Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 3.11.15 – Educating Kids: What If It Was a Community Effort?

What if educating kids was a community effort?

It’s a great question. I can’t take credit for the question; a friend suggested the topic a couple weeks ago. But it has prompted some serious thinking.

If educational achievement was evaluated on a city level rather than a school, child, or teacher/classroom level, it would have some effects. I’m well aware one blog post can’t address all issues. But, let me ask some questions that should serve to start your thinking.

If the success in educating children was measured by communities . . .

1. Would we be less competitive about education?

Education is competitive. Ratings give us something to compare. So naturally, we compare our school’s ratings to others. I know evaluating cities as a whole would only lead to comparison against other cities. But would we be less competitive with kids on our own blocks and in our own neighborhoods?

2. Would we as believers do a better job of loving our neighbors?

I love personal freedom and choice, but if I knew every kid’s performance mattered would I better consider the needs of my neighbors and invest more of my time and energy with the goal of collective success?

Would I rejoice when kids at other schools did better than mine? I know love is not arrogant or proud. I don’t want to strive to feel better than others. Would this approach help?

3. Would it fail miserably due to our excessive selfishness?

Are we just too selfish to envision caring this much about people other than ourselves? 

4. Would it have an impact on the number of unmotivated kids?

A valid argument against a community approach would go like this: “Our community shouldn’t be evaluated together because under-motivated students would be included. I’d rather have the option to keep my kids at schools where that’s less of a problem.”

Would a community based approach help keep more kids motivated? Would greater care and investment help kids feel accountable to their classmates to give their best?

In closing…

I’m really thinking out loud here. I know America is built on freedom and choice. I’m willing to admit that such an approach may fail. The concept has made me wonder, though. I’m a community guy so I think this way a lot anyhow.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Think. What are the biggest strengths and weaknesses of this approach?

Act. What steps could you take to involve yourself more in education in your community NOW?

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