Every Child Deserves a Brilliant Future

Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed summarizes the WHY behind our Vision 2031 work.
March 21, 2019

We've been talking a lot about Vision 2031, our new vision. In 2031, our current kindergartners will graduate from high school. What will places of learning look, sound, and feel like in 2025, 2030, or even 2035? In Hopkins, we are determined to imagine our future, and then create it. Why are we on this path? We believe that every student deserves a brilliant future. And our current public education system was not designed to prepare all students for a brilliant future.

If we look at the gender and racial patterns of who provides leadership in this country's governing bodies and corporations, versus who labors in our service industry, it's not difficult to see that the original design of schooling is still producing its intended results. These distinct racial patterns impact who is well-served and who is least-served, who is accelerated and who is remediated, who has access and who is denied. Changing this is not impossible, but different results require a different design. If we desire to move Hopkins from Great to World Class and eradicate racial predictability from our achievement results, our work begins with rejecting structures and practices that inherently sort, exclude, and privilege.

We seek to innovate
The Hopkins student we want to cultivate is a critical and holistic thinker. They are confident and have their own voice; they are empathetic, globally-minded, and even well-traveled. If we nurture these characteristics in every student, they will walk into the brilliant future they deserve. We are taking recommendations from you, our community, and moving to the next steps in our strategic planning process: testing new ideas and building a roadmap to 2031.

Building a vision is a puzzle
When I visit my parents' home, I always find a giant puzzle partially pieced together. People who like puzzles seem to have a natural curiosity about how all the pieces fit together. They seem comfortable with the ambiguity resulting from not having an immediately clear picture, and they have the patience and the drive to plug away until the pieces form a coherent picture. The space we're in right now is like that puzzle. We have a vision for where we will head. Now, we have the invigorating work of testing the recommendations in order to make decisions about what to put in our roadmap.

Change is hard
Change is confusing, exciting, and disruptive. It's not easy to let go of what we know in order to make space for a new possibility. The hard truth is that we have a gap between what students want in their learning and what we're currently delivering. Students are seeking more voice and choice in what and how they will learn. Students desire a personal relationship before content, and seek content that offers clear relevance. In Hopkins, we are making a commitment to raise student voice to inform our innovations. Like a smart business, we will think about the needs and desired experiences of our end user — the students.

Our students and their needs will guide us as we transform our district. It has to be this way, because every Hopkins student deserves a brilliant future.

Sincerely,

Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed
Superintendent

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