In some ways, education hasn’t changed much at all over the years. An excellent teacher can still make all the difference. The involvement of parents or other family members in students’ schools and in their school work elevates the whole process, gives it the gravitas that it deserves. It is still the job of school districts and school administrators to enforce the rules, to ensure equitable treatment of students and staff, to support teaching and learning and to carry the flag of education in the community. Public schools are still an indispensable thread in the fabric of community life.
In most ways, however, education has changed as much as the students we educate today, in the 21st century. It is the difference between their future and the future their grandparents faced. One was pretty predicable — the future that is now the past. The other — the future our students anticipate — must look to them like a huge question mark, given the current pace of change. That lack of certainty about what lies ahead, particularly in the areas of employment, and technological advances that have irrevocably altered how students acquire information have stood the classroom of even twenty years ago on its head.
Today’s learners already have the facts; the facts are on the Internet. What they need to be taught are critical thinking skills — how to synthesize information, analyze and interpret it, how to communicate what they know, how to apply knowledge. They need to learn that failure isn’t the end of the world and that “try, try again” is more than an adage. As a group, they want to connect their lessons to real life and they like to learn by doing, by creating.
As students have changed and their needs have shifted, LCPS has changed course, too. We understand the times we live in. That’s why LCPS is a regional leader in digital learning, why one-size-fits-all instruction is a thing of the past here, why data drives our thinking not only about what students have done but what they are capable of doing. We are committed to the success of all our students and to the success of all our teachers, and we are committed to providing them with the tools they need to achieve that success.