46 goals in 2023 to advocate for the future of education

While the midterm elections provided a sort of release for the tension built up in the American political mind, they did not resolve the issues of education that many of our nation’s children still face. Make no mistake: we remain in the midst of the largest educational crisis of our lifetimes. American students face deep learning losses, and they will need a great deal of support to recover. But the challenges do not stop there. School districts face declining enrollment and a looming fiscal cliff that awaits when pandemic relief funds run out. While the situation is dire, I am reminded of Albert Einstein, who said, “In the midst of every crisis lies great opportunity.” Families are hungry for change and an education system that looks very different from the one that showed its many vulnerabilities during the pandemic. A reform coalition that seemed fractured along political fault lines as recently as several years ago is now advancing, once again, toward a vision of the future that parents of differing political stripes can support:

  • An education system that is boundaryless and breaks free of the redlined walls it has maintained for more than half a century.
  • An education system that acknowledges learning that happens outside the walls of the schoolhouse and not just within them.
  • A system where educators are prepared to teach students how to read based on what actually works.
  • One that values preparing students for both college and a career.
  • A system where parent-driven innovations, like the microschooling movement, are protected and join charter schools, independent schools, and new finance mechanisms to broaden and customize the opportunities available for their children.

For all of the peril, this is, indeed, a time of great opportunity.At 50CAN, we know this future of American education is one that will be built brick by brick from the bottom up driven forward by persistent local advocacy. The 46 goals for 2023 that our network is releasing today are emblematic of this belief. Each goal has been designed by our local leaders to establish the foundations that, taken together, will allow the future American system of education to emerge over the next decade.Throughout the year, we’ll be updating you on our progress toward these goals and the other areas of work across the 50CAN network. Be sure to tune into next Monday’s New Reality Roundup for a first look at these other important areas we’ll be pursuing in 2023.

The education that’s right for you, because every student learns differently.

The future of education puts the decision-making power of where, how and when students will be educated directly in the hands of parents. That means district, charter, private, microschools, learning pods, virtual education, homeschooling and more. These options must be available to all, regardless of where they live, the district boundaries or attendance zones that have been drawn or the wealth of their family.

In 2023, we’ll build toward this vision by:

In Connecticut, accelerating the phase-in of a new funding formula that ensures public school students are funded the same way, while also increasing educator diversity.

In Colorado, expanding access to high-quality seats through transportation services, while also creating alternative tools to help parents access a broader suite of educational options.

In Georgia, giving more students access to the school of their choice, including supporting the growth of quality charters and promoting a diverse educator workforce.

In New Jersey, championing equitable and effective funding.

In New Mexico, securing funding to enhance the state funding formula so that at-risk students receive the support they need, advocating for a fair and equitable enrollment process so that the community understands the negative impact of attendance zones and ensuring that high-quality charter schools receive approval for expansion.

In North Carolina, improving and expanding the statewide ESA and scholarship program, eliminating the teacher certification process required for adjunct teachers and creating a state-funded mechanism to assist charter schools with facility maintenance and repairs.

In Delaware, reforming the school funding system to one that is student-based and that increases dollars for low-income, special education and multilingual students, while also securing state funding to expand transportation so that more students can attend the school of their choice.

In Tennessee, expanding parent choice by removing enrollment zone barriers, ensuring the successful implementation of a statewide ESA program and enacting policies to grow high-quality charter school options.

Tutoring and care for every student in every community.

There is significant research showing the positive effects that one-on-one and small group tutoring have on remediating and accelerating learning, particularly when grounded in research-based instruction like the “Science of Reading”. It’s time to make tutoring a core and permanent element of our education system. In addition, every child should also have access to a range of summer learning opportunities and camps, and the opportunity to connect regularly with a caring adult for mental health and wellness services.

In 2023, we’ll build toward this vision by:

In Colorado, securing state evaluation of tutoring programs.

In Delaware, securing funding for professional development to train teachers on the “Science of Reading.”

In Georgia, ensuring students receive research-based literacy instruction on the “Science of Reading.”

In Hawaii, increase access to tutoring services within and outside school, while also promoting the adoption of high-quality, trauma-informed education and social-emotional learning supports.

In New Jersey, passing “Science of Reading” legislation and ensuring education recovery initiatives are implemented and expanded on.

In New Mexico, ensuring students receive research-based instruction in early literacy.

In Tennessee, adopting universal high-dosage tutoring to combat learning loss.

A world of open and connected learning, so you have the tools you need to strengthen your community and succeed in life.

The future of education must move beyond the limits of the school building and tap into national and local partnerships with communities, businesses and civic institutions to deliver an interconnected and borderless education where learning happens everywhere.

In 2023, we’ll build toward this vision by:

In Colorado, supporting start-ups of innovative microschool models.

In Delaware, establishing a digital divide taskforce.

In Hawaii, dramatically expanding the number of teachers trained to teach computer science and the number of students completing rigorous courses.

In Tennessee, expanding access to innovative learning models outside of the classroom.

A family’s right to know what’s working – it’s all about accountability.

Greater decentralization of learning must go hand-in-hand with better information for parents so they can make the right choices for their children. That means real-time updates on their children’s progress, clear measures of the quality and effectiveness of programs and dollar-by-dollar reports on the amount of money the government is spending on their child and how that money is being spent.

In 2023, we’ll build toward this vision by:

In Colorado, making changes to state accountability frameworks that take into account grassroots’ expertise.

In Connecticut, establishing an English Language Learner Parents’ Bill of Rights.

In Georgia, ensuring the state maintains a high quality system of assessments and evaluations.

In New Mexico, ensuring education stimulus funds are used to address lost learning.

In Tennessee, increasing parental access to accountability frameworks.

A clear path to the career you choose. It’s about finding your fit and your pathway to a meaningful life.

The future of education will ensure that every child graduates from high school with a clear path to college or a career by partnering with the business and higher education communities to create new internships, apprenticeships and early-access college courses so that there are multiple paths to success.

The future of education will ensure that every child graduates from high school with a clear path to college or a career by partnering with the business and higher education communities to create new internships, apprenticeships and early-access college courses so that there are multiple paths to success.

In 2023, we’ll build toward this vision by:

In Colorado, ensuring the state identifies the status and impact of current career and technical education programs.

In Georgia, aligning career pathways and skills with the jobs of tomorrow.

In Hawaii, increasing incentives and benefits to employers who offer quality work-based learning opportunities, while also removing barriers that limit student participation.

In New Jersey, advancing teacher workforce initiatives including the “BA to TA” and apprenticeship bills.

In New Mexico, creating a pathway for community educators so that career experts and tradesmen can serve as instructors.

In Tennessee, strengthening career pathways for students to learn everywhere.