Future Is Now (FIN) is building a bridge to a future in which education reform is a fully sustainable movement – both economically and politically – that will transform the lives of tens of millions of students, rather than hundreds of thousands. FIN envisions a world in which professional teachers become an active force for change within existing public schools and districts, granted autonomy and accountability for producing dramatic gains in achievement for their students.
FIN's mission is to develop a model for education reform that is: (1) economically sustainable by virtue of high-performing model schools that leverage the efficiencies of hybrid technology and local participation, and (2) politically sustainable by virtue of being supported by professional associations of teachers.
FIN's work builds on innovations coming from the charter movement. In the past 20 years, charter schools have grown from a little-known academic idea into a bona fide phenomenon. And, yet, charter schools have not fulfilled their promise of raising achievement for all students. Nationwide, achievement of students in the U.S. still lags behind many third-world countries, and a significant achievement gap persists between low-income students and their peers. The vast majority of underprivileged students are still trapped in low-performing public schools that are subject to the bureaucratic oversight of districts and the rigid work rules of labor union-style contracts.
FIN's school model is based on three pillars that support FIN's ultimate goal of economic and political sustainability: (1) a hybrid academic model in which technology is used to enhance the instructional impact of master teachers and ensure that all students are college-ready, (2) a rapid turnaround process that can be used to transform and uplift the poorest performing schools with broad community support, and (3) a professional model for the employment, training, and evaluation of teachers, including the negotiation of a professional contract in unionized districts.