We Stand United

A Voice for Choice

A Voice for Choice is a California-based movement that stands united for parent and student choice in public education. We stand united with parents and students for high quality, accountable choices in public education, particularly for the Personalized Learning public charter school option for students for whom a rigid, classroom-only model is not a match for success.

  • We honor every individual student to help guide them to reach their own individual greatest potential in life.
  • We believe that public school choices for parents and students, both district-run and independent public charter, help raise the overall quality of public education.
  • We believe in and support quality public charter schools as an essential and valuable means to expand parent and student choices and drive higher education quality.
  • We believe that equal access and equal opportunity for all students in all communities and from all walks of life can best be achieved through both district-run and independent public charter school choices for parents and students.
  • We support and guide students to achieve academic excellence and to prepare themselves for successful college and career pathways.
  • We are the pioneers and leading voice for a high quality, student-centered, Personalized Learning education model for the growing number of students for whom a rigid, classroom-only system is not a match for success.

We invite those in the status quo district-run education establishment who are intent on undermining parent and student  public school choices to stop trying to kill and demonize public charter schools, and instead, to have the courage and will to dedicate their resources to change their rigid, obsolete, system-centered, factory assembly line education model to truly put students first and to adapt their schools to meet the diverse needs of 21st century students so that ALL students can succeed.

Student Focus Video

 

Mira Larsen

We are so proud of our Springs Alumna Mira Larsen and her amazing accomplishments! Springs’ purpose is to help students reach their potential and follow their dreams.

Personalized Learning honors every student

Our Personalized Learning Movement

The California Personalized Learning movement was founded by a small group of visionary pioneers within the California charter school movement who, together, believed in putting students first and in advancing a flexible and adaptable education model that could be tailored to the needs of each and every student. The Personalized Learning movement was established in late 2001 when these pioneering charter school leaders convened to create an education model identity that accurately embodied the innovative, student-centered, flexible and adaptable education delivery methodologies that were independently being created and implemented in public charter schools throughout California.

The group unanimously chose the identity, “Personalized Learning” as the term that most accurately reflected the mission, vision, and key attributes and components of this innovative, 21st century model embodying the following 13 key principles.

Guiding Principles of Personalized Learning

Children Are More Important Than Any Education System

People are more important than things. All children’s lives matter. Each and every child should be respected and honored for the unique individual and spark of life they embody. Every child has within them a unique potential to contribute in this world and make a positive difference in his or her own special way. Too much of the status quo education system forces students to conform to its rigid and inflexible one-size-fits-all structure. Conformity to a rigid system deprives children of their creative and imaginative expression, and discourages them from pursuing their own individual dreams and unique greatest potential. While many students can overcome this rigidity and still succeed, an inflexible system outright fails or underprepares way too many students to be ready for 21st century college and career pathways. Learning in the 21st century must be personalized! It’s what education should be for the 21st century!

All Children Can Learn

All children are capable of learning successfully. They simply need the right opportunity that is matched to their unique needs, interests, and aspirations. That some teaching and administrative professionals would suggest otherwise is tragic. Over the years teachers and administrators throughout our Personalized Learning movement have heard numerous horror stories from students themselves, primarily high school aged, who have been told repeatedly by their previous district-run classroom only teachers that they are incapable of learning, are failures, and will never amount to anything. What these previous teachers are really saying is “you aren’t cutting it in our rigid, one size fits all system and we aren’t about to change our system just to accommodate you.” The true failure is the rigid system’s inability and unwillingness to adapt to the needs of its students. . Learning in the 21st century must be personalized! It’s what education should be for the 21st century!

Children Must Never Be “Labeled” Or “Stigmatized”

The systematic demand for rigid conformity to a largely one size fits all education model has significant, detrimental and sometimes irreparable consequences. Egregious among those consequences is the labeling and stigmatizing of children who do not “fit the mold” of the one size fits all system. Those who fit into and conform to the system are deemed “normal”, while those who do not are deemed “abnormal” in a variety of blatant and/or subtle ways. Children, for example, who cannot by nature sit still in a classroom and pay attention for seven hours a day are deemed “hyperactive”, diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, and tragically prescribed drugs to “sedate” them in the classroom. Other children are tragically told by their teachers that they are “stupid”, “slow”, “failures”, “troublemakers” if they cannot keep up with the classroom pace and, as a result, act out in some way that, in their minds, is simply a desperate call for help. Additionally, if a child is not able to conform to the “normal” system, they are then placed in one of many alternative “abnormal” programs, where they are forever stigmatized as weird and different by both adult and peer social groups, thus destroying their self-esteem, confidence, love of learning, and drive to excel and succeed. The list and examples go on. There is a better way. Every child should be honored, respected, supported, and guided for who they are and what they need in order to succeed. Learning in the 21st century must be personalized! It’s what education should be for the 21st century!

