CAPE-Ohio Vision Handout

Citizen Advocates for Public Education (CAPE-Ohio) 

Vision and Principles for Public Education 

The Challenge
     Will Americans be able to save our public education system?  Or perhaps a better question is: can we rebuild a public education system capable of saving our country?
The Vision 
     We, as members of CAPE-Ohio, believe a unique opportunity exists to reverse recent cycles of so-called reform that treated public education as a commodity in a marketplace. The challenge and hope for public education is that its outputs are embodied in human beings—complex and diverse living organisms—who respond in idiosyncratic and unanticipated ways.
     Citizen Advocates for Public Education in Ohio have a vision for public education that has three broadly defined components: 

  • that public education is viewed as a system becoming more thoughtful, purposeful, and direct in its adaptations to society’s changes
  • that public education is a system focused on using and developing strengths, especially the strengths of students rather than identifying weaknesses or deficits
  • that the learning experiences and curriculum are designed to fit the needs and characteristics of a diverse and talent-rich student population.

     We of CAPE-Ohio hope that decision makers—students, parents, teachers, boards of education, legislators, administrators—will use the CAPE-Ohio Vision and the fourteen following Principles in developing policies and practices to preserve and strengthen public education and protect it from those seeking to destroy it.

CAPE-Ohio Principles for Public Education

  1. Free, universal, high-quality education must be provided within a strong public education system. 
  2. A strong, unfragmented public education system focused on the common good must be ensured.
  3. Public education must have visionary leadership. 
  4. Equity and sufficiency of state and federal funding is mandatory.
  5. Creative, engaging, and effective program choices must be offered to all.
  6. Students must be prepared for a future of complexity and accelerating change.
  7. Learning environments must be designed to grow potential in every student. 
  8. Assessment practices must support optimal progress for all students.
  9. The public’s right to understand and guide the education system must be central to equitable, reasonable, and accurate accountability methods.
  10. Teachers must be adequately compensated for their work and training.
  11. Teacher preparation programs must be designed as clinically based models of collaboration between teacher education and public preK-12 institutions. 
  12. Vision and purpose should inform the kind of learning in which education professionals engage. 
  13. Public education must identify and nurture innovation and creativity that occur naturally within any complex organization. 
  14. Because of the essential role of human interactions in learning, technology will never replace professional educators.

Go to to read the complete vision and principles.