Predictions are hard under any circumstances. For starters, for predictions to be good (and predictive), they must rest on certain assumptions remaining stable. And, in our current world (economically, politically, environmentally, psychologically), stability is hard to find. We live in a "wobbly" world on all fronts.
That said, a pundit needs to be worth his/her weight (and not in salt), so here are my predictions related to our educational system (from early childhood through adult education) for 2019 (with some other predictions tossed in for good measure, like in a recipe where there is a secret ingredient or two or three). Some of the predictions will be obvious to readers; others are more "out on a limb," something not new to me; perhaps these latter predictions are the best in that they get us thinking and perhaps reacting and acting.
Warning (like a trigger warning): The prediction picture isn't pretty. And the problem is that the effects of these predictions are not just for 2019; they have generational impacts.
I want to end on a positive note --- a prediction yes but also more than that. There will be individuals and organizations across every sector that will be working hard to educate the next generation. Whether through direct services or contributions of money and time and talent, there are those who will work tirelessly to improve the world in which our children live. They will seek to insure that, epigenetics aside, the next generation will be healthier and happier and more able to thrive (not just survive) in our nation. These individuals will do more than talk -- they will act.
And that's really my positive prediction. For many, words are not enough; it is the time for action. If we need examples (whether or not you agree with the politics), look at the student survivors from Parkland. Look at Colin Kaepernick. Look at General Mattis or/and General McChrystal. Look at former President Jimmy Carter. Look at those who do more than speak truth to power (that is hard enough); look at those who give action to those words through deeds and activities that push that proverbial needle forward.
I am not pessimistic by nature. I am not even pessimistic by the bulleted (intentional pun) predictions above. I actually believe that, in the end, the good folks win. That is proven by history -- when one takes the long view. That said, I am impatient by nature. So, for me, 2019 begs for us to act -- to do things that will better our world. And we aren't just doing this for our children. We are doing it for our children's children and the generations that come after that. To use the phrase common in Canada when the weather is really really bad and the roads dangerous: "Chains Up." That means put on those chains and move forward. Carefully yes but stopping or standing or stalling isn't an option.
P.S. For those wondering if there is a book in all the above that I am writing (and carrying in those journals I carry with me everywhere) for 2019, the answer is yes. No shock there. And the tentative title: Gen Tt: Trauma Goes to School.
Karen is an educator and an author. Prior to becoming a college president, she was a tenured law professor for two plus decades. Her academic areas of expertise include trauma, toxic stress, consumer finance, overindebtedness and asset building in low income communities. She currently serves as Senior Counsel at Finn Partners Company. From 2011 to 2013, She served (part and full time) as Senior Policy Advisor to the US Department of Education in Washington, DC. She was the Department's representative on the interagency task force charged with redesigning the transition assistance program for returning service members and their families. From 2006 to 2014, she was President of Southern Vermont College, a small, private, affordable, four-year college located in Bennington, VT. In Spring 2016, she was a visiting faculty member at Bennington College in VT. She also teaches part-time st Molly Stark Elementary School, also in Vt. She is also an Affiliate of the Penn Center for MSIs. She is the author of adult and children’s books, the most recent of which are titled Breakaway Learners (adult) and Lucy’s Dragon Quest. Karen holds a bachelor degree in English and Spanish from Smith College and Juris Doctor degree (JD) in Law from Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law.