How the Public Makes Up Its Mind?

22 10 2006

There is no doubt but that much of the clamor over education today represents the public going about the business of reassessing what is taught in the public schools.

For those of us living through the charges, countercharges, polemics, and epithets it is difficult to understand why so much heat is needed to generate some light; but this seems to be the way in which the public makes up its mind.

Moreover, the sharpness of the controversy is inherent in the nature of our times. It is, as mentioned earlier, but one phase of the general debate over what it means to be an American.

Teachers College Record Volume 57 Number 6, 1956, p. 354-359

Would you believe this was written fifty years ago? Maybe we shouldn’t expect things to improve anytime soon . . .

Educational Leadership for a Free World:
Public School and Public Philosophy
by Lawrence A. Cremin — 1956

We Be Government

22 10 2006

“Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien
power over us
. “

Power of Story Worthy to Lead Education

22 10 2006

Now here’s a public figure I might actually follow . . .

Asked about his leadership, Mr. Bollinger said, “It’s really wrong to assume that there is an inconsistency between seeing complexity and taking a strong position.”

. . .“In a society committed to free speech . . . we are called on to maintain our courage to confront bad words with better words. That is the hallmark of a university and of our democratic society.

In the class that he teaches for undergraduates, “Freedom of Speech and Press,” Mr. Bollinger praised thoughtfulness.

When a student, asked whether a pornography ban would withstand legal scrutiny, responded, “It’s complicated,” the professor smiled.

“It is complicated,” he said. “It’s taken me two months to get you to say that.”

Home education is becoming a recognized institution. We’ve long debated how best to protect and preserve home education’s freedoms, its public image, its representation and leadership, who can speak for home education and with what words. Some of us are presently discussing how home education’s leadership can transition from veterans to the next generation, but we haven’t agreed on what home education leadership IS yet.

It’s complicated! So Bollinger says to start with the foundation, honor fundamental principles.

“You can’t represent an institution without being consistent with its fundamental character,” he said. “If you try to oversimplify, ultimately it will catch up with you.”

I wrote the following about honoring home education’s fundamental character nearly three years ago:

Another way of describing true freedom would be if no homeschooling family anywhere had to resist meddling do-gooders coming in uninvited to “help” them, whether down the block, in the local CPS office, the Statehouse, or especially across the Continent.

One thing we could do immediately, without any legal change anywhere,would be to refrain from meddling with each other!

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