An EduPrint for the Future: Winning the Education Gold Medal


The best indicator of what an individual or society values is where they spend their money. The United States has increased its military spending by $150 billion a year since 2015, a point at which we were already spending as much on defense as the next seven countries combined. We are told this is necessary to ensure our national security, but the ability of a nation to secure its future is not determined by military strength alone. It is dependent upon how it educates its population and prepares its children and young adults to succeed in a competitive global ecosystem.

                Our ability to secure the future we want for ourselves – to be a gold medal nation – starts with the quality of the educational opportunities available for every child. We were the first modern society to believe and invest in the idea of public education for all. But now, other nations have taken our ideas of universal education and beaten us at our own game in every category and every measure.

The American dream was built on the foundation that education was the engine that drove the vehicle of upward social and economic mobility. We were right to identify its underpinning role, but somewhere we lost the fuel and the fire to keep making forward progress. Our society today is one of the least upwardly mobile on the planet.

Economic inequalities are inextricably linked to educational inequalities. Children raised in poverty are two or more years behind their more affluent peers in language proficiency and mathematics by the fourth grade, and a disproportionate percentage either never finish secondary education or never close the gap. We must reopen the doors of opportunity that education provides. We must create an environment where the two greatest determinants of a child’s quality of education – and thus the quality of their life – are not their zip code or the color of their skin.


  • National minimum wage for teachers based on rates for careers with comparable education and skill requirements
  • Forgive student loans after 10 years in the classroom for all teachers, in 6 years for those who willingly go to high-poverty schools
  • Build talent pipeline starting in high school for those who identify an interest in teaching
  • Increase participation of minorities and men in the classroom at all levels of schooling and curriculum
  • Respect the experts: create a national endowment for innovation led by a blue-ribbon panel of former national and state Teachers of the Year


  • Set minimum, basic standards for math, science, language proficiency, and civics standards across all states
  • Set our standards commensurate to those among our international competitors


  • Free, universal pre-school education
  • Develop a Choice-Driven PUBLIC-School System
    • Create pilot schools that safely experiment with innovative curriculum and traditional or virtual education delivery systems
    • School districts committees of parents, teachers, and local business leaders to evaluate strengths and weaknesses, and recommend new needed curriculum and delivery options
    • Provide grant funding to implement preferred solutions within 3 years
    • If no viable option becomes available after 3 years, parents can choose to take their per pupil expenditure to another district that provides the desired option
  • Provide greater post-secondary training and school-to-work bridge programs to apprenticeship or trade professions.
  • Free, national online university that any individual or employer can leverage to expand their professional skills and improve their professional adaptability.


  • Design new American Service-Corps Program to complement proven options such as AmeriCorps, City in Schools, and the Peace Corps.
    • For every year of service, a percentage of student loans would be forgiven

If service is undertaken prior to, or during, one’s education or apprenticeship, tuition credits for future study would be awarded