Lincoln Shares Insights about “Quality vs. Mediocrity” in Education
One area where the two panelists represented arguably “middle-of-the-road” philosophies for their respective parties and agreed that the discussion around Pre-K-12 schools and the education of our children should not be about the type of school (i.e. charter vs public vs private) – rather it should be around quality of education. They were also careful to say that it certainly was not about pitting politicians against educators and the focus should be “fighting for the children” for a better future. It was clear that high quality education, especially Pre-K-12 education, is a priority for Republicans and Democrats for long-term economic growth in our country.
There was also strong agreement on need for equity of distribution of resources to help provide equal opportunity to all students, especially students from lower income households, and not let zip codes dictate quality. Each of the panelists proudly referenced examples of their commitment to education in predominantly minority communities – for example, graduation rate and test score improvements in such schools in their respective jurisdictions during their public office tenures (i.e. underinvested communities in Chicago for Mayor Emanuel and Camden and Newark for Governor Christie). Many of the investments were in afterschool programs which supplemented already extended regular day school hours –supporting programming during school hours is not sufficient for meaningful improvement in quality.
While not discussed directly, COVID-19 has put the spotlight on lack of equity in resources which is likely to result in material grade-level setbacks to many students, especially in lower income neighborhood schools. For the next school year, additional resources may be directed to investments in technology and tech-enabled learning solutions to provide “capacity” to educators to help deliver higher quality education no matter the administration, especially since ~90% of school funding is from state and local sources. Further, supplemental education solutions, whether in school or after school, are likely to see enhanced demand to “bridge the gap” to quality. There also continues to be agreement on both sides of the aisle on importance of high-quality care and education for children under 5 years of age – whether to allow workforce return or for a head start to Kindergarten and beyond. These are all expected to bode well for outcomes and impact driven commercial providers of technology and services in Pre-K-12.
Lincoln International hosted a Zoom client event, Perspective on Decision 2020: The Issues & Implications for the Country, the Economy and You, featuring Governor Chris Christie & Mayor Rahm Emanuel
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