Last week, I was on the West Coast for the NewSchools Venture Fund Summit with education stakeholders from across the country. Out of everything I experienced during the day-long event, the final session brought about the deepest reflection.
The summit concluded with a refreshing plenary session called “Why Can’t We Be Friends?: Disagreements, Tradeoffs and Common Ground” that took me back to the early days when Education Reimagined was a Convergence dialogue still at work reimagining what education could be.
This final session—a four-way conversation between leaders from Education Leaders of Color, Democrats for Education Reform, The Koch Institute, and The American Enterprise Institute—showed the power in creating the space for insightful dialogue (not debate) where the common purpose for everyone is to provide an education system that benefits all children.
This idea of dialogue, rather than debate, is at the foundation of Convergence’s work (with education and many other issues) and has allowed Education Reimagined to blossom into the dynamic, multi-faceted initiative it is today. The possibilities that emerge when thought leaders come together to explore ideas that transcend political and ideological divides are consistently groundbreaking and awe-inspiring.
And, at Education Reimagined, we know even more becomes possible when the dialogue is about creating, rather than fixing, a system. In that spirit, we create spaces for pioneers to come together in dialogue that rises above the current debates and traditional silos of education. We stay tuned to the opinions and ideas of these leaders, so we don’t close ourselves off from valuable insights that will accelerate the learner-centered movement even faster.
Pioneering acts in a similar way. We invite and amplify the voices of pioneering leaders—young learners, educators, and the like—spanning the geographic and ideological landscape to share insights, learnings, challenges, and questions that arise when real transformation is underway. In this issue, we continue that amplification through various stories and conversations from Massachusetts, Georgia, and Alabama.