Investing in Thinking Big

Alec Resnick (left) with Shantae Toole (right) at a PSi meeting.

Alec Resnick (left) with Shantae Toole (right) at a PSi meeting.

In a perspective piece in The Boston Globe Magazine this week, “Hey, Beacon Hill: Mass. needs an R&D budget for education,” Alec Resnick advocates for “substantial statewide funding to support long-term, in-district research and development” that gives innovators the time it takes to imagine, design, implement, and measure the impact of ambitious initiatives that have the potential to transform students’ educational opportunities, not simply tinker around the edges.“ In 2018, Massachusetts is going to spend $7 billion on education,” Alec argues. “Just 1 percent of that is enough to kick-start more than a hundred new school designs every single year.”

A current participant in the Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership (PSI) at the Center for Artistry and Scholarship (CAS), Alec is co-founder and Executive Director of sprout & co., a science education non-profit that has been working in Somerville and greater Boston since 2009. In 2018, Sprout plans to open Powderhouse Studios, a new Somerville high school under Massachusetts' Innovation School legislation.

Speaking from his experience as school innovator, Alex says, “We’re figuring out how to reorganize school so creative, personally meaningful projects sit at the center of students’ experience, while retaining the rigor parents and taxpayers expect. We’ve found creating this requires reinvention.”

Such reinvention requires that educational leaders, citizens, and our legislators, invest time and treasure in thinking big. And thinking big is what we do with Alec and his fellow participants at CAS/PSI.