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All Means All: A Talk with Paul Reville

6-25-15

By: Celia Alicata, Director of Marketing & Communications

This month, Board Members Cynthia Vance and Lorraine Shanley hosted an intimate conversation with former Massachusetts Secretary of Education Paul Reville on behalf of Classroom, Inc. Mr. Reville now directs Harvard’s Graduate School of Education’s Redesign Lab.

 “All means all.” Sometimes the simplest statement resonates in the most profound way. Mr. Reville repeated this refrain throughout his brief talk to generous donors, board members, and friends of our organization. “We have education reform fatigue. We’ve made progress, but we’re not where we said we’d be. And we waste a lot of time on silly debates.” He charged the group with continuing to focus on access to opportunity for all children, no matter the life circumstances those students might find themselves in. He reminded us that with our country’s vast inequities, we’ll never achieve what we ultimately strive for.

He also reminded us that not everything can or should be measured on a test: “What about students’ passions? Or their attitudes toward other people?” Classroom, Inc. has always kept non-academic outcomes top of mind. We do focus on building literacy skills, and we also put a heavy emphasis on how a student views herself in and out of school. Leadership development and 21st century life skills, along with literacy acquisition, make up our three-pronged approach to supporting the whole child.

Mr. Reville surfaced one of the best aspects of our learning games: the connection to hope and possibility that students find when they play in their virtual professional worlds. We must help all students see the ways in which they can have bright futures. Remember, all means all.