Ed Jones is as surprised as anyone at how he came to be qualified for this task. He thought he’d work in corporate leadership for awhile; then find a way into national government. And, indeed, that happened in a very compressed way. But this is America. Change sometimes begins in out-of-the-way places. Ed’s experiences have exposed him to the on-the-job struggles of a broad spectrum of individuals.
He’s been deeply engaged in the economic development of a poor rural community, raising a corps of volunteers. He’s been at the center of one of the world’s greatest engineering efforts. And he’s worked directly for small mom&pop businesses, consumers, and a breadth of government agencies. To those experiences and observations, he also brought a set of observational tools from a rather uniquely wide formal education including a degree in physics, and graduate studies of artificial intelligence, public policy, and business administration.
I believe in rigorous learning. I believe in learning for Democracy. I believe that creative communications let all of us pursue the ideas most worth pursuing. And I believe in the integrity of the local school, with a group of caring adults who know each kid well, hopefully know some of their parents too, and keep the kids in high school for the full length and value the high school experience should give.
Ed’s commitment is shown by the ‘skin in the game’ he has so far. It’s markedly substantial.
The nation is filled with experts about what education is, or ought be. Ed has become, by paths not that predictable, expert in what high school education could be.