Let’s Begin with Some Assumptions:
- America’s K-12 public schools are a national treasure.
- Teachers are hard-working, caring, dedicated, underappreciated professionals entrusted with developing America’s greatest natural resource – our children.
- If their neighborhood school is not as good as a better school in another neighborhood, the parents would like the opportunity to choose which school their child attends, but their first choice would be to have their local neighborhood school improved so it is the better school.
- Many recent studies have come to the same conclusion: The K-12 public education system in this country is broken and cannot and should not be fixed. It is time to stop wasting money patching and repairing a system that is obsolete. It is time to transform the system -integrating the best practices available while discarding the hard and fast rules that have held back true reform.
- Schools are at the very heart of a community. It begins in elementary school and continues through high school – evidenced by the large numbers of people who attend Friday night football games to support their local teams. Go to a game and watch the social, cultural, political, educational, and economic activity that occurs there. It is the gathering place for local businesses and service organizations. Closing a school disturbs this sense of community. Some have compared the process of moving students and closing schools to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It’s more like determining which people get in the few available lifeboats. In a sense, we need more lifeboats. But even more to the point we need a better ship that isn’t sinking.