Moreover, we’re going to experience confusion as a country about what it means to fund public schools – or not. As the federal government pours money into teach-louder states and initiatives, we’ll live and work in districts that begin to wonder if our schools are poor because they deserve to be.
There will be conflict. Organizations that receive federal money will open lavishly appointed schools down the street from neighborhood schools starving for resources because of state decisions. School choice will be reduced to a matter of flight from schools completely unequipped to weather an economic recovery during which school systems cannot independently recover.
On one hand, this is entirely about the money we don’t have. Fiscal shortfalls are going to force schools into increasingly backwards staffing and scheduling formulas (and where we are sucks), as well as entangle schools in relationships with vendors pushing whole-sale prices on scientifically-proven programs that might raise scores and bring in money. Schools will gamble on those scores using staffing money. Specialist and support positions will go away, and professional development funds will be spent on training teachers to use programs, rather than to teach through the arts or community-based project-learning. Inescapable paucities and ill-advised bargains will lead us to more schooling and less education.
On the other hand, considering our self-imposed obstacles, this is entirely about the money we do have and how we choose to use it.
- We should spend money on democracy, not control.
- We should spend money on community, not isolation.
- We should spend money on evidence, not inference.
If you apply these ideals to your
- and nation
what do you see?
Education won’t solve poverty until we let go of the impoverished visions of school that we have. No amount of money will solve a problem that we don’t. No amount of money will enrich our vision if we won’t.
Dare what you see. Back your ideals – the currency of transformation – with a standard of action.