A Note from the Secretary

student artwork

There are as many opinions about the future of education in Vermont as there are Vermonters.

Each of us has a perspective shaped and informed by our experiences: as students, parents, educators, administrators and as members of our communities. These perspectives change over time as we navigate new roles and responsibilities in the system.

As a former teacher, principal and superintendent, and now as Vermont’s Secretary of Education, this is my perspective:

  1. The organization of Vermont’s education system is too complex relative to its scale and small number of students.
  2. This complexity is now interfering with our ability to ensure equitable access to a high-quality education for all our students.
  3. This complexity is the cause of our relative inefficiency, both in terms of administration and cost.

That’s why I’m inviting Vermonters to join the Agency of Education in an ambitious visioning exercise. We’re asking the question: can we make the education system in Vermont significantly more effective and efficient by making it significantly less complex?

This work is not a policy proposal or a political agenda. Our aim is a collaborative design project, where we put forward expertise from diverse perspectives to explore in-depth the cascading benefits and potential challenges of simplifying the educational system in Vermont.

This process will take time. We will go through many drafts and iterations, introducing and refining new ideas before incorporating them into the project and continually looking for new ways to question and improve our design. Please check in often, ask questions and, if you would like to share your perspective, step forward and participate.

-Daniel French, Ed.D.
Vermont Secretary of Education