Teach For America South Carolina (TFASC) released a white paper, “The Future of Education: 2040 and Beyond,” that summarizes key ideas and actions from its inaugural DiscussED forum. Earlier this year, DiscussED convened diverse perspectives from more than 30 corporate, education, legislative, and nonprofit leaders.
“Our public education system, which has remained largely unchanged for 100 years, is not designed to enable all children to realize their potential and achieve their dreams,” said Troy D. Evans, executive director of TFASC. “Driven by our uncompromising belief in the potential of all children, and in commemoration of our 10-year anniversary, TFASC launched DiscussED, a conversation series to reimagine South Carolina’s education system.”
“DiscussED is a bold endeavor to push the boundaries in education for our children,” said Kimberly Sutton Mason, principal of Rosenwald Elementary and Middle School. “If our vision is that every child deserves a great education, then we must have these conversations. It is my hope that these conversations become strategic plans.”
At DiscussED 2022, participants explored the creation of a drastically different educational experience to prepare all students for success over the next two decades. The theme was pertinent as South Carolina is facing a teacher shortage crisis and ranked in the bottom 10 for Pre-K to 12 education among the states according to U.S. News & World Report.
The white paper includes a summary of the DiscussED opening keynote from AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith on the role communities and civic engagement will play in ensuring success for the next generation of thinkers and leaders.
Following the opening keynote summary, the white paper features the key ideas from DiscussED’s five discussion groups on how the education system could adapt to a rapidly changing world. Sponsored by Cantey Tech Consulting, Contec, and Volvo Cars, the interconnected discussion groups included:
- Leveraging Community Partnerships – How can community-based organizations and resources be leveraged to support all children in the future?
- Preparing for 2045 – By 2045, people of color will become the majority population in the United States. How can educators prepare students for the future when the demographic shifts will be amplified and require a more open-minded approach?
- Evolving Curriculum – How can schools and school districts shift curriculum to prepare students for the careers of tomorrow, including the careers that cannot be envisioned yet?
- Redesigning Instructional Time – In an age of digital enlightenment, how can schools and school districts redesign instructional time to better support students, families, and educators?
- Restructuring Economics – How can financial resources and allocations be restructured to address the funding disparities between schools and school districts?
In addition to the key ideas from the DiscussED participants, the white paper outlines an action roadmap for both TFASC and its supporters. To reach more students and communities, TFASC establishes four priorities to help solve South Carolina’s educational challenges in the future:
- Place exceptional, diverse, and equity-oriented teachers in schools with the greatest needs.
- Develop teachers to deliver high-quality instruction that allows for their students to excel.
- Catalyze alumni to become lifelong advocates for educational equity and systems change.
- Convene organizations to share insights about advancing educational equity and systems change.
Feedback on the key ideas and actions in the white paper is encouraged at SouthCarolina@teachforamerica.org. TFASC’s Second Annual DiscussED is planned for spring 2023 to continue the conversation and progress on educational equity and systems change in South Carolina.
To read the white paper and/or executive summary from DiscussED 2022, visit tfasc.org/discussed.
TFASC works in partnership with schools and school districts, policymakers, and supporters to realize the day when every child has the opportunity to attain an excellent education in South Carolina. Founded in 2011, TFASC recruits and develops outstanding teachers who make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Over the past decade, more than 900 TFASC teachers and alumni have impacted over 65,000 students with their energy and intentionality in the state’s most under-resourced schools and school districts. TFASC’s network is reimagining education to expand opportunity and access for all students. TFASC is one of more than 50 regions of Teach For America, which is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit tfasc.org, and follow TFASC on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.