School reform depends on scaling successful programs. At the Education Nation panel called “Change Agents: How do we reinvent the status quo at all levels?” the education community weighed in. The panelists were Vicki Phillips, Andres Alonso, Jon Schnur, Wendy Kopp, Steve Barr, and Becca Bracy-Knight, and here are highlights from the discussion.
- There was a prevailing notion that socioeconomic standing determined childrens outcome for success. But a growing number of classrooms and schools are showing us that it’s possible to change kids’ trajectories through education. We’re seeing school leaders and teachers who are committing themselves to outcomes that put kids in low-income communities on level playing fields. They’re enlisting parents. They’re doing whatever it takes, and it takes tremendous talent in every part of the system to make it happen.
- Most schools systems are tremendously conservative institutions, doing things the way they’ve always been done. Part of it is cultural, and part of it is that schools are replicating social and political structure. It’s not a coincidence that the neediest school systems are in neediest cities. We need the abilities of superintendents of schools to be change agents.
- When you personalize learning for kids and marry that with effective teaching, you get higher rates of college-ready kids. In this country, we still haven’t gotten it right yet.
- We have to start seeing innovating in the classroom. Why can’t teachers use the classroom as a place for research and development to happen?
- What they got right in [rebuilding New Orleans schools after Katrina] was about what it takes to affect transformational change, to build high performing schools. They built systems that have attracted and kept high-level educators.