I enjoyed hearing Daniel Pink a few weeks ago when he spoke to the teachers of Chittenden County. He made some remarks about how we needed improve our education infrastructure. He characterized many of our schools as being 40 years old and asked, “would you take your car to repair shop that had 40 year old infrastructure? Would you go to a hospital or clinic that had 40 year old infrastructure and technology?”
I found a similar theme in a recent op ed piece by Thomas Friedman. The quality of our public infrastructure reflects the relative importance we, as a country, place on education. This needs to change.
When I attended the BLC conference this summer I was able to mingle with education leaders from Europe and Africa. They get it. They see education as a national priority directly connected to their economic competitiveness.
Letting market forces alone guide our improvements is not going to cut it in an era where other countries are urgently focusing their national resources on improving education infrastructure – we are in a global education arms race but we have not figured it out yet.