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More Guiding Principles

Education Is a Very Personal And Unique Journey For Every Student

Every child’s learning process and progress is unique to each learner. Every child’s learning is personal!

Each child is unique and each child’s needs, challenges, gifts, talents, and circumstances are unique. Learning is a process of self-discovery. As early as 334 BC, Aristotle said that “each child possessed specific talents and skills” and he noticed individual differences in young children. Every child must be honored and supported to find his or her unique pathway of learning self-discovery. Just as every child is unique, there are infinite pathways to reach the mountain peak of career, college, and adult readiness. The idea that every student, particularly in the 21st century, can or must be taught in the same manner, at the same time, at the same pace, in the same place, with identical curriculum, and with the same teacher is as obsolete as the horse and buggy mode of transportation that was prevalent during time in which the one-size-fits-all, late 19th-early 20th century factory, assembly line model was based. Honor every child for the special and unique spark of creative potential he or she embodies. Learning in the 21st century must be personalized! It’s what education should be for the 21st century!

21st Century Quality Education Must Be Student-Centered, Flexible, and Adaptable

The growing diversity of our student population and rapidly changing scope of our 21st century society demands fluidity, flexibility, and adaptability in order to meet ALL students’ needs successfully. Unlike the 19th and much of the 20th century, where the immigrant populations were largely originating from European countries and nearby Latin America, the latter 20th century and early 21st century have seen an influx of new citizens from a wider variety of our global communities, including greater representation from Latin America, Asia, and Middle Eastern areas. Not only is English not the primary language of any of these areas, the diversity of primary languages spoken and cultures followed by new immigrants may be far greater now than at any time in our nation’s history. Couple these challenges with the rapidly changing scope of our 21st century society: new technology devices evolving in nanoseconds; changes in the ways in which we relate, communicate, and learn; real-time access to globally-based information; and more.

Add to these challenges what we now know about how people learn in different ways, through various learning styles and multiple intelligences. Then add to the multidimensional learning matrix the five variables of learning: how each child learns, what each child learns, when each child learns, where each child learns, and with whom each child learns. Then juxtapose the wide array of socio-economic circumstances, parental involvement, behavioral, psychological, and environmental challenges among other influences that can significantly affect a child’s learning progress and pathway to success. So knowing these complexities and influences that may be unique and different for each and every child, why do we continue to allow a one-size-fits-all delivery model to dominate our public education system in the 21st century? An education delivery model that is founded in flexibility and adaptability to the needs of individual students is essential. There is a better way with a proven track record of success. Learning in the 21st century must be personalized! It’s what education should be for the 21st century!

21st Century Quality Education Must Be Service-Oriented And Customer Driven

The 21st century is the century of the individual. So many successful service-driven companies and industries have already adapted personalization as key among their driving strategies for success. Products and services across dozens of industries are being personalized to the needs, interests, and preferences of their customers. Personalization is the wave of the 21st century. No industry or endeavor is more personal in life that one’s individual education. Every child’s learning is personal! Who is the customer of education teaching services? Students (and by extension their parents)! We have seen all too often a tragic track record that grouping large numbers of students together and teaching all of them in the same environment, at the same pace, with the same curriculum, and with the same teacher guarantees significant customer failure. No longer can our society afford to model our education system after a mindset that was prevalent during the industrial age. The consequences of significant percentages of students every year being failed and underprepared for colleges and careers have been too dire and costly to society. Rapid change and greater diversity in the 21st century demands system fluidity and adaptability. Education must be service-oriented to address and meet the ever-changing needs of our students and 21st century society. Let us honor, respect, embrace and support the unique gifts, talents, challenges, interests, goals and aspirations of all students individually. Students are the real customers of education. Learning in the 21st century must be personalized! It’s what education should be for the 21st century!

