School change: creating the creative class

by Steve Wyckoff on June 25, 2010

I just finished Richard Florida’s book Flight Of The Created Class. It’s a compelling book, along with his other book Rise Of The Creative Class, they are a must read for educators. Compelling evidence of the need for school change.

But I was disturbed …  okay I know, that’s nothing new …  that it entirely ignored the role of public education. It completely focused on the need to attract immigrants of all types, but especially immigrants in the creative class. It mentioned education in passing but it’s almost as if Dr. Florida has written off public education. In fact, rarely do I read a book today about society in the 21st century that there isn’t a discussion about overcoming the effects of education received in America.

From Dr. Florida’s viewpoint why would anyone assume that public education could produce students equipped for the creative class. Our entire focus is on raising standardized test scores, and our strategies almost completely ignore any practice that would foster and nurture creativity and innovation.

If public school educators don’t get their heads out we will become completely irrelevant in terms of preparing our students for their life in the 21st century.

And, in a state like Kansas, if we don’t figure out how to dramatically increase the percentage of our residents who are members of the creative class we, as a state, we will be relegated to second-class status. School change wouldn’t be just nice, it’s an imperative. –  Steve Wyckoff

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