Education’s Moonshot: Doubling Student Achievement

By Sonny Magana

Editor’s note: This is part one of a four-part series.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed that America would go to the moon. Such a wildly audacious statement was so far outside the boundaries of human experience that many considered it impossible. It was too bold. It was too quixotic. But it was also genius. President Kennedy said, “We will go to the moon; we will go to the moon, and do other things, not because it is easy, but because it is hard.” President Kennedy’s Moonshot speech galvanized our nation. It lifted us above our petty differences and invited us to place our focus on transcendent pursuits. It also inspired a new generation of Moonshot thinkers—scientists, technologists, engineers, mathematicians, artists, writers and teachers who endeavored to attain new heights. Eight years later, a mesmerized nation watched American Astronaut Neil Armstrong descend from NASA’s lunar module onto the moon’s dusty grey surface, making “One giant leap for mankind,” alone in the cold, dark vacuum of space.

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