Successful Education Is Founded Upon Meaningful Relationships

Remember when you went to school? Who do you remember most strongly? Isn’t it the teachers (and perhaps some administrators as well) with whom you had the most meaningful relationships?  The customers of education are the children (and their parents by extension), not unions, not administrators, not the government, not textbook companies, nor any other special interest groups. The most important relationship in education, outside of the child’s immediate family, is the relationship between the teacher and the student. That critical relationship has gotten lost in the frenzied, overcrowded classrooms of today’s public education environment. Many public education teachers barely know the names of their students, let alone their interests, needs, challenges, talents, skills, dreams, goals, and aspirations. Most teachers are given the virtually impossible task of having to teach a one-size-fits-all curriculum to 30 or more students at a time, knowing that it does not serve the needs of up to half of the students in the class. They are compelled to “teach to the middle of the bell curve” as they say, which leaves those above and below the middle bored, disenfranchised, disengaged, left behind, frustrated, and forgotten. Not only are students motivated by quality relationships with their teachers, many teachers are both professionally motivated and fulfilled by making a positive difference in the lives of their students, and by the quality of the relationships they develop with both students and their parents. There is a better way. Learning in the 21st century must be personalized! It’s what education should be for the 21st century!

Professional Teachers Deserve Better Respect and Greater Fulfillment

Professional teachers deserve much better than to be treated as just content deliverers; deserve much better than to be relegated to just classroom behavior managers. Professional teachers must be honored and respected for the critically important role they play in our children’s lives and in our society. Throughout history, teachers have served to help guide children to become successful and well prepared adults. Teachers are mentors. Teachers are guides. Teachers must be supported and empowered to work with students individually and to make decisions about what each individual student needs in order to succeed. Too often, in many district run public schools, teachers’ skills, talents, and gifts to guide individual students are underutilized and underappreciated in favor of administrative dictates and control. Centralized control never favors the individual. Yet successful education demands sufficient and effective attention to individuals, both to individual teachers and students. The overwhelming majority of teachers in a Personalized Learning environment, where individual teachers are empowered to guide individual students to success, and where quality relationships between teachers, parents, and students are nurtured and supported, rate Personalized Learning extremely high in job satisfaction and fulfillment. Teacher fulfillment is largely driven by the quality of the relationships they develop with their students and parents, and by the satisfaction they garner by guiding individual students to success. Professional teachers deserve better. Learning in the 21st century must be personalized! It’s what education should be for the 21st century!

Student Engagement and Relevance Drives Education Success

How many times have you heard students say, “Why do I have to learn this stuff? This has nothing to do with my life.” Students are mirroring back to the education system their truth that the system has failed in demonstrating how required subjects have relevance and importance in students’ lives. This is a relationship failure of the rigid, one-size-fits-all system with its student customers. How many public schools ban the use of cell phones or other types of mobile devices and technology in the classroom? Yet, isn’t it true that the vast majority of 21st century students rely almost exclusively on mobile devices as their primary source of communication and information? Clearly, there is a serious disconnect between the education system and its customers.

According to a recent Walton Family Foundation website posting (October 2016), about two-thirds of parents (67%) say there is too much emphasis on testing in U.S. schools, a 2015 PDK survey found. On that survey, most said when assessing the effectiveness of the public schools in their community, they cared more about children’s engagement with classwork and the percentage of students who feel hopeful about their future than about metrics such as the percentage of students going on to college or the percentage of students who are able to get jobs immediately after graduating. Students are motivated to learn when they are engaged in the learning process and in the subjects being taught. Consider how a teenager is or isn’t engaged while in the car with his or her parents. If the child is in the back seat of the car, most likely he or she is completely disengaged from the journey from point A to point B, and not paying any attention to where the driver is going and how the driver gets there. On the other hand, if the teenager is placed in the driver’s seat, he or she must unplug from their mobile device and pay attention to driving. The child is engaged because he or she is responsible for getting from point A to point B. Similarly with the child’s education journey. When the child’s education is personalized, the child plays an active part in “driving” his or her education journey, and is therefore more engaged in the process. It is the responsibility of each child’s essential guides—parents, teachers, and schools, by knowing each child well, to help each child discover ways in which to make learning relevant to each student’s life. Learning in the 21st century must be personalized! It’s what education should be for the 21st century!

