Why Is Changing Our Education System So Difficult?
A massive social shift is no joke—it takes time, energy, and momentum. Typically, change arises through a new policy, an unforeseen tragedy, a mass awakening, and sometimes, through a revolution.
The K-12 education system in the United States is a large entity made up of thousands of schools, in which millions of children attend to learn and grow. It represents a microcosm of individual hopes, dreams, aspirations and goals for the ‘real world’ (even before they are identified as such).
When the school choice movement emerged in the 1950s, it was born from a desire to diversify schools and break down the barriers of desegregation. Since that time, it has grown to include supporters of options for all children to be able to attend the best school for their learning style. There are supporters for school choice, and there are opponents. Just as there are advocates for education reform, there are adversaries.
There are 21st century school leaders, and there are 18th century ones as well.
Changing our education system for the better is not the obstacle—rather, it’s resistance to change. Inciting and supporting change can come from all of us, including parents, teachers, decision-makers, community leaders and the average voting citizen alike. Redesigning schools to better prepare students for the workforce of tomorrow means empowering our youth to have agency in their learning, reconstructing the role of classroom teachers, leveling the equity playing field, and being open-minded to new ways of assessing district, school and student performance today.
With the advent of technology, this is all possible. Just like insurance companies can customized healthcare plans, schools can diversify the way in which teaching and learning happens. For the better.
However, it’s easier to leave schools as they are, covering deep, systemic problems with topical Band Aid-like solutions, than it is to take on the amazing responsibility of reimagining the future of school in our country.
That is, until a revolution of the enlightened happens.