Giving Compass' Take:

• Amelia Harper argues that educators can learn valuable lessons about the purpose and ultimate impact of education on society as a whole from the experiences of veteran African American teachers.

• Increasing opportunities for civic engagement can also help improve the skills students need to participate fully in the world. How can donors best support this?

Here's an article on putting teacher diversity at the forefront. 

“The demands put on schools are not restricted to preparing students for the increasing demands of the labor market. A child needs to grow to be an informed member of the society in which they live and to have the knowledge and capabilities to participate,” Claudia Costin wrote in an essay for The Brookings Institution. As educators work with students to help them find their own paths to the future, they also need to keep in mind that education has a larger purpose, as well.

When students are educated to take their place as valuable contributors to society, they improve the world around them. Improving the quality of education has the capacity to improve the economy of the community or the nation as a whole. And the more leaders recognize education's importance to the economy, the more they're willing to invest.

However, the benefits go beyond strictly economics. In a democratic society, civic participation is vital to the preservation of a functioning government. Education can create better citizens who are more capable of productive participation in the demands of democracy and of working to improve the world around them. In an increasingly global society, education also prepares students to engage with people whose cultures, backgrounds and ideas differ from their own.

Read the full article about individual achievement in education by Amelia Harper at Education Dive.