Giving Compass' Take:

• CRPE released its 25th-anniversary essay collection, Thinking Forward: New Ideas for a New Era, that details how to change our approach to education systems and upends traditional learning pathways. 

• One shift in the collection is putting an end to high school. The author contends that four years of high school followed by four years of college is not always conducive to a successful life. How would educators put this idea into practice? 

• Read about why education must change as the economy does. 


In 2018 CRPE celebrated an important milestone, marking 25 years of ideas, evidence, and impact.

We laid out some pretty provocative ideas in our recent 25th-anniversary essay collection, Thinking Forward: New Ideas for a New Era.  Our essays call for a shift in mindset from a portfolio of schools to a portfolio of learning opportunities. This has big implications. If we are serious about serving not just all students, but every student, we have to consider how to create customized pathways that are not beholden to past assumptions about where and how education is delivered. In case you haven’t had a chance to read them yet, here’s our list of the most important ideas in our new collection:

  • Design for tails, not the mean. Students with complex learning needs are some of our most vulnerable, but also often America’s hidden talent
  • Tie accountability to what students and their families know matters.
  • End high school as we know it. We question whether four years of high school followed by four years of college makes sense as the primary path to a better life.
  • Rethink postsecondary education, too.
  • Wrap social services around students, not schools.
  • Make public education funding more flexible, and allow it to follow students longer.
  • Innovate to ensure that all students benefit from the type of customization that only the most advantaged currently enjoy. 
  • Oversee portfolios of diverse learning opportunities, not just schools.
  • Allow students and families to craft their own solutions.
  • Be willing to disrupt existing institutions and power structures.

Thinking Forward imagines a future where school systems push those principles to a new level, creating more of the conditions for cities to realize students’ untapped potential and prepare them to solve the challenges of the future.

Read the full article about thinking forward by Robin Lake at Getting Smart