Funding - Change fundamentally the manner in which schools are funded—at local, state, and federal levels—so that all children receive the resources needed for a sound, comprehensive education. In doing so, understand that for the past 50 years an overarching goal of public education has been to increase access. In the new century, success will be measured by results, rather than effort.
More Effective Teachers and Administrators - Engage in programs to increase the supply of effective, qualified educational leaders and teachers who know their content, understand their children, and teach for understanding. Attention must be paid to teachers and administrators now in service as well as those new to the profession.
National Standards - Establish national standards for core academic subjects because the current state-by-state arrangement is unsatisfactory. The standards should be developed by professionally qualified national organizations, not the federal government. The resources and technical assistance needed to meet the standards should be provided.
Support for Low-Performing Schools - Provide additional support for low-performing schools. Change the incentives so that excellent teachers and administrators are supported to work as a team in these schools. Understand that change takes time, and focusing on test scores alone will not produce the desired results.
Affirm Public Education - As school districts become increasingly segregated and fragmented by new school structures, thoughtful educational leaders need to meet with parents and community leaders to decide what defines and unifies us as public schools who are educating our country’s future citizens.
Shared Responsibility - In our existing system of accountability, orders come from on high and compliance comes from below. In the schools of the 21st century, there must be a shift from hierarchical accountability to shared responsibility. The complex threads of responsibility are woven in a single garment of accountability; what affects one, affects all.
Our Voices Must be Heard - Increase the presence and efficacy of teachers and administrators in making educational policy decisions. The voice of school professionals has been too little heard and heeded in the national debates about education. Remember – tests don’t teach students, teachers do!