If you went to school in the 1960’s & 70’s, have you ever looked at our education system today with some bewilderment? We have.
Back then, teachers were highly thought of, parents were focused on making sure that the next school bond issue passed, communities were proud of their local high school for more than it’s football team.
Today, teachers are vilified, parents complain about school fees but vote down school taxes, and communities see kids being outsourced to schools in other localities.
It used to be we had the general public school system, a few specialty schools, and then some private schools which were primarily religious ones. You went to private school if you were from a wealthy family or very religious one with some money. The vast majority of us, however, went to public schools. Most were good. Some were not. Public debate went back and forth over the obligations of parents, Districts, teachers, society, and government. But on the whole, we all agreed – a strong public education system, was a national asset and national priority. It unified us, and gave us a common link. Public schools were the gateways through which the children of immigrants began their quest for their version of the American Dream.
Today, we still have the regular public schools, but we have some how added “Charter” schools and Option Schools, home-schooling and virtual schools. Private schools still exist, but a lot of them are looking for ways to get public funding without having any public accountability. And a large number of corporations now see the ‘Education Industry’ as having enormous ‘growth potential’.
How did we end up here?
Last week “Yes!” magazine published the article, “The Myth Behind Public School Failure“. It offers a different view of what happened that you will hear from Fox News or the read in the Colorado Observer.
We encourage you to read it and the comment on it here. Let’s get a good discussion going!