The pandemic challenged our assumptions of the traditional school day. There’s now a chance to redesign schools for the better. Six founders of NCEE’s Superintendents Alliance, who are responsible for overseeing the education of over a million students collectively, argue in a commentary published in Education Week that the practice of basing high school diplomas primarily on “seat time” needs to change. Instead, the superintendents argue, we should measure learning based on how quickly children reach a “life-ready” standard.
In schools across our country, time is the constant, and the quality of learning is the variable. To get a high school diploma, students must attend school for roughly six hours, 180 days of the year, for 12 to 13 years. Some students graduate ready for the Ivy League, and others are barely able to read.
We are an alliance of urban superintendents with a combined enrollment of more than 1 million students. We know there needs to be a dramatic change to public education.
What if we flipped the current model of public education on its head and made the standard of learning the constant and time the variable? What if the goal of education was to get all children truly “life ready” no matter what the obstacle?
Read the full opinion piece in Ed Week for more on how our public school system can transform itself to this new benchmark of learning.