Second Path Commonwealth Educational Initiative (SPCEI) is sponsored by the SecondPathFoundation, a pending Washington State educational non-profit organization and YouMeThink.com.
The purpose of SPCEI is to support organizations and individuals committed to a fundamental rethinking of American education. The goal
is to create a new path to learning. Our desire is not to challenge or replace the current system, but to offer American K-16 students a truly alternative educational experience different from other "alternatives" like charter, voucher, or online schools. We do not believe these "within-the-system" alternatives either explore or maximize the potential of true alternative forms of learning.
The two central ideas guiding this initiative arose from the realization that the current culture of American education exists in the paradoxical world of animated inertia, of a continuous diligence done in the absence of adequate strategic guidance or a comprehensive long term vision.
Three reasons mortar this paradox: decades of ideological gridlock and politicized learning has prevented American education from achieving its 21st century evolution, with education up for grabs to conservatives and liberals alike, their principals apparently more important than a student's rights to learn what they need and like to know. Secondly, the system's traditional mindset simply has blinded policy analysts and educators to what is happening globally and locally, to events and changes that demand entirely different ways of being educated; and lastly the “ fix-it”
or remediation mindset that operates inside the system continually reinforces systemic blindness. Our spirit of a new pragmatism, void of intentional ideological controls, coalesces around two organizational structuring assumptions.
Even if our current educational system could achieve its best and ideal outcomes, the result would nonetheless prove largely inadequate to meet significant future challenges. In short, the SPCEI community believes that today’s students and the world have changed far more than the educational system upon which their future wellbeing and success critically depend. And in this gap separating our near future needs and the inadequacy of traditional schooling lies the opportunity to create real secondary system alternatives, in this case second path commonwealth learning centers driven by community vital projects that create sustainable commonwealth-based communities
The future of American education needs, in part, to be focused on how our schools can convert school functions, pedagogy and course knowledge into sustainable community capital. SPCEI believes that if the purpose of education is to build human capital, the current system is not doing that very well. In essence, the choice comes down to either continuing the single education paradigm tradition or to having the freedom and support to create a truly research-inductive practice in which course knowledge is
• knowledge capital is mobilized rather than contained;
• analyzed for its solution potential to common, community
community identified problems, then
• applied, tested, reworked and finally assessed for
its solution and potential entrepreneurial effectiveness.
Students can either forget quadratic equations a week after a test or use them to determine the productivity area of a community farm supply produce to area restaurants. Students can either forget what the Federalist Papers were or form teams to compare how its 85 articles may have a bearing on the formation of a proposed new city charter. Students can either forget the Krebs Cycle or use it to help community nutrition clinics, explaining how it applies to a lack of energy or weight issues, hypoglycemia, diabetes, endocrine problems, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
The benefits of students using course knowledge for community benefits simply outweigh a traditional of closed knowledge and forgotten test answers. In essence can we afford to trust that a four-year B+ average serves the real world needs of our students, our community, and our national at a time of critical resource needs when other models are available? SPCEI community educators believe that the times demand that we rethink the American school and reinvent its nature as something far contemporary in purpose, scope, and ambition.
What You Can Do
If you would like to learn more about this national initiative and how you can help, please contact us at 1-800-660-0631, ext. 6 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. A representative will contact you.