In an open letter to Harry Boyte, Deborah Meier considers how elements of school choice, like school vouchers and charters schools, promote ethnic and partisan separatism.
The definition of citizens as co-creators adds dimensions of power beyond voting. It holds potential to challenge the "melting pot" definition of success in America, revitalizing cultural pluralism, the hidden genius of diverse cultural communities, and generating a less materialistic understanding of the American dream. How can we develop assessment practices and norms to evaluate the skills and capacities of cooperative effort and cultural development?
How much real power do parents, teachers, and students have in public schools? The opt-out movement and privatization may be changing the equation in different ways, writes Deborah Meier.
In a discouraging time, stirrings of a new movement for citizenship and civic education are signs of hope. The youth civic empowerment and civic education initiative Public Achievement illustrates, as does the new field of Civic Studies, centered on citizens as co-creators, and new congressional legislation.
It would be odd indeed if schools to prepare cooks never did any cooking. It's equally odd that schools to prepare the young to assume the obligations of running their society have no opportunity to rule anything.