children – our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and friends – advances through the system without getting what they need to survive and thrive in the world we have created for them.
I believe it is within our capability to make education much, much better than it is today. If you believe this too, then I hope you will walk with me a while by joining in the conversation here.