Update from the Superintendent - January 11, 2024

As we head into the holiday weekend, it's a good time to pause and consider the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. King's legacy is often tied to his famous 1963 speech "I Have a Dream" and the struggle for racial equality, but his interests and influence were considerably more expansive. On the place of education and schools in society, Dr. King stated that Americans must be able to navigate the "morass of propaganda" that comes from modern living. In order to do this, "education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the fact from the fiction." He acknowledged that "to think incisively and think for one's self is very difficult" given the powerful influence of societal pressures and opinions.

Though his legacy is rooted in the mid-20th Century, Dr. King's words transcend time in so many ways. The advent of the internet, smart phones, and social media have unquestionably dominated the last couple of decades in ways that invariably shape how we view, and ultimately interact with, the world around us. The current generation of young people were born into this culture and will have a lifetime of exposure to infinite amounts of information accessible at their fingertips in ways that many adults cannot fully relate to. Our schools have a responsibility, more than ever before, to educate students less about content acquisition and more about the necessary life-long skills for analyzing and discerning information. As we continue shifting in this direction, preparing tomorrow's adults for the demands of the 21st Century, Dr. King's words ring true and are a compelling reminder of the essential role of education in our democracy.