Look back on the history of mankind, what do you see? Do you see peace, love and understanding? Or do you see war, hate and dispute? It partially depends on your perspective and how you view the world in general. However if you objectively peer through the crystal ball you will likely see the latter prevail more so than the former. Why is that? What is the underlying cause of such instability? Well, it varies depending on the moment in time, the precise location, the political climate of the day, etc. However, if you dig deep enough you’ll see a noticeable foundation it all stems from—a lack of education.
We tend to think of education in the present and immediate future. In fact we are often times selfish when we think of education. What will an education do for my kids? What kind of career will this education get my kids? What kind of paycheck will my kids receive? What sort of living will my kids have? That mindset is simply looking at education with tunnel vision and is short sighted. When in fact education has the capability to bring people together, unify and propel the masses upward and onward in harmony. It has the power to end conflict, creating a history which future generations can be proud to reflect upon.
But this kind of thinking about education is much different than most of us usually have. It’s pondering about how we can educate the people in areas where it’s most needed, not just our children and next-door neighbor’s children. This kind of thinking uses a very wide brush stroke with a realization that education can literally change the world for the better—not just our city, our state, or our country.
How do we get there? What works? What doesn’t work? There are a plethora of education models across the world—some are forward thinking and achieve remarkable results. Some on the other hand are backward, tired and should have been shelved long ago. On top of asking how we get there, we should also ask how this education model can be stretched, customized and executed to work throughout every corner of the world—not just in our own backyard?
What about the charter school education model? There are plenty of great aspects of charter schools, but looking at them with a wide global brush stroke one major detail stands out—adaptability. In fact that was the reason charter schools were initially created—to have the flexibility to adapt to the educational needs of individual students and encourage more innovation in education.
Charter schools vary in mission and model and simply don’t come in a “one-size-fits-all” option. The charter school types currently in this country include: college preparatory, specialized mission, dropout recovery, pre-k/elementary, and residential treatment center. This list can easily be expanded upon in order to fit the needs in educating other nations and cultures throughout the world.
Yes, there will be hurdles to overcome with items popping up which no one has remotely dreamed of. But that’s a good challenge to have with the end goal of an educated world. A world where people of any race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and background can work on their disagreements through peaceful means simply because all parties have the same foundation to work from—they are all educated.
In order to reverse the negative history trend that has shown time-and-time again we have to start somewhere. Why not here? Why not now? Why not charter schools? Peace, love and understanding have waited long enough.