A School’s #1 Priority Must be Community, Not Education

Bernie Bleske
9 min readFeb 4, 2020

It’s not much of an observation to note that schools are communities. Nor is it very insightful to observe that within the larger community of neighborhood, town, state, or nation, schools play an essential role in prosperity, security, and stability. Neither is it surprising to consider how powerful the community aspects of a school are to the students themselves, from their sense of belonging to their academic performance to whatever roles they are trained to take up as adults.

Nor is it much of an insight to observe that schools are also charged with providing an education. The job of a school is to give students the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the adult world.

What is less obvious is to question first what should constitute an education and then more significantly why education should triumph community.

Because even a casual glance at schools and their role in the human enterprise quickly reveals both an overwhelming demand to serve the community, and an almost impossibly complicated and contradictory set of details concerning ‘education’.

This is complicated in part because the various parties and purposes of a school compete for attention and resources. If…