Our theory of change and renewal in education can be expressed with the words ”Renew From Within, Not Reform From Without.”

National education policy reform efforts since the 1980s have incorporated a top-down, outside-in approach led by various associations of politicians, corporate CEOs, and major foundations together with state and federal agencies. For the most part, these combines consist of people who have little or no direct teaching experience. This makes as much sense as teachers, ballerinas, and clergy with virtually no business experience were to determine national economic policy, set business output quotas, and determine the evaluation criteria for becoming a CEO.

Meaningful change and renewal in education needs to start with educators with input first of all from parents and older students, and then from members of the other sectors of society, including civic, business, and cultural. The ultimate decisions for education policy should be determined by teachers and other individuals with direct experience in education. This, of course, assumes that all rights are abided by in the process.

This is common sense.

As a step toward a common sense approach to education renewal, the Avalon Initiative intends to create facilitated forums for educators, parents, and students to become informed about the topic under consideration, share perspectives, deliberate, make proposals, and then communicate their ideas to the media and the public. See more at Mission.