Parent Involvement Correlates to Education Success

Parents are the first, primary, and foremost teachers and guides in their children’s lives. They know and understand their children better than anyone. Study and after study confirms the critical value and importance of parent involvement in their children’s education success. According to www.responsiveclassroom.org, here are the summary results of just a few of these studies:

  • Parent involvement in education is crucial. No matter their income or background, students with involved parents are more likely to have higher grades and test scores, attend school regularly, have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school. National Coalition for Parent Involvement in education. 2006. Research Review and Resources. Retrieved September 16, 2011, from www.ncpie.org/WhatsHappening/researchJanuary2006.cfm.
  • Regardless of family income or background, students whose parents are involved in their schooling are more likely to have higher grades and test scores, attend school regularly, have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school. Henderson, A.T., and K.L. Mapp. 2002. A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement. National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools, Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.
  • The most accurate predictors of student achievement in school are not family income or social status, but the extent to which the family creates a home environment that encourages learning, communicates high yet reasonable expectations for the child’s achievement, and becomes involved in the child’s education at school. National PTA. 2000. Building Successful Partnerships: A Guide for Developing Parent and Family Involvement Programs. Bloomington, Indiana: National Education Service, 11–12.
  • When parents are involved at school, the performance of all the children at school, not just their own, tends to improve. The more comprehensive and well planned the partnership between school and home, the higher the student achievement. Henderson, A.T., and Nancy Berla. 1995. A New Generation of Evidence: The Family Is Critical to Student Achievement. Washington, DC: Center for Law and Education, 14–16.

The National Education Association (NEA), at http://www.nea.org/tools/17360.htm, also summarizes the research findings on parent involvement of a report from the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory called “A New Wave of Evidence” as follows:

“When schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more.” That’s the conclusion of A New Wave of Evidence, a report from Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (2002).

The report, a synthesis of research on parent involvement over the past decade, also found that, regardless of family income or background, students with involved parents are more likely to:

  • Earn higher grades and test scores, and enroll in higher-level programs
  • Be promoted, pass their classes, and earn credits
  • Attend school regularly
  • Have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school
  • Graduate and go on to post secondary education

Although the evidence is indisputably and overwhelmingly supportive of the critical value of parent involvement in their children’s education, there tend to be systematic limits in many district run public schools as to how much influence parents can have on specific choices in the five variables of learning for their children (how, what, when, where, and with whom). While most district run public schools have parent groups and committees to provide general input and suggestions on how to improve their schools, oft-times parents are excluded from directly participating in direct decision-making regarding their children’s individual educational process and journey. Too often, the how, what, when, and where variables are firmly and rigidly established either by school administrators or classroom teachers, and parents are left with negotiating for another teacher (the “with whom”) if their child’s current teacher is not a positive and supportive match to help their child succeed. Personalized Learning supports parents to be vested co-directors and co-collaborators in their children’s learning process in all five of the key learning variables so that parents can provide valuable input, have a decision-making stake, and even choose direct oversight responsibilities in their child’s entire learning process.  Thus, the value of the parents’ knowledge and insights about their children’s educational needs and interests is maximized. Learning in the 21st century must be personalized! It’s what education should be for the 21st century!

Community Involvement and Partnerships Enhance Education Success

The traditional African proverb, “It takes a village (community) to raise a child” is often quoted when examining the many partnerships required during the maturation of our children. Learning is a lifetime experience and, during each child’s journey of discovery, cannot nor should not be confined to the four walls of a brick and mortar classroom. The world is our classroom. No school should be an island unto itself. Nor should schools ignore the wealth of educational resources, opportunities, and expertise available within every local community. District run public schools too often believe that they must control and oversee every aspect of the education options they offer and therefore must develop internally every class and program offered, regardless of the scope or type of program. This has proven all too often to be costly, wasteful, limiting, and unnecessary. It is commonplace for prudent businesses to partner with expertise outside of its organization to outsource services and skills that would be too costly to otherwise administer internally. This helps the business use its resources wisely and maximize its opportunities. Similarly, public education institutions, in order to provide students with the best and most diverse opportunities and choices in order to best meet their needs and interests, must explore partnerships with community organizations offering programs and services that can be “outsourced” to provide options and services to students in a more cost effective manner. Not only does this allow public schools to better “stretch their dollars” to operate more efficiently and prudently financially, it also fosters greater flexibility and provides more choices and options for students to access and explore. In a true Personalized Learning model, providing a wide array of choices and options for students that may be best matched to their needs and interests is essential to guide students to their own unique potential.

