B2W Radio: Facilitating Community Collaboration for Effective Gains in Education

At what point did “fixing education” become the singular curative for fixing society’s larger woes? When did “fixing education” become the only prism through which we engage with helping young people become successful adults? Leaders in the trenches, such as our guest, Dr. Sonya Whitaker, know that schools can not succeed in isolation. They never have. Marked gains are a result of widespread community support expressed in values, language, and actions that nurture young people and their families in all the out-of-school hours: afternoons, weekends, holidays, and summer vacations. Kids do not grow up in a school classroom. They spend less than 15% of their time there. They grow up in communities. It isn’t the formal education that has failed society in producing less capable, less educated students. Society has failed the education system. Calls for more money, making schools “perform higher,” and getting “better teachers” in the classroom are all critically important aspects of the education conversation, yet really just the tip of the iceberg.

Our current workforce and skills crisis has not improved, measurably, for more than 30 years, meaning that as a society we’re not focusing on the right issues related to declining academic performance of our children.

Dr. Sonya Whitaker