Education Secretary Arne Duncan sent out this tweet on January 1: “What if every district committed both to identifying what made their 5 best schools successful & providing those opps to all their students?”
Let’s see what other “what ifs” would I like to offer?
- What if all teachers who had access to technology used the technology to personalize learning for ever student?
- What if all superintendents and principals and other educational leaders knew how to lead their schools so that every teacher continually improved, felt empowered and encouraged to innovate?
- What if all students came to school ready to learn?
- What if all parents knew how to best support their children in learning?
- What if all families made enough money to feed and support their households?
- What if all students attended college?
- What if all students felt engaged and encouraged every day they attended school?
- What if, across the U.S., we had 100% graduation rate?
- What if there were no more high school drop outs?
- What if all kids of color graduated from high school and attended college at the same rate as Asian and Anglo kids?
- What if all kids who ended up in the juvenile court system were eventually successful in school?
- What if all kids who are in the foster care system were adopted by families who provided them the kind of supports needed to be college and career ready instead of living much of their lives in group homes?
What would you add to this “Whatif” list? Check out the Twitter hashtag #whatif to view other ideas.
All of these “what ifs” are questions that have been asked by educators and researchers for years. Yet, each student is an individual with individual characteristics that ends up in the U.S. factory model school system. Some students thrive and some student do not. It is those students who do not thrive that we need to continue to innovate and empower teachers to reach so that the over all educational system is more successful for all students.
There is work to be done. Let us continue to identify those variables that most impact learning and empower teachers. Happy New Year!