Special Report
Big Ideas in Education

Big Ideas for Education's Urgent Challenges

September 15, 2021
Conceptual Image of schools preparing for the pandemic
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Welcome to the start of a new school year and the 2021 edition of our Big Ideas report.

While returning children to school buildings safely and making the year as normal as possible is driving you and your work, we understand how much more complex your job has become.

The cover of this year’s report and the 10 essays inside reflect this complicated moment and the constellation of emotions we know you’re experiencing: hope, excitement, grief, urgency, trepidation, and determination.

With this year's report we chose to tackle big challenges and hard questions: What is the purpose of school? Are we leaning on districts too much? What will it take to upend racism in our education communities?

In a nationally representative survey, conducted by the EdWeek Research Center in July for this report, we asked how you were reducing stress and what you did well during the pandemic, among other topics.

We hope you’ll find this edition of Big Ideas helpful, motivating, and thought provoking. Please connect with us on social media by using #K12BigIdeas or by emailing bigideas@educationweek.org.