Engage in Civil Discourse. Find Common Ground. Learn more at TheLineK12.com

3 Reasons Why We Need Civil Discourse in Education

Civil Discourse

Why do we need civil discourse now more than ever before?

Civil Discourse In Education

Your job and the impact of your schools and districts are far-reaching—affecting every individual. When your schools and districts are successful, we all win.

While that is common ground we can agree on, the path to strengthening our education system is often hotly debated. Because education is profoundly different from other professions or industries, the discourse is influenced in three ways.

  1. Education is deeply personal.

    Every citizen has gone through years of schooling giving him/her a unique perspective—some positive, some negative—on education. People hold deep seated experiences, beliefs and opinions on education in ways other professions don’t face.

  2. Public schools and districts are obligated to educate everyone.

    You don’t choose who comes through your doors. You work to balance the needs of all and help every individual reach his/her greatest potential. Our society depends on it.

  3. Public education is supported by taxpayers.

    Because the public funds our schools and districts, the public wants and deserves a say in how schools are run. When you factor in personal experiences, human rights and money, you can see how quickly emotions and tensions can flair. When emotions run high, we can expect discussion, debate and disagreements. So what is the way forward? How do we put aside our differences, focus on common ground and engage in insightful civil discourse for the good of our students?


Introducing: The Line

The Line is an award-winning publication of the Frontline Research & Learning Institute dedicated to facilitating civil discourse on critical issues facing K-12 education.

In a highly polarized world, we believe The Line offers a forum for both sides of the most important education issues of our time. Education leaders can join a community committed to finding common ground through evidence-based, thoughtful civil discourse in order to take meaningful action for our students.

The Line publishes frequent articles online with interactive engagement tools to promote discussion, including digital annotations and commenting. In addition, The Line publishes two print editions per year. With contributors ranging from superintendents and union leaders to teachers and policy makers, The Line is a resource by educators, for educators.

Lifelong education advocate and former superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District, Dr. John Deasy, served as the first editor-in-chief – handing the reins in June of 2018 to Hanna Skandera, the former Secretary of Education in New Mexico. An editorial advisory board of diverse backgrounds, politics and opinions helps guide the development of the publication written by education leaders for education leaders.

The Line promotes civil discourse

Through the work of The Line and the Frontline Research & Learning Institute, we are dedicated to serving you, the front line of education. Let’s work together to not only model civil discourse, but to act on issues facing education.

Get started at TheLineK12.com or on Twitter: @TheLineK12.

Elizabeth Combs

Elizabeth Combs began her career as an elementary school teacher and Director of Administrative and Instructional Technology at Patchogue-Medford School District before moving to Imperial Software Systems, a professional learning services company, where she eventually served as President. She then held positions at My Learning Plan Inc. as President and Chief Strategy Officer. With degrees from the State University of New York at Geneseo and Teachers College, Columbia University, Ms. Combs has a passion for leveraging technology to support educator growth and over two decades of experience developing solutions rooted in best practices for professional development.