Spotlight

Network Seeks To Reassert Leaders' Impact on Policy

A newly emerged organization of public school leaders seeks to reassert a strong professional presence in state and federal policy discussions.

The group is known as Public Schools for Tomorrow, a national network of current and former superintendents, district and building administrators, college and university professors and teacher leaders that intends to reach out to the press, political leaders and other key decision makers. Most importantly, it hopes to develop a national consensus among educators, parents and others to promote consistent, enlightened policy at all levels of government.

“The absence of knowledgeable voices from the field has been a serious impediment to meaningful school improvement,” says Thomas Sobol, co-director of the group.

Public Schools for Tomorrow grew out of a series of summer superintendents’ seminars at Teachers College, Columbia University, organized by Sobol, former state commissioner of education in New York and a superintendent at the district level.

“We need to speak with a unified voice, be clear about the essential principles that underpin teaching and learning, and be clear in describing these principles to others,” Sobol says.

Through this network, Public Schools for Tomorrow hopes to find agreement about how best to help students learn, how that learning can be deep, rich and relevant to the challenges of the 21st century and how local, state and federal policies can support student learning most effectively.

The network seeks like-minded individuals to join in this effort and to provide feedback on its draft statement regarding its purpose, core beliefs and foundational points. The website (www.publicschoolsfortomorrow.org) provides additional information and membership details.