The Mission of K-12 Education

In May, Bob Hlasko completed work on his dissertation for the Graduate Faculty of the University of Findlay’s College of Education.  The subject of his study was what parents, educators and legislators perceive to be the mission of K-12 education.  I recently spoke with Bob, who currently serves as superintendent of the Cory-Rawson Local Schools, and asked him what he learned from his three years of research.  Here are some of his major findings:

  • Most parents rely on their own children’s experience rather than on the state report as the key indicator of educational quality.
  • Most parents believe their local schools are doing a good job.
  • While most educational mission statements are nearly all the same, when you drill down, those statements mean very different things to many people.
  • Education reform movements have failed because there is no common agreement regarding the mission of K-12 education.
  • Parents and educators don’t think they have a voice in influencing statewide education policy.
  • Parents and educators want local control because they want to be able to help define and own the mission of K-12 education.
  • Only until local educators, parents and other citizens are vested in helping to determine the mission for K-12 education will there be real progress towards achieving what is best for all students.

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