One cannot think about the state of education, or the University of Redlands School of Education without contemplating the impact of our recent elections. Locally, the passage of propositions that will support school funding and bilingual education will, in my view, have meaningful positive impacts on education in California. National election results present a less clear picture of impact, but are likely to advance school choice as a policy direction. Certainly it is safe to say that people on all sides have profoundly felt the impact of national election results. Our own students represent the diversity of America, some excited while others are deeply concerned about what the election will mean for them.
I am reminded, as I think of the election, of the importance of democratic ideals, and the imperfection of any system. I cherish that we live in a democracy, where “we the people” decide on the nature of our government and by extension the type of society we live in. I am also reminded of the special role of education in shaping citizens to be informed, conscious, and collective participants in ensuring the vitality of society.
Each day, as we go about our work in education, let’s remember that special responsibility to not simply prepare people for the world of work, but also to ensure our common interests through preparing citizens. We all work in systems that are imperfect, but made better by education. Education has the potential to set us free, to see new hope and possibility. It helps us solve the grandest of problems; be they in how we relate to each other, or how we sustain ourselves on this planet together.
Happy end of the semester to our students, and happy holidays to all!
Dr. Andrew F. Wall