Archive for the ‘Public education in the US’ Category

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.  Continue reading

Sinking Democracy by Selling Education

One stream of the current education reform movement seeks to “unbundle” public schools.   Arguing that the “one size fits all” model of public education doesn’t fit all, its reformers seek school choice, not only as choices between schools, but also as options for commercially supplied curriculum products within schools.

The approach of the “unbundlers” is spelled out in a series of articles in a book edited by Frederick Hess and Bruno Manno: Customized Schooling: Beyond Whole-Group Reform.[1]  Hess is an education scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, while Manno is an official of the Walton Family Foundation, which is known for its advocacy of the privatization of public schools in this country.[2]

Their goal is to pave the way for commercial providers to sell curricular products in response to parental consumer demand. Continue reading

Children Failed by Society’s Neglect

“Class size is soaring in the poorest schools.  I walk into classes with 35, 40, 42 children packed into a single room.  Originality?  Forget it.  Creativity?  Forget it.  Critical thinking, asking questions?  There’s no time for children to ask questions.”  These observations are from Jonathan Kozol, one of the nation’s sharpest critics of the U.S. neglect of its public schools in low-income urban areas.  (AlterNet transcript of “Democracy Now” program) Continue reading