Our schools and society are in a time of quiet crisis. Powerful currents at home and abroad call for fundamental and rapid changes in our schools and school systems.
Although all of our students must be educated well in order to maintain a strong democracy and compete in a global economy, too many children of color and those in poverty fail to earn a high school diploma. This is morally unacceptable and will have terrible consequences for the U.S.
Standards of achievement should not be confused with standardization of process. There is more than one right way to teach, learn, and assess learning. Students should have more than one way in which to demonstrate learning.
Schools should provide not only for children’s academic needs but for their personal and social needs as well.
Gaps among groups in learning should be eliminated. Schools must change to meet these goals, but schools cannot meet them by themselves. Our nation needs to commit resources so that the children in the richest country in the world no longer are hungry, live in substandard housing, or are denied medical care.
Although we expect to learn from today’s and tomorrow’s public school reforms, attempts to privatize the schools should be resisted.
The manner in which schools are funded—at local, state, & federal levels--- should be fundamentally changed so that all children receive the resources needed for a sound, comprehensive education. Genuine equality of educational opportunity lies at the core of American democracy.