Universal Public Education is the Canary in the American Coal Mine

(Click on title to read the entire post.) The single greatest challenge to contemporary society, in my opinion, is the failure of Americans to create an effective public education system that provides every American child with a reasonable foundation of knowledge and skills needed to pursue happiness. Note that I am not suggesting America has an obligation to provide happiness, just the obligation to provide the knowledge and skills needed to pursue it. Universal Public Education is how America has attempted to provide the foundation for over a century, but it is now the canary in the American coal mine of equality, and if Conservatives—the Army of Liberty—have their way, the canary will soon be breathing its last breath.

The War between Equality and Individual Freedom

As long as the current emphasis on “my side winning” exists, compromise will be impossible. When it comes to education, we should not be concerned about whether one side or the other is winning. We should be concerned about whether or not our American way of life is winning, a way of life that values both equality and liberty and uses the goodwill of fraternity to find a balance within the contradiction with which most Americans can live. (Click on the title to read the entire post.)

Public Education and Eating the Rich

(Click on the title to view the entire post) In 1787 France and in 1917 Russia, the poor were very, very poor; the rich were very, very rich. The response to these examples of gross inequality was aptly described by Jean-Jacques Rousseau: When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich, which, metaphorically, is what The People did. While I have a citizen’s concern about the inevitability of the poor taking to the streets in American’s poorest urban neighborhoods with devastating results, my focus of this blog is Education. Just as a canary’s death from carbon monoxide once warned miners of impending doom, American urban public school systems are canaries now dying from the poisonous vapors of economic inequality.

“A wake-up call for Democrats”

Charles Barkley’s call for action at the Doug Jones’ victory celebration—“a wake-up call for Democrats”—addresses THE ISSUE facing Progressives: What in the hell are we fighting for? The Resistance is all well and good, but underlying that resistance must be a rock solid foundation upon which resistance is built, and right now, that foundation is not being communicated as one voice by the self-anointed leaders of the Resistance Movement or of the Democratic Party. Without a unified message, the Progressive Movement rests upon a foundation of sand. (Click on title to access full post)

“It actually sounds quite…equitable.” Not.

In response to one of my recent blogs, a colleague took issue with my concerns about choice in Education: “I just don’t see school choice creating a segregation or social class issue,” she wrote. “In fact, it puts quality schools within reach of everyone—not just the wealthy who can afford private schools, and opens the door for everyone to become part of a school community that blends their local demographics.  Hmmm…it actually sounds quite…equitable.” (Click on the title for the full post)