“Let us be a little humble; let us think that the truth may not perhaps be entirely with us”
– Jawaharlal Nehru
Yesterday I attended a discussion on the future of education in Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS). The superintendent presented his vision for IPS and responded to some issues raised by The Mind Trust proposal on education reform. As I left the event and drove home, I tried to make sense of what I heard.
In our community, multitudes of people and organizations have espoused different opinions on issues like school vouchers, charter schools, high-stakes testing, the balanced calendar, and more. In our information-saturated society, it’s commonplace for us to quickly Google a topic and share our opinion with others right away.
This tendency to immediately take firm stands on issues is impressed upon us from an early age. I remember being told in high school, “Kashif, you have to have a single THESIS for your essay. You can present multiple sides of an issue, but you must PICK ONE eventually”. I’m grateful that my teachers taught me the importance of being decisive in standing up for my principles; however, in the real world, some issues may not always be so cut and dry, especially when I am not an expert.
Some say that if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. I agree but I want to make sure that when I take my stand, I know EXACTLY what I’m standing for and why I stand for it. Until then, I’m content to continue processing my opinions as I discuss issues and listen to others. Sometimes it’s necessary to say, “I’m not sure yet”. I hope that we, as a community, continue to have thought-provoking conversations about important topics like education reform. I also hope that we couple our enthusiasm with the knowledge that we may not have all the answers to these nuanced questions and that we allow our understanding to constantly grow as we hear new perspectives.