I know that's not the widely held opinion. There's not a good history of education money being spent in the service of kids. One thing is, we don't know how to improve education on a large scale. I was just at a meeting where education was described as having "victory gardens rather than amber waves of grain."
So, are we going to be about developing more victory gardens? We know many people capable of creating a victory garden. But, can we build our victory gardens in such a way that they'll help us get those amber waves of grain?
BTW, Arne's billions won't get us there. There's no vision for that. I was pleased and disappointed to see that the 21st Century Skills project had included science finally. It's taken them 5 years at least to get science in there, but is their vision of science really 21st Century? (pop quiz time -- what's the logic behind the traditional Bio/Chem/Physics sequence in high school science -- answer later).
Back to the main themes -- appropriate use of technology in the learning process and looking at topics like computational thinking as a real and recognized 21st Century skill. Maybe we need some victory gardens for those two (potentially large) topics. But we should only build victory gardens if they can be copied, enlarged, or put together to start building those really big fields of change.
Back to the billions... looks like all that money will be filtered through the SEAs -- and don't they have a wonderful record of creating innovation in their states? Which state do you think of when I say "innovation in education"? What's the innovation? Is it defined locally or nationally?
I want to encourage you to think about how anything you do can fit into a larger effort to not just revitalize what goes on in today's classrooms, but to change the education so we don't have to immediately think about classrooms as the only place where education takes place.
Oh, Bio/Chem/Physics -- alphabetical order. Honest, that's the rationale. Educational justifications were made later.