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?

This blog argues that the "democracy schools" which Deborah Meier founded and helped to catalyze elsewhere hold many lessons for revitalizing the American tradition of democracy as something we make through public work. This tradition has never been more important to recall, as a resource for pushing back against widespread fear-mongering.

Compromise is essential for democratic schools, which need to teach faculty, parents, and students to respect each other without burning out.

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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