Public education has never been more important


Public education is a cornerstone of American democracy. Our transformation from a collection of disparate colonies to the world’s greatest power has been fueled, in large part, by our dedication to the principle that all children should be educated at public expense in locally governed schools “well enough” to become self-sufficient, contributing members of American society. Today, in the knowledge age, when the definition of “well enough” has dramatically changed, our continued commitment to this principle is of paramount importance. Attaining a high-quality education is now the key ingredient for individual success. To ensure this success, we must work to maintain and continually improve transparent, fully accountable public schools capable of unfolding the full potential of every child – schools where dedicated, qualified teachers and the people who support them welcome every student and respond to ever-rising expectations. We must appropriately fund public education as the last great institution making good on the nation’s promise to create the one from the many. In doing this, we counter the malignant growth of tribalism destroying our social fabric. We must promote and support public schools as symbols of community autonomy, vitality, and tradition; social centers where people gather to enjoy sports, theater, and music; places where even conservative calculations suggest every tax dollar invested yields a seven-fold return. Public education is one of America’s most precious resources and we have never needed it more.

Public education faces an existential threat


Public education is facing a triple threat: a viral pandemic; constrained resources; and privatization. The spread of Covid 19 has placed district leaders under tremendous pressure to solve an array of unprecedented problems against a background of conflicting and emotionally charged public opinions. The fiscal constraints imposed before the pandemic have complicated their response and the precipitous downturn in the economy foreshadows future budget cuts that will impact the classroom and heighten public concern. At the same time, self-proclaimed reformers with anti-democratic agendas are intensifying their campaign to privatize the PreK-12 arena. Accountable to no one, often elected by no one, posing as innovators, these anarchists are convinced that unleashing the disruptive powers of capitalism will produce the graduates we need. They promote the concept of competition even though a generation of vouchers and charters has produced scant evidence of their success when the students are drawn from the same socio-economic backgrounds. Representing think tanks and corporate interests, they lobby elected officials to replace public education with a splintered system of barely regulated schools disconnected from the common good. They hype the emotionally charged word “choice” while millions of taxpayer dollars are diverted to the pockets of private companies who are all-but unaccountable for their results. Separately, each of these threats weakens the public’s commitment to public education and undermines support for local schools. But, in combination, they are lethal if left unchecked.

Schools Cannot Do It Alone Network


We are engaged in a struggle for the future of public education, which is tantamount to fighting for the promise of America as our Founders conceived it. We must maintain a vibrant network of public schools, but this is not possible without active, broad-based community support. The Schools Cannot Do It Alone Network with its expanding coalition of state chapters was created to help district leaders increase support for their schools. Participating districts are using Jamie’s evolving library of pro public education content to energize their staffs and strengthen ties with stakeholders. In just ten minutes a month, superintendents are broadcasting a steady stream of positive messages across their districts via email, web sites, and social media. Sharing each new installment helps the people of their communities better understand: 1) the challenges they face every day; 2) why public education is important for everyone – even taxpayers who have no children in school; 3) common myths and misconceptions about public schools; 4) why public schools are not a business; 5) how schools have changed over time and why the process must continue; 6) public education’s greatest threats; and 7) public education’s incredible record of success. The video series at the center of the process is divided into two parts: one stream created to engage the public, and one produced to uplift the staff. When shared in tandem, the videos set the stage for ever increasing student success. And the positive effects are felt statewide as the Network grows.


Engaging video content for the public

A series of positive, eight to ten minute videos sent monthly via email and packaged to be easily forwarded to the target audience of parents, partners, key communicators, critics, elected officials, and community VIPs. Each installment is designed to help superintendents and their teams secure the Four Prerequisites of Progress: public understanding, trust, patience, and support.

Uplifting video content for the staff

Bi-weekly video clips, one to two minutes long, sent via email, created to energize the staff – certified and classified – acknowledge their efforts, and help them become more positive ambassadors for their schools.

Thought provoking video content for the district’s website

Curated videos extracted from The Great Conversation™ series presenting positive themes suitable for any audience. IT staff will be provided with the HTML code needed to embed the content on the district’s website and social media pages. The videos promote public education, increase public trust, overcome resistance to change, and encourage “YES” votes during bond and levy campaigns.

Copies of Jamie’s book

One copy of the highly acclaimed book, Schools Cannot Do It Alone, for the superintendent (signed) and one copy for each member of the Board.

Copies of Jamie’s famous poster

The 12”x40” poster, Look What We’re Doing to Our Schools, presents the growth of "mandate creep" and the associated costs from 1900 to 2020. Quantities vary with the size of the district.

Join the Schools Cannot Do It Alone Network today

"In a time of  1) rising expectations, 2) changing demographics, and 3) intense political scrutiny, public schools and their staffs need all the understanding and support they can get."


“Jamie’s message throughout this series is powerful: Public schools are a national treasure and deserve to be celebrated.”

Dr. David H. Monk, Dean, College of Education, Penn State University

“Humorous, smart, and easily executed! These videos need to be seen by the staff and the
entire community.”

Joan H. Wade Ed.D., Executive Director, Association of Educational Service Agencies

“Jamie offers just what we need to build a conversation with the community about
increasing student success.”

Rich Bagin, Executive Director, National School Public Relations Association

“The package helps the public see why supporting their schools is critical to
individual, community, and national success.”

Kirk J. Miller Ed.D., Executive Director, School Administrators of Montana

“Inspiring and empowering. These videos promote our success and equip us to
engage the public.”

Gina G. Patterson, Executive Director, Virginia School Boards Association