We start with as deep and thoughtful an exploration as we can manage of what education should be, then look at what it is in order to take on the challenge of what it will take to close the gap between the two. We focus initially on the United States where its historic position as a model to the world with respect to public education has radically altered. Despite having a research establishment that is the envy of the world more than half of the American public does not believe in evolution. Outcries about global warming are ignored for decades. Indifference to the dire implications of a radical change in the world’s consumption of fossil fuels defies reason and sanity. Mastery of basic skills, and bare minimum of cultural literacy increasingly eludes vast numbers of our students. Schools are often experienced as cold, grim and lifeless places. The vital connection between education, democracy and a vibrant citizenship, once the bedrock of public education in this country, has atrophied making the perpetuation of that democracy increasingly precarious. The challenges of reversing these trends are sobering for sure, but that does not diminish the need to do so. Nothing approaches the capacity of education to transform possibilities for realizing a better life and a better world; there is a wealth of powerful ideas to be mined; the resourcefulness of the human imagination and intellect to change the world is formidable. The intent of this workshop is to focus those resources on this intriguing, and urgent issue.