As I look back at 2022 and my first six months with NCEE, I am struck by the dedication, innovative spirit, and perseverance of our partners in this work. From international policy makers to individual classroom teachers, I am grateful to work and learn alongside these incredible people as we strive towards a future where all young people live lives of purpose and hope.
At the international level, we saw government leaders and heads of teachers’ organizations from 13 countries come together for the 2022 convening of the International Summit on the Teaching Profession to explore how schools can responsibly harness new technologies, build more inclusive communities, and help to secure a sustainable future. Similarly, High Performing Systems for Tomorrow (HPST) released its first report outlining the rich conversations about the impact of digitalization and other global trends on the future of work and civil society and what it means for education systems going forward. A second cohort of education systems, HPST2, is already underway.
Here in the US, the National Conference of State Legislatures released The Time is Now, a bi-partisan report that gives legislators a framework for reimagining education in the context of an increasingly uncertain future. NCEE’s partner states have put into place ambitious, future-facing policies that will transform learning for thousands of students. These include Maryland’s 10-year plan to create world-class schools for every child, Pennsylvania’s work to recruit and retain teachers and reimagine teaching, and Montana’s bipartisan coalition to create a vision for public education that meets the challenges of the future.
This summer, I was honored to join a group of highly-committed district superintendents from all over the nation at the inaugural Superintendents Alliance retreat. These leaders are dedicated to improving outcomes for their young people, and were inspired by conversations with their peers about finding ways to create student-centered systems that attract, engage, and retain students. At a similar retreat for the Leaders Collaborative in September, school and district leaders in attendance worked closely with each other to explore research, enhance their leadership practice, and learn how to redesign schools to better serve students.
Over the last few months I have spoken to innovative teachers and school leaders who are making a difference for the students in their districts. In a series of interviews about why some teachers are leaving the profession and others are thriving in their careers, it became clear how important teacher collaboration and mentoring are for developing new teachers and allowing veteran teachers to thrive. I was impressed by innovations like the college-in-high-school program from school leaders in Bowling Green, Kentucky; the total reimagining of teaching time in Aurora Hills Middle School in Colorado; and the work in Round Rock, Texas to provide learning and career pathways that appeal to and support all kinds of learners.
It is a privilege to work alongside these and our many other partners toward our shared goal of a better future for our students. I look forward to this new year and the work that awaits us.