The field of education is receiving a lot of attention right now. Education budgets are being cut as states try to balance their fiscal houses, assessment scores of US students are being compared to those of the rest of the world, and the President spoke about education reform in the State of the Union. Online course options are ever expanding, charter schools are competing for students and sustainability, and movements such as StudentsFirst are launching to significant media coverage. Wendy Kopp recently authored, A Chance to Make History an interesting book from her perspective as a leader with Teach for America. The Lottery and Waiting for Superman are now mainstream films that are part of our daily discussions.
Many great ideas are being surfaced in this period of high anxiety and a collective consciousness towards education. Other brilliant causes within the education sector are being left in the shadows. A specific reason for success and failure may not exist but there are certainly clues. I was struck by the comments of Nicholas Kristof in his interview with Randi Zuckerberg at the the World Economic Forum in Davos. When asked how groups should distinguish themselves from other similar movements, he suggested that humanitarian groups needed to do great work on the ground but also practice the art of storytelling.
What is your story?