High Standards Are Key To Education Success

Children are said to naturally rise or fall to the level of standards of discovery and achievement set by their adult mentors and guides. That the bar of education standards expected of our students has apparently fallen over several generations is tragically a reflection of a rigid and inflexible education system that has largely lost touch with what is relevant and important to students in a rapidly changing global environment. The system has failed to adapt in step and in a timely manner with rapidly changing global conditions and student demographics driving 21st century society and enterprise. The United States public education system as a whole has declined dramatically on the global stage relative to education systems of other similarly developed societies. Rapidly changing technology, global demands and needs, globalization, globally-based competition, instantaneous access to information via internet through computers and mobile devices must be integrated into each child’s learning exposure, discovery, experience and achievement, not isolated from it. This tragic education system decline is not a reflection of the students participating in it. Students will rise to higher standards when the system itself is more flexible and adaptable both to the needs, interests, and goals of students and to the rapidly changing world in which we live. The inherent flexibility and adaptability of the Personalized Learning model is best positioned to meet these needs and demands, and to provide all individual students with exposure and access to 21st century opportunities moving forward.

Every Child’s Potential Education Success Includes A Multitude Of Dimensions

Every child should be honored, supported and guided to adult readiness on that special path that is unique to that individual child. Every child is a unique spark of human expression, potential and aspiration. Every child’s path to self-discovery, self-awareness, and journey towards acquisition and demonstration of knowledge and experience is also unique. However, both acquisition knowledge and experience are keys to be effectively prepared for post-secondary 21st century challenges and paths. The tragic consequences of a predominantly rigid and limited one-size-fits-all classroom only education delivery system is that it attempts to measure and compare the quality of education success, predominantly through the demonstration of adequate acquisition of knowledge, at hierarchical levels beyond individual students, that is, of states, counties, districts, schools, teachers, and groups of students in classrooms. The demonstration of “group level” proficiency by which the system itself is organized through these hierarchical levels of oversight is largely what is judged as “education success”. However, the tragic consequence of this obsessive focus on the system itself rather than the individuals who make up the system, is that we, as a society that is critically dependent upon inclusive productivity for our healthy survival and sustainability, lose way too many individuals to failure in deference to the system. The focus on measuring achievement outcomes of the system itself then severely limits the range of measurable outcomes that encompass what may deemed as education success for each individual child. In recent history, this range of measurable outcomes has been diminished and restricted to the acquisition of a rigidly defined and prescribed set of knowledge known as state standards. In this limited system, demonstrate proficiency or above within these prescribed sets of state standards and the student is deemed “college and career ready”, given a high school diploma, and ushered off to whatever post-secondary path he or she has chosen. Yet, is a child truly ready for the ever-changing rigors, challenges, and demands of young adult life in the 21st century with the mere acquisition of and demonstration of proficiency of state standards? Likely not.

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school”
— Albert Einstein

We as an education system can do much better in truly preparing students for a more balanced and well-rounded post-secondary life. Balanced child development must be more “holistic” in nature, integrating both left side and right side brain activities, and acquiring and developing knowledge, skills, and talents that are both acquired from others outside of the students and discovered from within each child’s inherent nature. This more balanced approach is critical to guiding a child to college and career readiness in the 21st century, which in a Personalized Learning model in which every child has a personalized plan that is tailored to his or her needs and interests, may be more readily attained.

Dimension 1: Balanced Acquisition of Knowledge

Knowledge acquisition of state standards is the first of many layers of a more broad-based, balanced, and holistic child development process that are critical to preparing any individual for 21st century life and global demands. For example, not only is knowledge in the basics of reading, writing, math, sciences, etc. important, but what about the knowledge of one’s self? How much time is any child encouraged and supported to dedicate to knowing who he or she is from within? What are the child’s interests, talents, passions, beliefs, goals, and aspirations in life? This pursuit of self-awareness and self-understanding can help a child further explore and develop his or her talents and interests and choose the best course in life that can lead to the child reaching his or her greatest potential.  I previously worked with an organization that specialized in providing high school students with access to introductory overview courses in more than 30 industries. Most students with whom they worked knew very little if anything at all about opportunities in any of these industries, and these students were upper level high school students! This organization would begin guiding each student with a simple survey, asking each student what type of job in which they are interested and what types of skills or talents they possess that they would like to further in their professional pursuits. The most common response to both questions was “I don’t know”. Most students had never even thought about these things, let alone received encouragement or guidance by their adult mentors to explore and discover these opportunities. Students who are on the threshold of adulthood and post-secondary life choices and not knowing who they are and what they are interested in is nothing short of tragic. Consequently, the acquisition of knowledge must be better balanced through the acquisition of both outward and inward knowledge. Inward knowledge, that is, a student’s self-awareness and understanding, can be measured through numerous existing testing mechanisms but is largely ignored by the public education system at large. With a focus on a Personalized Learning model, where every student’s individual path is honored, recognized, and supported, the exploration and discovery of each student’s inward knowledge is allowed to happen more naturally and thoroughly.

