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Education and Democracy

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AASA believes public schools belong to the public. Its Executive Director Paul Houston said:

"We know that people see education in a broad way. They want to see kids do well on basic skills, but they also need to do well in areas that are basic to living -- being good citizens, productive members of the community and able to find and hold down a job that allows them to live in America."

Father of American education Horace Mann called "(t)he common school....the greatest discovery ever made by man."


He meant public, not privatized, ones. He believed all students should be educated equally and responsibly. More on Mann's philosophy below.

Public education in America today is targeted for destruction. Chicago's war on teachers, parents and kids reflects policy across the country. 

Education is being commodified into another profit center. Bottom line priorities alone matter. Preparing kids for better futures doesn't count. 

They're sacrificed on the alter of money power unless stopped. Bush's No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Obama's Race to the Top (RTTT) are Exhibits A and B. The former leaves behind most kids. The latter is a race to nowhere. Both reflect schemes to destroy a nearly four century tradition.

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In cities across America, schools are closed, teachers fired, and students left out in the cold. Why bother educating kids when only profits matter and high-pay skilled jobs moved abroad.

In 1983, the National Commission on Excellence in Education published a report titled, " A Nation at Risk : The Imperative for Educational Reform." It found academic performance poor at nearly all levels. It warned that America's educational system was "being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity."

It's much worse today. It's a national disaster by design. So-called education reform is a scam. It masks privatization schemes, a society of growing haves and have nots, and no desire to educate most kids for low pay, low skill jobs if they can find one.

For over 40 years, Jonathan Kozol courageously defended public education. He still does. He believes every child should have equal opportunity in public schools. The Chicago Sun Times once called him "today's most eloquent spokesman for America's disenfranchised."

He believes privatized schools "starve the public school system of the presence of well-educated, politically effective parents to fight for equity for all kids."

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"I am opposed to the use of public funds for private education," he said.

"The greatest difference between now and (the 1960s) is that public policy has pretty much eradicated the dream of Martin Luther King."

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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