ERIC Number: ED478534
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
What's Right with Public Education. Fastback 501.
Kowal, Joan; Thomas, M. Donald
This document describes how public education has been a tremendous success for millions of children. It outlines the crucial role played by public education and how, in many cases, public schools are the only place where children receive care, sustenance, safety, and the opportunity to learn. The grand American tradition of public education began with Jefferson's ideal of an aristocracy based on talent and not on inherited wealth and privilege. Ever since its inception, this grand tradition of public education has undergone significant changes. It has been a crucial part of the immigrant experience, allowing the children of first-generation Americans to achieve a level of success that would not have been possible in their native countries. Indeed, education has produced a level of social mobility that is unmatched in most countries. It is public education that helps create a shared culture that is essential in any democracy. Public education also nurtures the financial health of any society and leads to the betterment of those who take full advantage of education's offerings. But education has come under full attack in the last 20 years, and although public education faces many challenges, its detractors fail to appreciate its many strengths and how it has shaped our culture. (Contains 10 references.) (RJM)
Descriptors: Democratic Values, Educational Benefits, Elementary Secondary Education, Public Education, Public Schools, Success
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Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, Bloomington, IN.