‘Invest and prioritize’: What to do about California schools

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

California Influencers this week answered the question: What can California schools do to improve their national rankings?

The single most important thing we can do to improve opportunities for California schoolchildren is to stop focusing just on catching up and instead focus on leapfrogging into the 21st century. We’ve got to allow for, and incentivize, a complete re-thinking of the purpose and structure of school. Local educators and education systems need the flexibility to adapt a rigid 20th century school model that has remained largely unchanged for more than 100 years.

Consider how much is changing. Our students are coming with ever demanding issues based on socio-economic status, language needs, etc. The workplace of tomorrow is changing rapidly and dramatically. The need for advanced education is skyrocketing; and the skills required in this new working world extend well beyond, but are inclusive of, reading and math. Yet, most of our schools – whether district-run or charter-run – are still based on a school mode that separates students by age, perceived ability and subject matter. Our next Governor must be willing to re-focus on, not just improving, but on transforming. Our communities and our children, are depending on it.

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