There’s the old joke about a man crawling on his hands and knees late at night under a lamp post, looking for keys he lost two blocks away, because, as he tells a police officer, “the light is better here.”
I was reminded of this story recently listening to a panel about what was wrong with the U.S. education system. Of course there are many problems, including the poor way we recruit, hire, evaluate, and pay teachers and our slow adoption of a true 21st Century Learning environment. But rarely does anyone mention poverty and income inequality in the U.S. We can spend all the time we want discussing “reforms,” but unless policy makers boldly confront poverty issues, many of our proposed changes – including ones for which I have advocated – will make a marginal effect on the whole system. We have become the man in the street looking in the wrong place because it’s the easier thing to do.