At different times over the last three months, the three items listed below have challenged and charged me around the idea of community and how those most impacted by the work in public education – students and families – are so often not a part of how that work gets done.
The public education space is a challenging and complex place to work. Whether you are a teacher, school leader, board member, union representative, funder or innovator, it feels like ideology and adult prerogative too often rule over what actually happens to students and families in our public schools.
We can do better. These challenges won’t be fixed overnight, but that does not mean we should not start working on them tonight. Getting good information and understanding a range of perspectives is a good place to begin.
Stanford Social Innovation Review – "Community Engagement Matters (Now More Than Ever)," by Melody Barnes and Paul Schmitz – Spring 2016
TEDxMemphis presentation "School's Rebirth," by Derwin Sisnett, co-founder and CEO of Gestalt Community Schools – September 2015
Education Post – "How an Elite Education Reform Conference Felt More Like a #BlackLivesMatter Rally," by Marilyn Anderson Rhames – May, 2016
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Aaron North is vice president of Education at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, North served as the founding executive director of the Missouri Charter Public School Association (MCPSA). Before leading the startup effort at MCPSA, North worked in Minnesota as a charter school sponsor, school resource center director, and in the Minnesota Department of Education's Office of Choice and Innovation. He also served as secretary for an urban elementary charter school board in Minneapolis.
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