Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rethinking 'public education'

Last month at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the Inasmuch Foundation hosted a screening of The Lottery. After the film, I had the opportunity to be on a panel with Janet Barresi, Bill Price, and state Rep. Jabar Shumate. I pointed out that movies like this are causing people to rethink what is meant by "public education." Properly understood, "public education" is about producing an "educated public" -- whether that education takes place in traditional public schools, private schools, charter schools, home schools, or wherever.

Comes now a fascinating story in this weekend's Wall Street Journal. "The school board in a wealthy suburban county south of Denver is considering letting parents use public funds to send their children to private schools -- or take classes with private teachers -- in a bid to rethink public education," Stephanie Simon reports. "'These days, you can build a custom computer. You can get a custom latte at Starbucks,' said board member Meghann Silverthorn. 'Parents expect the same out of their educational system.'"

Are you listening, Edmond? Jenks?

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