This is the online stream for sharing conversations that happened throughout the Greater Bay Area from March through June 2012 around the question:

How can we collectively transform public education through the arts to create a better future for everyone?

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Three things that need to change or #3things

Thoughts following the May 19th Arts Learning Leadership Retreat: Envision Our Future at Jefferson Elementary School, San Leandro

When thinking of an elegant and effective prompt that would allow teachers, students, parents and other community members to weigh in with their own personal and powerful viewpoints we thought that perhaps the power of 3 could play a role. I have been thinking about what my three things would be just to test this idea. My results here are admittedly big broad topics with multiple sub headings. Perhaps a flaw resulting from the limitations inherent in 3 when faced by such a large social issue.

If I could pick just three things the children really need us to fix they would be

#3things ONE: guaranteed reduction in class size start at 25 (okay, 27…) and note the shift in balance between time spent learning and time spent managing the individual personalities and crowd dynamics. Tag line: Anything over 25 is a crowd.

#3things TWO: consistent uninterrupted funding stream for public education Funding includes sports, library staff, nurses, social workers, music, visual and performing arts, teaching gardens, nutritious food readily available and quality before and after school programing. Admittedly, costing well above the current baseline amount. Tag line: Caring for our children is an essential, noble fiscal imperative NOT an expense in the margins that is renegotiated every 12 months.

#3things THREE: alternative assessment to testing – Reframe this tiresome chicken and egg conversation. Instead of testing to confirm what students do not know FIRST guarantee that you are providing a quality environment using the best tools available for students to learn. Then, carefully select assessment tools that are greater than the sum of bubbled answers. Tag line: Creative thinkers are greater than the sum of bubbles

Imagined results:

Teachers and students would feel mutually respected.

Students needs would be more easily identified and responded to in appropriate ways.

There would be more teaching and learning and less social management.

Stronger, happier communities and a smarter, more creative workforce.

Reduction in prison population.

Why the hash tag? #3things This is how twitter  becomes a simple useful tool. Anyone on twitter can post a short comment of 1-3 things that need to be changed in public education including the hash tag #3things in their post. In the sorting and searching that is a twitter feed an archive of posts with this marker will build momentum as multiple tweets are posted.

These 3 things must change. What are your 3 things? Answer then Ask a friend what their ideas are.