The Next Normal

Principled provocations in education

MLFTC and CRPE logos on classroom background

Building a movement: With a little help from our friends

By Carole Basile - Wednesday, December 15, 2021

As 2021 draws to a close, all of us at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College are grateful for the formal partnerships we have forged, as well as for the many conversations – both formal and informal – we continue to have with numerous institutions and organizations about how we can make schools work better for both learners and educators.  

On the formal partnership front, the Center on Reinventing Public Education will become a part of Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College in February. 

For 27 years, CRPE has been housed at the University of Washington. During that time, CRPE established a reputation as a home for actionable, nonpartisan research pertaining to educational policy. CRPE’s work has long been characterized by a sense of urgency and a commitment to trying new approaches and testing the efficacy of those approaches. 

Robin Lake will continue to lead CRPE as its director when it formally becomes part of ASU in February. All of us at MLFTC look forward to working with Robin and the CRPE team and to forming new collaborative working relationships so we can bring people and ideas together to improve the performance of education systems. 

The addition of CRPE strengthens our college’s research and learning community, expands our network of partners committed to transforming education and will advance our efforts to understand how to build excellent and equitable learning futures for all. 

Formal affiliation, however, is only one form of productive relationship between and among institutions. 

On the informal front, everyone at our college is grateful for the serious, and sometimes hard, discussions we have had with educators, education system leaders and others. We have had the opportunity to present ideas about the Next Education Workforce to both union leaders and superintendents. We look forward to continuing those conversations, as well as the conversations we have with parent organizations, state legislators and others as all work together to bring people and ideas together.

We are honored by the range of accomplished individuals and impactful organizations that will contribute their insight at February’s Next Education Workforce Summit. That list includes keynote speaker Dr. John B. King, current president and CEO of the Education Trust and former U.S. Secretary of Education, as well as Dr. Lynne Gangone, President and CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE), and Dr. Daniel Domench, Executive Director of AASA The School Superintendents Association. 

And we continue to be grateful for the network of education leaders and practitioners we are building in Arizona and beyond who are serious about catalyzing and sustaining systemic change that benefits both educators and students.

If you’re inclined to look for silver linings beneath severe disruption, consider this: In the wake of COVID-19, it should no longer be possible to unsee how very fragile our education workforce really is, to ignore the tangle of interconnected inequities that characterize how school systems operate, or to overlook how necessary strong communities are to the very possibility of functioning schools. 

As traumatic as the COVID-19 pandemic has been — and continues to be — for education, it is worth taking a moment to appreciate the community of individuals and organizations that are coming together to embrace the imperatives of reinventing and improving education. 

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