Park Alumnus Jal Mehta ’95 Writes Opinion Piece in The New York Times


In “High School Doesn’t Have to Be Boring,” published in yesterday’s New York Times, Park alumnus Jal Mehta ’95 and his co-author Sarah Fine talk about what’s working — and what isn’t — in America’s schools. In researching their new book, Mehta and Fine spent six years traveling the country studying high schools to investigate what it would take to transform industrial-era schools into modern organizations capable of supporting deep learning for all. Their book, In Search of Deeper Learning: The Quest to Remake the American High School (Harvard University Press, April 2019), offers “a rich account of what education can be.”

In the article, Mehta and Fine note:

“Most important of all, high school students need to be granted much more agency, responsibility and choice. While there are some things that everyone should know, much of what will help students in college and beyond are skills: the ability to speak and write persuasively, to reason and engage with one another’s reasoning and to think about core content in complicated ways.”

Mehta is an associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He earned his B.A. in Social Studies, M.A. in Sociology, and Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy, all from Harvard University. His research explores the role of different forms of knowledge in tackling major social and political problems, particularly problems of human improvement. He has also written extensively on what it would take to improve American education, with a particular focus on the professionalization of teaching.

Read “High School Doesn’t Have to Be Boring” here.

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