Since the first time we met — as student and teacher in an Advanced English class — a tremendous amount of change has occurred in Kentucky's schools.
Better instructional tools, improved technology, higher standards and an improved high school graduation rate have all impacted the experiences Kentucky students have. Yet, even with these positive changes, our overall public school system still needs updating.
Established in 1893, the education system was designed to process large numbers of students through basic reading, writing, and mathematics skills, while assimilating children into American citizenship.
In Tony Wagner's The Global Achievement Gap, the author writes: "For the most part, these are still the schools we have today. In a very short time, our world has changed and methods of teaching and learning must adapt."
At issue is the fact that most of us agree teaching and learning must adapt, but we do not agree on the solution. Consider new data from the Harvard Report on Kentucky Schools which shows that statewide, there was a huge drop-off between students graduating high school and seamlessly transitioning into college. This is because, for the most part, students are prepared to do well on standardized testing, but often lack the critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary to thrive in college and career.
We now work together on continuously improving the entire education system as colleagues on a mission at The Fund for Transforming Education.
The fund is a non-profit that inspires and scales innovation and excellence in Kentucky's public schools by identifying scalable innovations that improve outcomes for all students.
However, the fund cannot do this work without considering our connections to the community at large. As fund staff, but more importantly as Lexington community members, we are passionate about continued change in education. That is why we have worked to bring the film Most Likely to Succeed to Lexington.
It is a documentary on the impact that innovation is having on our economy and the consequences for our country if our education system fails to keep pace. Produced by Ted Dintersmith and directed by Greg Whiteley, this film inspires change in education.
We hope to encourage parents, educators and community members to come to the free screening and join the discussion.