I just read an article called “Changing the National Narrative About Public Schools…Next Steps” that provides a great overview of much of what has motivated the GO PUBLIC Project team throughout our journey. In particular, it stresses the importance of public education to all Americans, the need for a communal effort to strengthen schools and an honest, determined look at funding.
These are some of the values at the heart of the GO PUBLIC Project and themes that recur through the stories in our films. Our hope is that after people watch the short films, listen to the GO PUBLIC Voices and eventually see the feature documentary, they will have a new or renewed sense of shared responsibility to champion their local public schools.
Below are a few highlights from the article, written by Cheryl Williams, Executive Director at Learning First Alliance (LFA):
- Universal, publicly funded, education is our country’s most important historic asset and needs commitment and support from all of us, whether we currently have children in the schools or not, to succeed.
- The work of meeting the needs and increased achievement requirements for all students is complicated, multi-faceted and nuanced.
- Many, if not most, of our public schools do an excellent job of supporting student achievement, but when they don’t, we all need to work together to make the changes necessary to serve students well, regardless of their socio-economic or family situations.
- Strengthening public education requires a collective effort, not one that appeals to individual self-interest in the short term, but one that considers what’s best for all our children now and in the long term.
- And, finally, competition for dollars to fund public schools saps time, energy and resources from the important work that educators are involved in. Until we are ruthless in our examination of how we fund our public schools, which currently results in poor communities with insufficient financial and human support, we’ll not achieve the progress we need.
GO PUBLIC is not a “messaging campaign” like LFA plans on launching, but we did set out to raise awareness and understanding so that people would become more informed advocates for their local public schools. We hope that GO PUBLIC provides an insightful, real and compelling voice in a broad effort to change the national narrative around public education today.