Our definitions of success and standards for goodness and beauty seem to be constantly shifting — and even spiraling — in our culture. On one hand, these shifts are a result of plummeting values that are permeating almost every other area of life. When urinals on a wall can be called art and when an expletive-laced tirade can be considered music, it’s hard to really hold anyone to a steadfast standard. When gender is fluid and biology is subjective, it becomes increasingly difficult to set and keep any real, lasting, meaningful standards.
Within education, this spiraling standard for success was made much more evident through COVID-19 and through the 2020 and 2021 school years, when classroom structures fell apart and teachers were pressured to give their students passing grades so they could put the school year behind them. The real impact of the shutdown and these pressures probably will be more known and measured over the course of the next several years, as standardized test scores and overall performance begin to be measured, recorded, and felt.
But Let’s Be Honest
Spiraling standards are nothing new. Our standards for right and wrong and our definitions for words like success, quality, and performance have been in trouble for years. An all-out assault on education and any real, lasting standard for truth, goodness, and beauty in our nation’s schools has been happening for decades. With the onslaught of moral relativism and many dangerous and even toxic ideologies working hard to rewrite history and redefine our nation’s founding, foundation, and future, our classrooms are in a precarious situation.
Have a Bigger — and Better — Discussion
At Education America, we’re not talking about fighting against many of the efforts that are damaging our classrooms — and subsequently our country. Quite the contrary! We fight against bad ideas by fighting for good ones. We’re fighting for families who deserve access to the highest possible quality of education for their students. We’re fighting for better conversations about what the standards really should be when it comes to learning. We’re fighting for more honesty and integrity from our lawmakers, and for transparency about how federal and state money is being spent.
If we’re going to demand a better definition for success in our classrooms, we have to know what conversations are happening in this space. We have to follow the influencers. We have to know politics on state and federal levels and we have to follow the money that’s being allocated through various legislative efforts.
If you haven’t joined us yet, make this weekend your first time. We’re continuing our conversation about saving the classrooms of our country so that we can save the country itself. If you’ve been joining us, join us again. Our discussion about education, legislation, and bigger and better definitions of success is just getting started!