The country is undergoing the most significant economic, technological,
and demographic changes since the Industrial Revolution. Such change in
any one of these areas would test our ability to adapt. But the fact
that we are experiencing all of these shifts at the same time has
exacerbated Americans’ fears and fundamental distrust of those in power.
The public has concluded that our 20th century institutions are
incapable of dealing with 21st century challenges.
The accompanying chart is pretty staggering. Eight percent of people have confidence in Congress today. Only 31 percent have confidence in public schools.
I don’t think it’s arguable any longer that not only is change drastically needed in the way we think about schools and schooling but that the public is nearly ready to support such change. Not in the form of “personalization” as much as real, structural, pedagogical change that brings more relevance to the experience given the changes mentioned above. I know it’s not an overwhelming wave…yet. But as more and more public schools begin to innovate and change, and as those stories begin to get a wider berth, the conditions are ripe for that groundswell to occur.