We asked prominent voices in education—from policy makers and teachers to activists and parents—to look beyond laws, politics, and funding and imagine a utopian system of learning. They went back to the drawing board—and the chalkboard—to build an educational Garden of Eden. We’re publishing their answers to one question each day this week. Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Today’s assignment: The content. What should students be expected to know by the time they leave school?

Rita Pin Ahrens, the director of education policy for the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center

Students will leave school with the ability to think critically and independently, to leverage and adapt to ever-shifting technology and modes of c