As the son of a former public schoolteacher, I can personally attest to the challenges, both economic and institutional, that confront educators who want to help students reach their fullest potential. Too often this goal becomes the victim of a broader campaign designed, simply and exclusively, to reduce failure rates on certain high profile exams. The problem with this approach is that it overlooks the chance for children to far exceed these modest goals.
Make no mistake, progress of any sort is good and valuable; but we need powerful education reform, the kind suited for a highly complex – and global – economy where every individual will play a role, both as workers and citizens, in the advancement of knowledge.
I write these words as someone who, as a great admirer of schoolteachers in general and my mother’s contributions as an educator in particular, wants students to flourish. The team responsible for No Child Held Back shares this sentiment, which explains this renaissance concerning innovation on behalf of teachers, students and administrators.
As my mother likes to say, “Behind every successful student is a great teacher.” That expression has added importance in today’s marketplace of ideas. That sentiment is now at the forefront of education reform and policy development.