When Anna Is Nineteen: Public Education In Kettering, Ohio, In The Year 2030

I'm proud of my great, great niece -- Anna Victoria.

I’m compiling my posts from the last couple of years into a book — Lulu self-publishing makes it easy. This is a first try at a cover, with the picture of my beautiful great, great, niece.

When Anna is 19, in 2030, according to Ray Kurzweil, author of, “The Singularity Is Near,” she will be entering adulthood into a world stunningly different from what it is today. I write here: “Kurzweil predicts that by 2019 a computer with the capacity of a human brain will cost only $1000, by 2030 the process of “reverse engineering” the human brain will be completed and by 2045 the intelligence of computers will be billions times that of today’s humans. Kurzweil says human intelligence itself will increase many fold as humans gain intelligence via machine augmentations — nanobots and implants. He predicts human life expectancy will be multiplied many times and individual human consciousness merged with machines so completely that the consciousness of the individual will live forever.”

The premise of my book, “Kettering Public Education In The Year 2030,” is that I report from 19 years into the future about a community that develops a system of public education where babies, like Anna, in the transformed world in which they will live, are empowered to grow into their potential to be productive and happy citizens.

This whacky idea of speaking from the future, I’ve discovered, has already been developed by the conservative “think tank,” The Hoover Institute. See:

My old posts will be the biggest part of the book — probably simply arranged chronologically. The first part of the book will be an expanded version of what follows — maybe, I’m being influenced by Netflix’s offering of BBC’s programs about the time traveler, “Dr. Who”:

Report From 19 Years In The Future:  Public Education In Kettering, Ohio, In The Year 2030 — First Draft

Greetings. You may wonder: Why Kettering, Ohio?

I thought it best to use this unexpected opportunity to visit the future to focus my attention on a system of education that is exemplary, a system worth copying. Certainly, if there is to be any hope for the future, it must come through education, enlightenment.

But, there is a deeper question — “Why Kettering?” — What happened? How did this particular community come to define for public education a whole new plateau of quality and success? What must a community do to emulate its success?

Yes, Kettering is an economically advantaged, stable community. But, this advantaged community succeeded in transforming its system of public education, when other advantaged communities failed to do so. My report will show that Kettering’s system of public education became transformed in tandem with its democracy becoming vitalized. What happened to Kettering’s democracy is a story to itself, but, the point to be made is, Kettering’s success proves, again: authentic communities that work together toward common goals can accomplish great things.

Because Kettering, via an active democracy, became a strong community, it was able to assert local control over its system of public education. It was able to come together to find and apply profound knowledge to answer two key questions:

  1. What is the aim of public education?
  2. How is the system organized to accomplish this aim?

In 1992, when I had a chance to interview the legendary “quality guru” W. Edwards Deming, I asked the great man how he would define the aim of schools. He gave this answer: “To restore and nurture the yearning for learning the child was born with.” (You can see the scanned article here.) The idea is, if a system can accomplish the aim of inspiring and empowering student motivation, then the accomplishment of every other educational goal will follow.

What I found in Kettering in 2030 was a community united around a very different aim for their system of public education than the aim of their 2011 system. And I found a system well designed to effectively achieve that aim with high quality.

In every aspect of education, there is a big contrast with Kettering’s system of education in 2011 and its system of education in 2030. In my extended report, I will compare the two in regard to:

  • The definition of “common good.”
  • A theory of how a system of public education advances the common good.
  • The definition of “school.”
  • A theory of what it means for a school to be considered “excellent.”
  • The definition of intelligence.
  • A theory of how to increase intelligence.
  • The definition of individual potential.
  • A theory of how individuals grow into their potential.
  • The definition of effective citizenship.
  • A theory of how the qualities needed for effective citizenship can be developed.
  • A theory of human motivation.
  • A theory of the organizational structure that will maximize motivation.
  • A definition of “teacher.”
  • A theory of how the pay of a professional teacher should be determined.
  • A theory of how resources, in general, should be allocated.

Recent posts on this topic:

  1. In Order To Reform Public Education, The First Task Is To See The Big Picture, May 11th, 2011
  2. Humanity Is On A Wire — In The Future, Education Will Seek To Develop Character More Than Intellect, May 9th, 2011
  3. Schools Of The Future Will Center On Development Of Virtue, The Whole Person, May 2nd, 2011
  4. What Is The Educational System That Would Empower An Explosion Of Virtue?, April 21st, 2011
  5. When Computers Are Billions Of Times More Intelligent Than Humans — What Should Be The Aims Of Education?, April 12th, 2011
  6. Bob Sommers — Ohio’s New Director Of 21St Century Education — Explains His Vision Of The Future, April 6th, 2011
  7. In Education, How Do We Accomplish More — While Spending Less Money?, March 25th, 2011
  8. Who Should Control America’s Schools?, March 10th, 2011
  9. What Is The Aim Of Our System Of Public Education — That Justifies Coercive Taxation?, March 9th, 2011
  10. Ohio’s SB5 Provides The Greenspace Required For System Transformation — Needed: Profound Knowledge, March 4th, 2011
  11. Our System Of Public Education Should Be Centered On Advancing “Liberty And Justice For All.”, March 2nd, 2011
  12. Watson’s Jeopardy Win Should Force Us To Rethink Education And The Profession Of Teaching, February 18th, 2011
  13. Transformation Of Public Education Is Possible Only Via Strong Communities Exerting Local Control, February 16th, 2011
  14. Great Teachers — Through Their Behaviors And Attitudes — Serve As Good Role Models, January 6th, 2011
  15. The Dumbing Down Of What It Means To Be A “Great Teacher” — Will Lead To Machines Replacing Teachers, January 5th, 2011
  16. What Is The Public Education That Will Sustain An Ever More Successful America?, December 15th, 2010
  17. ABC News Propagandizes That 5% Increase In Student Test Scores Would Boost U.S. Economy $41 Trillion, December 8th, 2010
  18. If The Aim Of Public Education Is To Provide Opportunity — How Should $150,000 Per Student Be Spent?, November 22nd, 2010
  19. Diane Ravitch Says Guggenheim’s Movie, “Waiting For Superman,” Is UnFair Propaganda, November 2nd, 2010
  20. Strengthening Local Control Of Public Education Is Key To Achieving The Transformation That Is Needed, October 8th, 2010
  21. To Bring Excellence To Public Education We Must First Engineer A Better System, August 16th, 2010
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One Response to When Anna Is Nineteen: Public Education In Kettering, Ohio, In The Year 2030

  1. Eric says:

    In the meantime, who’s minding the schools? In particular, who is helping Kettering schools apply expertise from the Kettering community to improve education in Kettering?

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