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Today knowledge is ubiquitous, constantly changing, growing exponentially… Today knowledge is free. It’s like air, it’s like water. It’s become a commodity… There’s no competitive advantage today in knowing more than the person next to you. The world doesn’t care what you know. What the world cares about is what you can do with what you know.
John Jackson, president of the Schott Foundation says what’s happening is akin to “testing black, brown, and students of any race or ethnicity living in poverty, on their swimming abilities while also knowingly relegating them to pools where the water has been drained.” When the kids can’t compete in an unequal landscape, they’re “stigmatized as failures”, their teachers are labeled as ineffective, “and ultimately their community schools are closed rather than being furnished with the necessary resources and supports to flourish.”
Everybody has big ideas about how to fix education in the United States, but it seems like the reform conversation eventually comes back to one thing: How can we make schools better so we can churn out a more highly educated workforce that will ensure our global economic dominance continues? No one wants the American economy to fail, but what if the point of school isn’t cranking out degreed workers that will help us beat China? What if the key to transforming education relies on upending our individualistic, market-driven ideas about the purpose of school?