What is our exceptional journey?

I enjoyed Thomas Friedman’s September 1 op-ed in the New York Times: It’s Still Halftime in America. Not because the subject was politics, but because I see how the ideas apply to education, particularly our educational leaders.

From the Op-Ed:

Armstrong’s passing really touched me, especially coinciding as it did with this election. Why? Because the America that launched Armstrong was an America that was embarked on a great and inspiring journey — one that spawned breakthroughs in science, medicine, computing and physics that made our country, and the world, a better place. What journey are we on today? Balancing the budget? Expanding health insurance? These are vital tools, but healthy to go where and balanced to do what?


…when President Kennedy launched America in 1962 “on a journey to the Moon, he made a point of saying it would be done within the decade,” and “it was such a powerful, inspiring and big vision that it lived on, even though the president himself died before it was completed.” It’s been a long time since any U.S. politician “launched the country on a journey of progress so inspiring that realizing it would have to extend beyond his term in office.”

If you’re a school or district leader, what’s your “powerful, inspiring and big vision”? Or are you more focused on playing the test score game and “balancing the budget”? (And for what?) Yes…our field does have some amazing school and district leaders who are doing great things. You can find them on the web and social media regularly sharing their work and ideas. Unfortunately, they are the exception rather than the norm. We need more visionary, inspirational leaders in education with a “powerful, inspiring and big vision” and the leadership to influence others to make it happen.

What’s your “powerful, inspiring and big vision” and what are you doing to bring it to life?


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