For some parents, college acceptance approaches the culmination of every single parenting choice ever made. It can seem the ultimate goal, the ROI of parenthood, the final gold award and the epitome of a parenting job well done.
The Western legacy of educational virtue has been called into question by the better PISA test score results coming out of other countries, especially China. Should we in the US be following Shanghai's lead and focusing on improving our students' test scores in this international exam?
Or Else is a terrible way to raise children. Having expectations that are so rigid that you have already mapped out the child's life before you meet the child -- that's no way to parent, and it's certainly no way to run a school system.
I've been paying close attention to the events in Colorado in which students and faculty members of Jefferson County high schools have been protesting the formation of a curriculum review committee that would require students to learn a sanitized version of history that encourages blind patriotism and discourages any sort of protest.
Since education equals opportunity, our educational system plays a strong role in this tremendous wealth imbalance -- despite efforts to the contrary -- because it unfortunately favors wealth.
The protest to preserve the history curriculum is important for many reasons. If the so-called education reformers are not careful, they may bring on that catastrophe by toppling the only remaining institution dedicated to reinforcing civic values -- public education.
My Brother's Keeper is not simply an effort to improve the condition for racial and ethnic minority communities, it is an endeavor of considerable national consequence with a capacity to improve all communities, for all of us.
It's tempting to think that we could come up with a neat, one-size-fits-all approach to curriculum and learning that gives teachers a clearer sense of what to teach and when, and policy makers a better way to assess and optimize student performance. But unfortunately, "neat and linear" is not the way today's economy works.
Reaching beyond the home, it is important for schools to incorporate themes such as resilience, gratitude and optimism into day to day activities and conversations.
Can public schools thrive in a school choice environment? I think so, yes. Options like charter, magnet, private, online and homeschool curricula are not meant to undermine the nation's public schools but to build them up through shared quality standards. There is room for all choices in K-12 schools and students benefit from the options.
Brighter days are ahead, and we intend to make sure we continue to stay on the front lines of advocating for fairness and equity in our education.
History can be either a boring, anachronistic and even disempowering subject for children, or a magnificently life-changing and worldview-shaping one. California is at a moment now when it has to choose which of these approaches schools get to teach.
We know from hard research that literate populations have lower poverty rates, are more peaceful and add to the global economy. Therefore, the best way to create a more peaceful and prosperous world is to educate these children.
Investment in technology is on the increase. Some continue to claim it hurts the classroom. Others are more convinced it is transforming the classroom in a positive way. However, most now believe the goal must be about transforming the learning process.
Instead of starving our schools of critical funding and pushing market-based, test-driven policies that ultimately fail our kids, we should be relying on evidence and input from those closest to the classroom to find solutions that work.
What happens when 2,000 kids from around the world show up in Ames, Iowa to solve world problems? They get solved, and by some of the brightest kid's who are between 10 - 18 years old!