We sought to rise above the fray and just define what a good education looks like these days: What are the best schools in any county doing? What defines them? And we found four things: They invest in teaching as a career. They really prize having high-quality teachers in every single classroom. They give kids more time and ways to learn. Extend the school day, extend the school year, but you also do that by bringing back arts education — and wood shop, even — again, appealing to all the different kids’ learning styles. Thirdly, you invest more resources in the kids who need the most help. You see kids like people see investment portfolios: the ones who are going on all cylinders, you help them keep on going, and the ones who are lagging, you invest a bit more to get them up to speed. And, finally, you make sure kids show up to kindergarten ready to learn; you invest in universal pre-K.