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Now that authority is back in the hands of those who do run systems of schools, the question isn’t about whether to have better tests, more school choice, different funding formulas, more CTE, or more rigor. The question is how? Those willing to shift their focus from Washington to state capitals will swiftly learn just how hard it is to answer that question.
Willie Nelson’s song “On the Road Again” encapsulates one aspect of my civil society work at AEI because being on the road affords me an opportunity to exchange ideas with people of varying degrees of enlightenment and tolerance regarding our hopes, fears, and aspirations for American education.
What’s the purpose of school reform? What constitutes meaningful reform? What is “reform,” anyway? One challenge is that we come at this with different answers to these questions, which makes it pretty easy to misunderstand or talk past one another. To help clarify where I’m coming from and make clear why I see things the way I do, I thought it might be worth sharing a bit about how I answer these questions.