Social Networking for Great Public Education

Allow me to share with you, dear readers of this blog, the journey we are on together.  My life as a blogger began with a suggestion from my son, Jeff (the Monster.com founder guy): “Write a blog and drive it through social networking sites to promote your book.”  The name of my new book, Seeds of Freedom: Liberating Education in Guatemala, implies a lot of what my adult life has been about.  My blog site URL is on message with that: www.seeds-of-freedom.org.   But if you are new to it, I want to share with you what you will find as you explore it now.

As a non-native to the world of blogging and social networking, I thought it best to explore the medium and to find my public voice in a related topic.  My topic of choice was to analyze public education in the U.S.  A couple of insightful articles came my way and I found myself falling into a rabbit hole of scary threats to public education, including serious efforts to privatize it entirely.  Names of billionaires like Gates, Broad, DeVos, Koch, and Walton became a focus for my blog posts.  Their strategies include charters schools, school choice and vouchers, along with the undermining of public education through blaming teachers, trashing their unions, and setting everyone on edge with a miserable use of high-stakes standardized testing.

Before long I was both fascinated and appalled by what I was learning.  From my vantage point, the undermining of public education in the U.S. weakens one of the cornerstones of our democracy.  Yes, public education in this country needs a major overhaul.  Put a period after that.  But if we are to survive as a coherent nation, the overhaul needs to be of public education and not market-based substitutes for it.  And it must give students the perspectives and skills they need to become insightful critics and reformers of the society they live in.  The goal of such education is to create a society that benefits all of its citizens equally and not primarily the wealthy few.

Then it came to me that my book, a case study of education in a remote Guatemalan village, provides a lot of wisdom about education at its best in nurturing learners to become empowered citizens.  So my current plan is to self-publish the book and use the blog both to promote it and to apply its insights to public education in this country.  Good strategies and practices for the latter exist, but need to become better known.

That’s where you come in.  If you haven’t subscribed to this blog, but like its ideas, please subscribe by using either the “follow” button at the top, or the “email subscribe” button in the right hand column, of the site.  As you read one or more of the posts, I invite you to comment on it or them, which will provide a channel of dialogue between us.  Then share the site with teachers, school administrators, parents of school-age children and others you know.  Together we can build toward great public education.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Richard Perras on October 16, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Sadly, I believe the privatization of education in the United States is part of a broader lack of support for the public sphere in general. There are a too many citizens who would LIKE a society of “haves and have nots” and too many politicians interested only in reelection.

    Reply

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