The Education section of MakeOurDemocracyWork.com includes a link to my article titled Repurposing Education. In that article I contend that today public education is governed by the wrong sense of primary purpose: “preparing students to compete effectively as workers in the global economy.” I argue for a civic (democratic) primary purpose: “preparing students to participate effectively as citizens in our constitutional democracy.” This difference in language has important implications for the content, process and assessment of public education. A colleague recently told me that no agreement on a unifying national purpose for public education is necessary, however, since each local board of education should decide for itself about a primary purpose or purposes for their schools.
Do you agree with her? Or do you have a different take on the issue of public school purpose(s)?