PUBLIC EDUCATION: read this book…

From a recent review of the important book edited by David Berliner and Carl Hermanns and published by Teachers College Press, Public Education:Defending a Cornerstone of American Democracy:

Child Labor laws in the United States were ratified less than a century ago, in 1938. When children were liberated from the chains of illiteracy and the drudgery of working long hours for near-starvation pay, public schools emerged as welcoming, empowering institutions that offered the possibility of a better life. Rather than submit to a permanent sentence of indentured servitude, an American child—every American child—was suddenly given the opportunity to be treated as an equal among peers, regardless of race, religion, wealth, or family connections.

One can argue about the extent to which America has fallen short of its promises. But, powerful forces at work in the United States today are working to obliterate public schools and debunk the idea that every child deserves a fair chance. As noted repeatedly by the contributors to Public Education, if our public schools go down, our democracy seems likely to follow.

My chapter in the book is called “A New Deal for Public Schools.”


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