In 1983, the famous report, “Nation at Risk” was published. In the preamble of that report was the following paraphrased commentary: “If an unfriendly foreign power had imposed our schools upon us, we would have considered it an act of war.”
Thirty years later, after employing dozens if not hundreds of reform ideas, after spending trillions of dollars, we have 7000 students a day dropping out of school, we rank 23rd in the world in math achievement and 17th in the world in reading, poverty is at an all-time high, our prison population continues to grow (particularly for minorities), inequality continues to expand and there is no state or district where student performance is competitive with the world’s best.
Why has so much effort and money gone for naught? The reason is that people are trying to solve the wrong problem.
Every School is about fundamentally changing our public education system so it works for every school and every student. These changes start with state law.
The book is divided into three parts;
Part One deals with the current system, societal changes that have affected schools, and defining the mission of school (what is an educated child). It ends with a discussion of education unions.
Part Two describes three specific changes needed if public education is to work for every child. This section deals with teaching, leadership and governance. It also deals with specific changes to state law that impact these three areas.
Part Three deals with appropriate follow-on changes that would be appropriate, if the first three changes are made. Here we look at the longer day/year, individual vs. group instruction, technology and charters, vouchers and choice.
The book ends with a call to action.
Every School will provoke ideas and resolve among concerned policy makers, parents, teachers, school administrators, and will stimulate the concerned citizen.