How can we come up with a set of basic principles of democratic accountability and sufficient autonomy for our schools?

This blog, answering Meier's question about what list of elements should be necessary for public funding, with democracy in mind, argues that democracy educators in the United States have much to learn from the international "New School" movement, including the simple lesson that it is possible to make large-scale democratic change from the inside.

I'm hoping for a conversation that might lead to greater agreement about what kind of democratic processes entitle a school to public funding.

This blog argues that any concept of democracy schools that has much impact will have to challenge the "consumer" identities which are now widespread, in education and in virtually every area of society. We need a concept of democracy schools which sees students, teachers, parents, and others as co-creators, who build learning communities through their productive public work (work with public meaning and qualities). And we need to publicize the idea of citizen as co-creator, not consumer.

How can we define what makes a school "public" with democracy in mind, and what kinds of evidence could schools present to demonstrate that they have democratic foundations?

The opinions expressed in Bridging Differences are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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