In December, I continued my conversations with world leaders on the frontiers of education reform. These leaders all share a commitment to transforming education at the ground level, so that the poorest and most disadvantaged schools can become sites for development.
In 2003, the provincial government of Ontario, Canada initiated a focus on educational improvement as one of its key strategies for the future success of its people and its economy. Since then, the entire system has dramatically improved.
At it now stands, School Turnaround AmeriCorps is a grand experiment that inadvertently treats both students and volunteers as guinea pigs. Is it morally acceptable to risk their future on a theoretical framework when we already have effective interventions backed by strong evaluations?
When education policymakers discuss how to improve low-performing schools, options such as adding pre-K, expanding the kindergarten day or focusing on instruction in the early grades are often left out of the conversation.
Sustainable gains must be inextricably rooted in the strengths of our constitutional democracy. Lasting improvements must be organically connected to an open society which prizes the exchange of ideas.