The new report by the National Association of Scholars, Making Citizens: How American Universities Teach Civics, reopens a debate as old as the nation -- is democracy is elections, or the ongoing work of the people?
Recently in civil rights Category
January 12, 2017
November 17, 2016
The most important task after this dismal election is to remember the idea that animated America's founding --- democracy is people-centered, not politician-centered. Building foundations for this idea through people-owned schools -- free spaces -- which bring people together across partisan and other divides is a crucial task.
October 25, 2016
Democracy schools in America were associated with the "common school movement," embodying ideals of a "commonwealth" created and sustained by people in communities. As people made the commonwealth -- and its common schools -- they became invested in the commonwealth as a counterweight to private wealth. Can we do this again? If so, how did you rebuild a sense of ownership and connections in communities with the schools you were involved with?
September 06, 2016
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.
May 31, 2016
Building democracy in schools is best thought of as a strand of a larger strategy to resist the rising authoritarian dangers of our time. Such a strategy calls for cross-partisan politics, organizing that sees the democratic potential in every kind of community, and a commitment to defending democracy and also deepening democracy.
May 03, 2016
Focus on the "structures" of democracy brings to mind the role of elections and assessment in a democratic way of life. How do we think about elections if "we the people" are at the center? How do we avoid another "Southern strategy" like Nixon's, which divided working people by race? How do we assess civic agency?
June 18, 2015
Some suburban districts hire detectives and even take families to court, to keep out students, often low income and students of color, from nearby urban districts. I think this is awful. I found many status quo defenders (and I don't see you as one of them) who believe this is perfectly ok.
May 21, 2015
Today Deborah Meier and Joe Nathan describe what their priorities for a progressive education agenda.
April 09, 2015
Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, explained "I'm deeply grateful" to people involved in the charter school movement. "Charters are an important part of the answer" to what American children, especially low income and children of color need. She also stressed the importance of effective district, as well as chartered public schools.
February 11, 2015
I'd like to discuss three documents. The first document is a powerful description of Metro, a terrific innovative district high "school without walls" in Chicago that operated 1970-1991. The second is a 1988 speech by Al Shanker. The third is an article by civil rights legend Dr. Kenneth Clark.