Public education is an investment in America’s future, and schools profoundly influence how students understand themselves, their potential, and the country they will collectively create. For over 35 years, political consensus held that reading and math test scores were a good-enough proxy for school quality and student success. But two years of pandemic disruptions — combined with calls for schools and other social institutions to better address economic and racial injustice — create an opportunity and responsibility to update the policy framework with a new, rich vision for public education. We need a compelling vision to unite diverse stakeholders and orient the work ahead; in its absence, public education is in peril and will increasingly become a divisive issue.
- 2022 Festival