To the Editor:
Regarding your Dec. 20, 2006, article “U.S. Urged to Reinvent Its Schools”:
I greatly respect the effort that went into and the conclusions of “Tough Choices or Tough Times,” the report released in December by the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, and I support to a certain degree most of its proposals. Improving schools, however, boils down to a much more simple proposition: school quality and actualized high expectations.
In my work, I visit highly diverse schools all the time that have closed their gaps and where all students learn at grade level year after year. This is due to educators’ unifying their approach and committing to high levels of learning for every student.
These schools did not wait for some large, nationalized effort to change. They just did what they are professionally and morally obligated to do: Teach every student in an equitable and successful way.
Why wait for a national referendum when we have the knowledge to do what we need to do now? By changing schools today, students will only be that much more prepared when the changes proposed in this report take root in the future.
A version of this article appeared in the January 10, 2007 edition of Education Week as Why Wait to Be Told to Do What We Can Do Now?