Restoring Civic Purpose in Schools
Ask most social critics what ails America, and "low-performing public schools" will be high on the list. Pundits offer little supporting data (as if the pronouncement were self-evident), but when they do, they usually refer to test scores, not higher-level thinking skills, creativity, and resourcefulness—the tangible abilities that best serve a democratic society and market economy. K-12 schools, in effect, have become a scapegoat for a society incapable of or unwilling to face deeper problems associated with our education system.
This count-the-widget evaluation of the public schools has undermined the American education system. America's greatness is reflected in our ability to innovate, analyze complex problems, ask cogent questions, assemble and evaluate critical data, and seek creative solutions, not recall factual information. These are the skills of a democratic citizen, and failure to teach them imperils the future of the republic.
This decline of our education system began in earnest with the 1980s when corporate crusaders and other critics, supported by willing federal and state leaders, targeted public schools—an institution that plays a significant role in creating informed citizens, expanding the middle class, and thus expanding the economy. Schools do this by serving all students, regardless of cultural...
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- Princeton Public School District, Princeton, NJ
- Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
- Lake Forest School District 67 & 115, Lake Forest, IL
- Elementary Principal
- Forest Grove School District, Forest Grove, OR
- Perspectives Charter Schools, Chicago, IL
- Director of School Support
- The Achievement Network, Multiple Locations