Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Visions for American Education

A New York Times article this morning described the vision of Randi Weingarten, new president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), for America's schools. Here's an excerpt:

"Can you imagine a federal law that promoted community schools—schools that serve the neediest children by bringing together under one roof all the services and activities they and their families need?" ... "Imagine schools that are open all day and offer after-school and evening recreational activities and homework assistance,” she said. “And suppose the schools included child care and dental, medical and counseling clinics." ... "Imagine if schools had the educational resources we have long advocated, like quality pre-K, smaller classes, up-to-date materials and technology and a nurturing atmosphere, so no child feels anonymous."
Compare this to America's founding. Samuel L. Blumenfeld shares, "Of the 117 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the constitution, one out of three had only a few months of formal schooling, and only one in four had gone to college.

"Parents and neighbors assumed it was their responsibility to fulfill Deuteronomy 6:6-7: 'And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons…'"

  • What happens when public education takes a broader role in the community?
  • Can schools ever take the place of family and church communities?
  • What is your vision for American education?
I want to hear your voices!
Click on the "comments" link to add your thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Evening recreational activities, counseling, dental visits, a nurturing atmosphere...yes, a family's job! We have become so accustomed to government intervention that we hardly notice when the government now steps in to parent our children. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Leigh!

Cara Bergeron said...


I appreciate the small byte of insight. I know I'm going to enjoy your blog. It's on my list of "to dos" this week to actually post to my blog--the first time since I took the SM job. Ha! I've never told you this but you are responsible for inspiring me to share my family's life in a blog. It goes back to a conversation you and I had back in Florida in my car. Someday I'll remind you.

Anonymous said...

Leigh, please keep it up...
It is hard to believe that parents, esp. mothers who pushed 10+ hours for those children (!) will read that article and think it would be a good thing.
My husband has a tough time getting me to go on a vacation without the kids.

Thanks for being brave.
Leigh W.
"CC Mom"