Thoughts for Parents in Castle View, Colorado by Gary Stager, Ph.D.


  1. Things need not be as they seem!
  2. Strong progressive public schools are the bedrock of our democracy.
  3. Knowledge is a consequence of experience.
  4. Learning is not the direct causal result of having been taught.
  5. Young people have a remarkable capacity for intensity and it is incumbent upon teachers and parents to build upon that capacity, otherwise it manifests itself as boredom, misbehavior or just wasted potential.
  6. The Common Core is on the wrong side of history.
  7. There is no sudden epidemic of bad teachers!
  8. Parents and teachers should do everything possible to help kids get through high school without hating it.
  9. Modern knowledge construction is inseparable from computer programming and every child needs a laptop computer.
  10. Schools will no longer enjoy the monopoly on children’s time they currently enjoy.
  11. Students are competent, but we may not behave as if children are competent if we behave as if their teachers are incompetent.
  12. We know what to do. Those of us who know better need to do better.
  13. Kids need constant access to diverse expertise.
  14. The desire for personalization or individualization may not supplant exposure to concepts, skills and ideas that kids may not know they love.
  15. School policy should provide clear and convincing evidence that our society loves children.
  16. In education, bad ideas are timeless and good ones are incredibly fragile.
  17. The best thing school can do is prepare kids to solve problems that school as not even anticipated.
  18. What if our education policies were based on the assumption that each educator wakes up each morning and asks themselves, “How do I make this the best seven hours of a kid’s life?”

About Gary Stager