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Getting Smarter, Becoming Fairer

Abstract

"For more than a year, the Renewing Our Schools, Securing Our Future National Task Force on Public Education has investigated innovative strategies and approaches to improving public education. It has considered social, economic and demographic trends and their relationships to education. This work, in addition to several commissioned papers and six public forums, has culminated in the development of a progressive education agenda for a stronger nation."

The agenda includes extending educational time, including longer school days and shorter vacation breaks. It also calls for more early education, pre-K, and full-day Kindergarten for all. There is a strong push for post-secondary education to become the norm for more than just the 50% of American students who currently continue past high school. The report calls for high expectations, standards, and accountability as well as voluntary national standards. The need for highly qualified teachers and effective school leaders is recognized, with a suggestion of more and better professional development, advancement opportunities, and a general increase in the prestige of the teaching profession. Finally, the agenda proposes connecting schools with families and communities by offering support for out-of-school issues such as health care, housing, parental support and nutrition.

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