Tag Archives: Ross Douthat

Want School Districts to Do Less? Build Better Systems to Support Children and Families.

via U.S. Department of Education Flickr

My colleague Andrew Rotherham has a great piece up at U.S. News & World Report arguing that our current educational system ask school districts to shoulder far too many operational and other responsibilities, which prevents them from focusing on their core work of delivering quality teaching and learning. I agree!

But, I would add that this is the entirely natural and predictable result of our nation’s lack of much more robust systems to support children and families. As I’ve written previously, public education is one of the few public services that national consensus agrees children deserve. As a result we don’t have strong, universal systems to provide other supports — such as childcare or support for new parents— that children and families need. Because the public education system is one of the few public services that touches most children and families, there is a strong temptation to ask that system to take on important unmet child and family needs that are ultimately outside its core mission.  Continue reading