The future of American education is will very likely involve a return to its roots: A diverse or plural school system. Did you know that the United States had pluralistic school systems in its first 100 years?
If you are an education leader, teacher, school board member, legislator, parent, or care at all about schools, I've recently discovered a book that you MUST read. It's Dr. Ashley Berner's book: No One Way to School: Pluralism and American Public Education. Dr. Berner is Deputy Director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy and is an historian by training.
The core of her argument from a uniquely historical perspective is:
- The ideal of a uniform public school system serves our democracy poorly
- While the state ought to fund and regulate public education, it should not serve as the majority operator of that system.
Debates about education policy have common positions and arguments that Dr. Berner addresses with data that is extremely well-documented. This isn't a quick read, but it is definitely worth your time.
Below is a video interview I had the privilege of hosting with Dr. Berner, where she discusses key aspects of her book.