There are so many social, economic, and environmental justice issues that surround our daily lives. They are issues small and large that impact our community and our planet. Part of our national conversation surrounding education needs to be how we are creating the conditions essential for students to talk about these issues as well as contribute to the solutions. Beyond the Common Core is a whole set of skills, passions, and understandings that we must cultivate to create a generation of life-long learners and solutionists. It is easy to write standards. It is easy to create assessments. It is easy to judge schools and teachers. The hard stuff, the essential stuff comes from whether we can develop empathy in our kids, so that they can work tirelessly to promote justice and fairness in our society. This talk by Michael Pollan inspired these thoughts, and it is worth a listen.