Amid many lessons to be learned, COVID-19’s disruption of school asks us to pause and reflect on public education’s role in society, its strengths, weaknesses and capacity for reinvention. We have an opportunity to redesign public education to ensure the academic success, health and empowerment of every student. Our greatest failure would be ignoring glaring historical problems in the current systems that have left so many behind.
The choice is stark. We either sit passively, hoping that things get back to some form of “normal” and continue school as usual. Or we take this historic opportunity to create in New Mexico a world-class system that empowers 100% of students.
Today’s students live in a world, and will graduate into a future, with many unknowns. We can’t predict future job markets as technology replaces humans. We can’t know what economic downturns will do to social stability. We can’t know when a public health crisis will drastically disrupt us.
We can predict that in a world that feels unpredictable, even traumatic, students do better in well-resourced schools.