Divided We Stand: About This Series
Mounting evidence suggests that average Americans have become disenchanted with public education. But putting the public back in public schools will require fresh thinking and a new understanding of citizen and taxpayer attitudes. Over the coming months, Education Week will explore efforts now under way to reconnect the public with its schools.
• Going Public: A profile of the Edmonds, Wash., school district, where engaging the public has become an integral part of doing business.
• Survey Says: Polls, surveys, and focus groups are becoming popular tools for listening to the public's concerns about schools.
• Educated Consumers: Parents steeped in the consumer mentality are putting pressure on educators to give them more choices and a a greater role in making important decisions about their children's education.
• Philadelphia Story: The Philadelphia school district offers a high-profile, high-stakes test case for public engagement as residents struggle to understand Superintendent David Hornbeck's Children Achieving agenda
• The Business End: In Ohio, an unusual business-backed organization called BEST is working to build support among Ohioans for improving schools.
• Information Age: The explosion of information available over the Internet and World Wide Web has broad implications for how the public gets information about schools--and what people do with that knowledge when they have it.
• Money Talks: The foundation world is backing a new kind of reporting, called public journalism, to help people focus on solving problems together. Such coverage often zeroes in on a community's schools.