Inequality is at the heart of the problem of the nation’s public education system, according to New York University professor Pedro Noguera.
And the best way to fix it is to focus on creating new schools that embrace both the social and the academic needs of kids.
Noguera spoke at the City Club of Cleveland last week as part of the group’s regular civic discussion forum. He told the audience that the nation’s system of public schools is the only institution set up to serve all children regardless of their social status.
“Our history of education is tied to the history of American democracy,” he said.
And while Noguera said he believes this structure of the public education system should be preserved, he thinks policy makers are taking the wrong approach in trying to make it better.
Noguera offered the following suggestions for improving public education:
- Use tests as tools to diagnose kids’ skills gaps, not to rank schools
- Focus on getting kids excited about learning so that they’re motivated to come to school
- Bring back art and music programs that have been scaled back
- Create apprenticeships that show kids the connection between learning and jobs
You can listen to Noguera’s full speech here: