The country has been at a major educational crossroads for some time. We have been at a tipping point in a lot of ways. In November, our nation was put to a test. A test that in my opinion, we failed. We failed by letting misinformation and half-truths of made-up media sources form our opinions. We shared freely information that had no foundation in reality and no legs to stand on. In short, we were lied to and it was our fault for allowing it to happen.
It is sad to say that we live in a country that argues over facts rather than using facts to make informed decisions on policies. Facts are not policies. Facts are not opinions. They cannot be alternative. They are just that— facts. We continue to waste time denying and arguing about stated facts. We continue to argue facts and the problems illuminated by them rather than arguing over the policies that will be used to solve them. We are the one of the only industrialized nations that is still debating whether climate change is really being caused by humans— it is and 98% of climate scientists agree. All other countries are working on a solution rather while we continue to deny that it exists.
The education of the past that was focused on memorizing facts and regurgitating lines of text rather than thinking critically got us to where we are now. A result that most would agree is not ideal. So why are we still doing the same things that we did 30-40 years ago? We are literally living out the definition of insanity as we continue to teach the same things in the same ways. We continue to do the same things and yet we are bold enough to ask: “Where’s the better results?” Well the truth is— they’re not coming. They’re not coming unless we make drastic shifts to the way that we think about education. This means that we need a collective group of people who are committed to shifting policy at the local, state and national level. We need leaders who are courageous enough to push for change even if it means running through an unbeaten path with the possibility of getting lost.
The reality is: education is going to change in the next 20 years— whether by force or by choice. We want and need it to be by choice with vision rather than by force through reaction— reaction as a result of completely crumbled school system that has ceased to provide the right opportunities for any of our young people. There is an uprising of Millennials who have been stirred by the results of the election. They do not want to be complicit in the systems that continue to fail this country. I am hopeful that they will mobilize and join the ranks of school boards, local, state and national government. I am hopeful that we will collectively choose to make the decision to change— we can see what we are left to react.