Joe Biden has plans to reform the American educational system. There is a lot to do. While educational attainment in the United States has been steadily increasing, the levels are still well below what a functional democracy would require, with the average American reading around the level of an Eighth Grader and unable to understand their own constitution, laws or political system.
How do we make real change? There are three fundamental problems with the way we have been approaching education.
- Given that our early childhoods determine much of the personal development that then determines educational outcomes, true education policy starts with family planning reforms meant to assure parental readiness – including incentivized delay, and in some cases, geographic relocation. Focusing on schools comes way too late in the process – and ignores decades of science. Kids are educated early on at home. That phase really matters.
- We are engaged in family planning reform now because existing systems are failing. So why are we using family planning policies that push more and more kids through these horrible systems? That’s a huge mistake. We should align family planning to maximize the impact of the systems that work.
- Education policy often fails because there is a fundamental but unacknowledged disagreement about its fundamental role. Many think education is meant to increase economic growth – that babies are destined to be economic inputs. That is wrong. Economies are preceded and justified by functional human rights-based democracies that regulate them. The educational system required for democracies is virtually the opposite as that used for economic growth. Democracies require developing people for town halls, not shopping malls. That means fewer people, highly developed in ways that that make them capable of cooperative self-rule as free and equal people.
We can fix these problems.
Take action: Urge Biden’s new Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona @teachcardona to 1) explicitly recognize these problems, and 2) adopt Fair Start family planning as the fundamental human right and guidestar model through which education reform must be engaged.