A few days ago I was talking with one of the women whom I’ve worked with all summer and we got into a conversation about how she is losing one of her students for this upcoming school year.  Daisy is a teacher and as she spoke of the pride, compassion and effort she put into this one particular student, her story got sad because now, in a new school district, she doesn’t know if he will be guided in the same direction of greatness that he was headed toward. 

I asked her if she has an opportunity to have a meeting with the new teacher, or if there is any recommendation process that schools take when transferring a student, especially when that are handicapped such as this one, and she said, “no, there wasn’t”.  She just put a note in his file letting the new teacher know that they can call her whenever. 

This conversation got me thinking back to corporate America and how, in Starbuck for example, when I would transfer a partner from my store to a new store or vice versa, there was a complete step by step format that was done to make sure that this new employee was set up for success.  Maybe there is something there about looking at the direction in our public school system?

This morning when I was finished with my hike, I came across a wallet that was on the ground, lost, waiting to find it’s owner.  When I opened the wallet, I saw that the drivers license as well as the school identification card were local and belonged to a student at the Wisconsin Dells High School.  I figured I would just run by the school to drop it off being that it was close by.  Knowing that I haven’t been in a high school in almost a decade, I thought I would be highly shocked.  Surprisingly, I wasn’t.

When I walked in, I felt that I could have easily been placed in that same scene with the same understanding that I had at age sixteen.  Despite the look though, and the feeling that it hasn’t changed that much, it has drastically. Technology is now the most important part in an education and it is seeding into school districts more and more every day.  We can definitely see evidence of that after Apple donating Ipad 2s to all of those kindergarten classes this past year and into this fall.

Today, high school isn’t just in the school, it is online, at home or in charter schools that are growing quickly with popularity.  Just today in the New York Times, there are two different stories on public schools looking in how they run their schools and how they can foster better atmospheres for their students.  One article is how Houston public schools are mimicking their local charter schools and the other article is on how a New York schools are looking at changing their admissions policies.  As the documentary “Waiting for Superman” stated, we all want to make education better but we haven’t found the right equation. 

Despite all the options for school, and what level of education our new generations are receiving, and what they are doing with it once they are finished, the one fact remains that it needs to be one of our largest priorities.  So, the next time you happen to walk into a high school, or even an elementary school, take a close look to see how things are going. The initial feelings you have will be nostalgic, and you will momentarily remember your time at that age and smile, but remember it is nothing like it was when you were there.  That difference is the heavy weight that is on our youth and will determine the direction of our community called the United States of America. We Are All Involved!!!