I believe the most challenging issue facing education has to do with money - or more accurately, the lack of money. This seems like cheating, a little. I mean, poverty and educational funding are societal issues, really. But their impact in education is far-reaching.
Students who live in situations of chronic poverty face a myriad of academic challenges. Limited access to vocabulary, books, pre-K and quality educational opportunities. Not to mention showing up hungry at schools that are often unsafe makes it nearly impossible to learn.
Add to that the stark problems facing many school districts strapped for cash. Class sizes are large and there are no school nurses or counselor. Toilet and copier paper are back to school supplies.
How can students who face these situations daily compete with their suburban peers? Or the rest of the developed world? How can teachers - even the very best teachers - create classrooms where students are safe and engaged?
How does our society allow this? More importantly, what can we do about it?