Thursday, January 25th, 2007
Every time GWBush adds to the subject of schools. a whole host of writing follows, which basically cover all the same ground. Public school quality, choice, NCLB, alternatives. As I’ve said before, states can create all the choices they want for students and families but none of these will solve a core problem: the spaces where people live. A student subject to a poor-quality school may be bussed to a wonderful school in the pristine woods, but where will that student study and apply their knowledge?
No, performance isn’t fundamentally a school issue.
What needs to occur is a national movement to improve neighborhoods and cities so that they form a supportive space for learning and creativity to happen.
1. Troubled neighborhoods should be incorporated as economic entities by cities or states.
2. Local leaders should organize, plan, and manage neighborhood improvement, hiring local talent and workforce, putting efforts right into the spaces where quality of life can be improved. House by house, those who live in the area should the designers and the builders.
3. Connecting these areas to the life of the region would happen naturally.
4. Schools, in this context, would attract teachers, parents, and would naturally improve because space would improve and children would be a part of the activity.
5. Economic output would increase. Regions would explode. People would have work.
Nothing will work until the people who live in neighborhoods are provided the opportunity to build things themselves, from the inside out.
If I were a mayor or a president, this is the kind of plan I would encourage.
Provide not the choice to move to another school. Provide the choice to change the very ground.