Ted Dintersmith was honored by the NEA for his advocacy on behalf of public education.

In this article, which appeared in Forbes, he urges support for a national commitment to investing in education and the future of our society.

He writes:

Education is the single most important issue determining our democracy’s future.  If we continue to get it wrong, we’re headed for collapse.  But if we bring the vision and courage to get it right, we will rescue the American Dream. Now more than ever, we desperately need a compelling blueprint, an Education Imperative.

Education sits in a context. Machine intelligence (computers, software, robotics, artificial intelligence) is advancing at a blistering pace, posing profound career and citizenship challenges for our population. Within a decade or two, machines will outperform humans on almost any physical or cognitive task, eliminating almost all routine white- and blue-collar jobs. To his immense credit, presidential candidate Andrew Yang is sounding alarm bells about this economic tsunami heading our way.  And if economic upheaval isn’t enough, technology-driven social media and deep-fake videos are now weapons with the power to manipulate and disrupt civic engagement, to undermine democratic processes…

In the past, America was at its best when faced with an existential crisis. Hell, we saved the free world during World War II.  We rebuilt Europe.  We put a man on the moon.  What better cause than fighting for our children’s futures by rallying around an aspirational view of what our schools could be, by stepping up to an Education Imperative.

Our Education Imperative should start with our babies and toddlers. There’s no better economic investment, nor higher moral imperative, than ensuring that our youngest children receive high-quality early-childhood care. Too many of America’s kids grow up in desperate circumstances.  Every child, not just every rich child, deserves a decent start in life.  

The vast majority of U.S. kids attend our public K12 schools, one of our country’s most vital resources. These schools need more financial support.  We need to offset the outsized role of local property taxes in funding education, which results shortchanging the kids who need the most. If you’re looking for heroes in America, you’ll find them in our classrooms. Our teachers fight daily for their kids, even risking their lives to protect children from shooters armed with NRA-endorsed assault weapons.  They deserve a fair salary, better professional development support, and trust.

You may not agree with all his prescriptions but in general he is on the right track.

Time for a massive investment in children and teachers and education.

Testing and choice have been a wasteful and harmful distraction.