Politicians often talk about maintaining “local control” over schools. But more and more I wonder if that’s such a good thing, especially if those who control things locally don’t bring a global lens to that work.
The reality is that education is no longer local. In fact, a truly “local” education may be more of a detriment to our students than an asset.
And while it’s arguable that we never are truly educated until we actually get out into the world and begin to actually do things rather than just study them, any useful definition of being educated today must transcend place and curriculum. To be blunt, the whole idea that we shop an “education” as a product or an outcome that you “get” somewhere borders on irresponsible. Learning never ends.
While I have no doubt that most adults making decisions in schools truly want what’s best for kids, I worry that our lens for understanding what’s best is too narrow, too steeped in local history, tradition, and expectations. I worry that we’re failing to fully understand the global capacity that many of our kids (and we ourselves) are employing to learn in ways that leave local systems and structures increasingly irrelevant.
Today, we need less control and more freedom for our kids to learn about the world as it is, not as it was.