Education Reform in Michigan: Should Education Solve Economic and Social Challenges?

Our first Generational Leaders Dine and Discuss program about the state of education in Michigan featured a remarkable and engaging group of panelists.

Bettie Buss, senior research associate at the Citizen Research Council of Michigan, provided us with an exceptional overview of current state education policy. Francesca Forzani, associate director of the Teacher Education Initiative at the University of Michigan gave us a very striking and meaningful approach for how we can best prepare educators and the public to think of teaching not as an art, but instead as a refined craft in a world that now demands evidence of best practices as well as accountability. Jennifer Marzullo, education policy analyst from Michigan Future, Inc. impressively helped us understand new curriculum approaches and outlined several education initiatives in Detroit her organization is currently supporting. In fact, all the panelists were so knowledgeable about their subject, it is no wonder that many of the GL members told us we should consider a second program with the same panel.

While the first GL program focused on education policy dilemmas, dilemmas of the ethical kind are never far from the surface when education is the topic. Not only in our state, but across the nation. Throughout our history, Americans have had a tendency to fervently believe that education can successfully address the most profound social questions that challenge us. Were our panelists to return for a second program, we might call on them to challenge that very assumption. For now, we leave it for you to consider: Is it ethical for us to expect our schools and education to resolve our most challenging social issues?