Another Year, Another Chance, Again....

This is a repost from 2013. It is disheartening that by simply updating the year, what this post says still sounds applicable.

The year 2015 is about to end. Another year has gone by. While it is usually the time to reflect on how to make things better, it is also en excellent opportunity to look back.

"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein 

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.” - Brad Paisley

These two quotes crystallize the intersection between past and future. That point is always the day at hand, the present. This blog has gone through another year. This is a blog that shares findings from research on education as well as aspirations for the years to come. 

This past year is marked with data that emphasize the dramatic impact of poverty on education. Education is often seen as a way out of poverty. But in reality, education is seen by society as a way to get ahead. In pursuit of excellence, competition is nurtured. Collaboration takes a back seat. As a result, equity is often compromised, education therefore fails to fulfill the promise of serving as a vehicle for social mobility. 

Education is frequently seen through the eyes of an individual. Through these lenses, anecdotes and sound bites rule the world of education reform. Our opinions do make good stories. They are interesting. They may even have bits of wisdom. Unfortunately, these individual stories are usually exceptions to the rule. Thus, in spite of good intentions, measures drawn to uplift basic education fail because these are not based on good evidence. Actions taken are not transferable for these are learned from specific cases and are thus, are not applicable in general. Data that guide future directions must be obtained from good studies. This is how we should write a new book for education. 

2016 provides new opportunities. It is another chance to make a difference in education. It is another "blank page" for us "mortals to achieve immortality".

Happy New Year to all.