He called the ideal school one that serves individual and institutional needs. He said "the community's duty to education is (a) paramount moral duty."
"I believe it is the business of every one interested in education to insist upon the school as the primary and most effective instrument of social progress and reform in order that society may be awakened to realize what the school stands for, and aroused to the necessity of endowing the educator with sufficient equipment properly to perform his task."
Dewey and Mann would be horrified about what's happening today. They'd denounce how education is being commodified. It's mirror opposite of their vision. It's being systematically destroyed.
Budgets are slashed. Teachers en masse are laid off or fired. Hundreds of schools are closed where they're most needed. Inner city kids won't have them in their communities.
Democrats and Republicans are in lockstep on policy at the federal, state and local levels. In the last two years alone, over 250,000 teachers lost jobs. From September 2011 through June 2012, 50,000 lost them.
How many hundreds of thousands more will be tolerated? How many more communities will put up with losing schools? How long will ordinary people accept commodified education replacing the real thing? How much more will families take before rebelling?
What about teacher rights? They're pressured to work longer for less pay and benefits. They're rated by robotized learning results. They're fired and replaced at half pay.
They're losing effective collective bargaining rights. Corrupt union bosses sell them out for their own self-interest. Public education in America is dying. A decade from now it may not exist.
Primary and secondary education today already are gravely compromised. Imagine what's likely ahead. Abolitionist Frederick Douglas once said: "I have found that to make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one."
Globalization fosters inequality, instability, and unemployment. Wage slavery replaced its chattel antecedent. Teachers are affected like other workers. Hard won rights are compromised and lost.
The state of the nation overall is troubling. The targeting and destruction of public education alone reflects class warfare.
It reveals contempt for democratic principles. It's a dagger in the heart of equal opportunity and freedom. It shows why America no longer is fit to live in. People have three choices: accept loss of all rights, leave, or rebel.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Email address removed .
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.