Fostering More Productive Dialogue and Action

April 10, 2017

Today, together with the American Enterprise Institute, we are releasing a summary of a private roundtable discussion we co-hosted in January.  A diverse group of education leaders met privately for several hours to talk candidly about our philosophical and political differences and how they influence our goals and strategies for improving education. We also discussed how we might find common ground and work together more effectively to create better results for students. The summary synthesizes themes from the discussion, including bipartisanship, race and ethnicity, and social justice. Our discussion yielded some norms for engaging in productive dialogue and action going forward, and these are included in the summary as well.

The roundtable and summary are part of a number of related activities we’ve been part of at NewSchools over the past year, including my essay in an Education Next forum last October. We’ll continue the dialogue at our annual Summit on May 17th. In the meantime, I encourage you to review the discussion summary.  And more importantly, I hope you will engage in your own way…by talking with folks on all sides of these issues, identifying areas of agreement, and finding concrete ways to work together.

If we are going to reimagine education so that every young person finishes high school with a wide range of options and the freedom to pursue them, we need the best ideas from everyone. Bringing those ideas to life will require us to find ways to work together, even when we disagree on critical issues. Let’s keep at it.