A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

March 2017

This publication, an initiative of the Frontline Research & Learning Institute, is neither left, right nor center. Instead, it stands dedicated to the proposition that sharing knowledge, research and engaging in debate begets best practices and policy development that shapes the work we do daily to further the American dream for every single youth in our schools.

It is time. As a matter of fact, past time. It is long overdue in the world of education leadership that we engage in thoughtful, civil, fact-based discourse on the very important topics facing leaders, advocates and policy developers who are on the front line of education, social justice and innovation.

The Line wholly believes in high-quality public education for all students. Together we have pledged to create a forum for honest, intellectual argument in the pursuit of the advancement of ideas. We endeavor to present divergent perspectives with the belief that when we are most uncomfortable with a subject, we are proximate to new learning.

Within these pages, we’ll give voice to leaders of varying ideologies and backgrounds who represent big government and small, city, suburban and rural geographies, old guard and new. We learn from each other…our leaders, policymakers, researchers and advocates. Continuous learning is crucial as we relentlessly work to improve education.

The Line will bring forth the best thinking, ideas and practical applications in our field. It seems very fitting that we launch this first issue in the early days of our new American president. We see ourselves as helping this administration in the daunting task of the work of national improvement and economic vitality, along with the social justice demand of our country’s children.

This is a reflection of how we see ourselves in service to you, our readers, in the same work.

In this issue, former secretary of education, Arne Duncan; New Mexico Secretary of Education Hanna Skandera; and CEO of Chiefs for Change Mike Magee will address the power shift from federal to a more state-centric education system. We’ll share our notes from a recent conversation with Kaya Henderson, former chancellor of District of Columbia Public Schools. And some of the people closest to the school funding reform, from the architect of California’s Local Control Funding Formula to the head of the Pennsylvania Association for Small and Rural Schools, to the superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, will offer their vision and hopes for the future.

Join us in print twice yearly, and regularly at TheLineK12.com, in learning, contributing, sharing and making truly transformative change in the lives of our youth.

Welcome to The Line.

John E. Deasy, PH.D.