It takes a nation

I joined the Washington New Millennium Initiative team because I believe that the best policy decisions are the ones in which deep conversation is engaged in by all of the stakeholders. But as we know, politics rarely work in this everyone-sitting-around-the-table fashion. While teachers lead classes, students learn, administrators run schools and parents work, politicians and other decision-makers are the ones most able to show up at that table.

So I was intrigued when Kristen, a fellow Washington NMI member, sent along a link to a project called “It Takes a Nation” . It Takes a Nation is “a social media website in which educators across the country can post short videos that teach America the truth.”

Now, the project has a strong, overt goal of countering much of the current test-driven and privately-funded education reform that prevails today. The “Getting Started” page reads like a list of talking points for those opposed to No Child Left Behind, performance-pay, charter schools, etc. But at least that goal is overt and, even better, it is focused on bringing the voices of more stakeholders to the table. And who can possibly oppose that?

I look forward to seeing what comes of the “It Takes a Nation” project, and I am interested in hearing what others have to say. Could a project like this play an important role in the policy discussion? Does the fact that the project starts with a strong declaration of beliefs already limit the conversation that will come out of it? Let me know what you think.

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