As part of a team that advocates innovation in education, I have fielded questions about whether by calling for innovation, we intend for the system’s gradual spin-off out of the public sphere altogether. Today the Stanford Social Innovation Review posted my thoughts about why public education is an indispensable institution in America.

One additional thought, and that is that just because the government funds and oversees an institution does not mean that it must provide all the system’s components. A public schools does not mill its own paper, butcher its own meat for the lunchtime sloppy joes, or build its own desks, although all of these pieces are critical to the schools’ success (especially the sloppy joes, of course). Likewise, we should be open minded about schools outsourcing other elements–including content delivery, assessment, and back office management–in circumstances when that leads to improved outcomes for students.


  • Heather Staker
    Heather Staker

    Heather Staker is an adjunct fellow at the Christensen Institute, specializing in K–12 student-centered teaching and blended learning. She is the co-author of "Blended" and "The Blended Workbook." She is the founder and president of Ready to Blend, and has authored six BloomBoard micro-credentials for the “Foundations of Blended Learning” educator micro-endorsement.