A Promise for Equitable Futures
A Promise for Equitable Futures: Enabling Systems Change to Scale Educational and Economic Mobility Pathways
Fewer than one in five American students follow a clear and uninterrupted path from high school through college to career. The promise of a public education is to prepare all learners to engage in, contribute to, and achieve purpose in the world, both as it is today and as it will be tomorrow. And yet, the American education system as we know it is insufficient to realize this commitment.
The idea of a compulsory high school education was developed in the early 20th century, when the Commission on the Reorganization of Secondary Education proclaimed the purpose of secondary education to be “health, citizenship and worthy home-membership and, only secondarily, command of fundamental processes.” Education leaders designed the American high school system to ensure that 20 percent of students would be prepared for college, 20 percent for skilled trades, and that 60 percent of young people would be prepared for “life adjustments” to become fully American.