We Must Innovate

I sat down at a presentation by the superintendent of Harrison #2 school district (a district in the Colorado Springs area) and sitting next to me was an old family friend who is on the school board in eastern Colorado. My friend noted that few of us really know what education will look like 10 to 15 years from now. Consider this: Most of us had never used the internet 10 to 15 years ago.

David Warlick noted in his keynote that for the first time in history, we are educating our children for a future we can’t clearly describe. At the same time, we are asking public schools to do something never done before in history by any school system: To prepare EVERY student for schooling beyond high school.

Making incremental tweaks to the system is not sufficient. We can’t wait for other people to figure things out for us. Too much time would be lost. It also doesn’t make sense to transform an entire system all at once. Anyone who says that they know the one way to improve education and public schools is fooling themselves. My friend is right. None of us really knows the one best thing to do.

In this environment we must create room for innovation. Harrison #2 is trying an innovative approach to help students develop 21st Century skills. Even if it doesn’t turn out as well as they might hope, they’re doing something. That’s what we all must strive to do. The original intent of charter schools was to create innovation labs. Most charter schools in our area don’t innovate. They simply try to improve on the traditional school model. I hope we can find some ways to promote innovation. Our students, schools and community will be better for the effort.

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One Response to “We Must Innovate”

  1. Brad Jolly Says:

    Radical change is certainly necessary to get to the educational future that would best suit our kids and our society.
    Radical change, however, does not necessarily require innovation.
    Maybe 2% of the solution is innovation that is yet to be discovered. The other 98% of the solution is political and organizational will.

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