March 25, 1998

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Vol. 17, Issue 28
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In 1995, my colleague and I won a grant competition conducted by the U.S. Information Agency that supported a two-year project dedicated to the reform of civic education in the high schools of the Czech Republic. The idea behind our initiative was to target the school as an agency for the encouragement and sustenance of democracy and to help Czech educators develop the curriculum materials, teaching strategies, and organizational schemes needed to bring civic consciousness and democratic practice to the school experience.
Let me begin talking about the seemingly endless school reform debate with what might appear to be a far-out analogy. =para Let's say that John Noshwell is overweight. He finally decides that he's got to shed a few pounds and needs some help to overcome his lack of self-discipline. So one day he goes to sign in at the Downsizing Weight Loss Clinic.
At a recent reunion, a former college classmate with whom I had long ago lost touch smiled benignly while another old friend described her journey from union organizer to real estate agent. But when I reported that my job involved me in school-to-work activities, he recoiled in horror.
FOUNDATION SUPPORT: Coverage of specific topics in Education Week is supported in part by grants from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the CME Group Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, the Noyce Foundation, the Raikes Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. The newspaper retains sole editorial control over the content of the articles that are underwritten by the foundations. Additional grants in support of Editorial Projects in Education’s data journalism and video capacity come from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Schott Foundation for Public Education. (Updated 1/1/2017)

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