Dimension 2: Skills and Talent Development  (Applied Knowledge/Self-Awareness)

The acquisition of knowledge, in and of itself, does not effectively prepare students for the rigors and demands of 21st century life. Students must have extensive opportunity, support, and guidance, prior to being thrown out into the proverbial lion’s den, to apply their acquired knowledge and self-awareness through skill and talent development. The development and refinement of skills and innate talents not only boosts a child’s self-esteem but also helps to foster greater clarity for each student as to which career or college path or paths he or she may wish to pursue and explore. This dimension’s measurable outcomes may be reflected in participation in skill and talent development related activities, such as courses or lessons taken that are oriented towards skill and talent development and training; clubs, apprenticeships, internships, volunteerism, and other quantifiable activities in which a student has participated that fosters skill and talent development and training. Thankfully, at least here in California, we are seeing movement at the state level towards mandating that public schools provide opportunities for students to explore skills development through career technical education (CTE) courses and programs. However, much more needs to be addressed and changed. As long as the focus remains on measuring hierarchical system achievement and not individual achievement, this critical dimension will be not be as strongly supported as it needs to be.

Dimension 3: Experience  (Applied Skills and Talent Development and Training)

The training and development of skills and talents then naturally leads to supporting direct and tangible experience. Experience is the essential dimension of each student’s skill and talent development journey that leads to demonstration of competency, proficiency, and mastery of those given skills and talents. Direct experience is fostered when a student has the opportunity to apply their acquired skills and talents independent of mentor training and guidance. It is the time when a student seeking to become a legal driver or pilot can log time behind the wheel or in the cockpit on his own. It is the time when an aspiring auto mechanic can fix cars independently. It is the time when a computer programmer can write code on his own. Think of a classic, standard resume format, for example. Prospective employers are not only interested in a prospective employee’s educational background and level of achievement, moreover, they are interested in the prospective employee’s direct experience in whatever field of expertise for which he or she is applying. Without this key dimension of direct experience, employers are hesitant or unlikely to hire candidates. Oft times it is a matter of cost burden and timing. The cost burden due to the lack of direct experience of employees falls directly on the hiring company through the additional investment of extensive training and professional development. Furthermore, the employer is looking to hire a candidate who can immediately step in and fulfill the position’s duties and responsibilities in order to contribute to the company productively. If the company must bear the cost burden of both the skill training and the corresponding delay in positive productivity, the cost to hire such a candidate becomes exorbitant. It is a return on investment equation. The failure of the education system to create opportunities for applied skill and talent development through direct experience is passed on to employers, thus making employers less competitive and their products and services most costly globally. That formula does not lead to healthy job sustainability and economic growth for American companies and society. Why are so many so-called American billionaires investing in public charter schools and in reforming and changing the American public education system? Connect the dots folks. They have a vested interest in ensuring that their workforce is effectively prepared to be productive and competitive in a global business environment. In running and funding multibillion dollar, multinational companies and hiring millions of employees who the companies depend on to be productive and competitive, these so-called billionaires want to ensure that the education system fulfills its public charge and responsibility to effectively prepare the American workforce for employment. That the American public education system is largely failing to do so is the primary reason these so-called billionaires are feeling compelled to intervene.

Dimension 4: Attaining One’s Potential (Applied Experience)

The ultimate goal of each child’s unique education journey is the knowing of who they truly are so that they may then be best prepared to pursue their greatest potential in life, whatever that may be. They have had the opportunity, along a multi-dimensional educational path and journey, to acquire important knowledge; learn about themselves, their interests, their aspirations, the skills in which they are attracted to pursue, and the innate talents and gifts that they possess; apply those skills and talents to gain experience; and transform experience into competency, proficiency, or mastery. Through the process, the clarity of knowing themselves and envisioning a positive and hopeful future of promise fosters confidence, self-esteem, self-assuredness, maturity, and inner strength.