A collection of essays celebrating CRPE’s 25th anniversary
Robin Lake, Editor
Marking CRPE’s 25th anniversary, this volume of essays rethinks foundational aspects of the current education system, from funding to accountability to equity, with an eye toward preparing every student for the future. The goal is not to propose what the education system of the future ought to look like, but to reexamine past assumptions, look for gaps in existing education policies and reforms, and offer provocative new ideas to address them.
These essays consider ways to unbundle learning. But they also focus on the rebundling, elevating concerns about social mobility, opportunity for the disadvantaged, educational coherence, and safeguards for the public interest that have always been a part of the unique lens through which CRPE views the future of public education.
Many questions—and potential risks—exist in even a gradual transition to more agile, student-centered learning systems. Yet, fundamentally rigid and inequitable structures prevent the current system from doing what is necessary to meet the needs of all students. Stagnant debates over issues that have long been the focus of education reformers—funding, parental choice, school accountability—demand an injection of fresh thinking that can awaken new political coalitions and bridge long-standing divides.
The ideas presented here are intended to provoke discussion and debate, not provide all the answers. These are difficult, debatable challenges and will require all of us to untether ourselves from past orthodoxies and push each other’s thinking. In the end, however, there is real urgency for beginning to try new approaches, test their efficacy, and build coalitions to create widespread change. Our hope is that these essays help launch the work ahead.
- Executive Summary
- Learning in the Age of Agility: We outline a set of ideas about how education can adapt to a rapidly changing world and prepare the next generations to lead us forward.
- To Serve Every Student Well, Design for the Tails, Not the Mean: Robin Lake and Travis Pillow explore how a system built to meet the needs of “square peg” students could benefit all students.
- Rethinking the Traditional High School-College-Career Continuum: Robin Lake, Georgia Heyward, and Tom Coyne argue systemic change will be required to give students access to meaningful pathways to college preparation and career training.
- Beyond the Bell: Leveraging Community Assets for an Expanded Learning System: Betheny Gross describes new agile and responsive systems to provide more children with access to out-of-school learning opportunities.
- The Uncertain Future of Teaching: Michael DeArmond argues the daunting demands teachers face will require new models that expand and differentiate teaching roles to a far greater degree.
- Educational Equality in the Future: Risks and Opportunity: With an eye toward equity, Ashley Jochim examines the implications of a more customized, agile system for disadvantaged students.
- Local Governance for an Innovating System: Paul Hill lays out a theory of integrated “light governance” of local schools, colleges, learning pathways, and special courses.
- Funding a Nimble System: Travis Pillow and Paul Hill explore what it would take to ensure that personalized and weighted funding follows students across multiple learning experiences.
- Moving from a Portfolio of Schools to a Portfolio of Student Opportunities: We outline meaningful yet manageable steps that communities can take to move toward more agile, student-centered learning systems.
- Thinking Forward: How Can Public Education Prepare Every Student for the Challenges of the Future? by Robin Lake (11/08/18)