Jack Jennings, founder, president, and CEO of the Center on Education Policy (CEP), stepped down from his roles at the organization on January 31. As part of his retirement, he is releasing two publications. One is the history of the CEP, the other contains some final words of advice on the future of American public schools.
The second publication, Why Have We Fallen Short and Where Do We Go From Here? summarizes his reflections on his long career in education policy, which culminate in three major conclusions. The first is that the three reform movements of the past 50 years (equity-related, school choice, and standards-based reforms) have affected schools, but have not accomplished the broad goals intended.
Second, for major changes to occur, more focus must be placed on improving the curriculum, the teaching force, and increasing school funding. Finally, he encourages Congress to adopt an “equal education” clause, that states no child in the US will be “denied equal educational opportunity in elementary and secondary education through the lack of a challenging curriculum, well-prepared and effective teachers, and the funding to pay for that education.” In other words, a quality education should be a civil right.
In the end, Jennings emphasizes that the Americans have a choice. “We can adopt piecemeal approaches that have some effect. But if we want broad, major improvement for our nation’s schools, we have to act boldly, not just talk or try partial fixes.”
To read his full paper, please visit http://www.cep-dc.org/displayDocument.cfm?DocumentID=392