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KC Teacher Reminds Us: Education is “Moral Pillar” of Democracy

December 26, 2016

Mark Bannen, a Kansas City school teacher, wrote a Christmas Day op ed piece for the Kansas City Star that reminds us of the crucial importance of public education in a democracy. After observing with a hint of dismay that the current trend is to view education as a means to achieve economic gain, he writes:

Public education in a democracy is much more than just an instrumental means to an economic end. It is also a moral pillar upon which the entire structure of democracy rests. It’s true American education has not always lived up to its ideals, but it remains an enduring institution capable of great good.

Those aiming to reform the system, be they businessmen or educators, must recognize that the American public school is an experiment tied to democracy itself, and that the imperatives of business are not the same as those of education…

Let us hope that the Trump administration recognizes this dual purpose. Let us hope it believes that democratic public education can and does teach us to live together cooperatively, to value human dignity, to cherish the free and open practice of inquiry, and to provide a means for social and economic advancement.

Let us also hope that the Trump administration sees it as “…a means for social and economic advancement” of students and not as “…a means for social and economic advancement” of entrepreneurs

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