I’m very taken by the mission statement of the East Bay School for Boys:
By the time he graduates, each boy will:
Examine and acknowledge his own learning strengths and weaknesses and set personal learning goals; collaborate in a community-oriented, project-based internship experience; conduct a conversation in a foreign language about something that he reads in that language; disassemble, diagram, rebuild, and write instructions for something electrical or mechanical; write a cogent persuasive piece on a matter of personal importance; analyze a meaningful passage of another’s writing and declaim it with passion and from memory; sow, grow, harvest, cook and eat his own vegetable; solve a challenging problem in a team; take a leadership role in a project, event or activity of significance; By performing the appropriate research, determine whether a statement by a public official is true; assess media coverage of an issue or event from various perspectives; hold and care for a newborn baby; demonstrate by something measurable a commitment to creating a more sustainable future; conduct a scientific experiment, collect and record empirical data, and produce a written summary of the results with sound scientific conclusions; participate in a physical team competition; mentor another boy in something in which he feels confident; and produce or perform a work of art.
Imagine what the world would look like if every boy and girl in the United States (or world?) could graduate saying he could do all of these things. How would things be different than they are today?