Home > Uncategorized > Joanne Yatvin: The Purpose of Public Schools

Joanne Yatvin: The Purpose of Public Schools

This is a good companion piece to my earlier post on the impact of consumerism on post-secondary and K-12 education

Diane Ravitch's blog

Joanne Yatvin is a former teacher, principal, superintendent, and president of the National Council of Teachers of English.

Far too many politicians and ordinary citizens have forgotten that the purpose of American education is as much to support a democratic society, as it is to prepare students to be active citizens, in charge of themselves and their communities. They have also forgotten that the proof of the pudding is not how well our students’ test scores compare with those of other countries but the proportion of American citizens who are leading intelligent, productive, and caring lives.

Ideally, civic learning begins and continues for children at home, mostly by watching, listening, and imitating what good parents do. But not all homes are wise and harmonious, and even the best ones cannot offer the full range of experiences that civic maturity requires.

Traditionally, schools were expected to reinforce civic actions as children…

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