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These Schools Belong to You and Me

These Schools Belong to You and Me

Why We Can't Afford to Abandon Our Public Schools

A challenge to narrow, profit-driven conceptions of school success and an argument for protecting public education to ensure that all students become competent citizens in a vibrant democracy

Author: Deborah Meier   By author: Emily Gasoi

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MacArthur award-winning educator, reformer, and author Deborah Meier draws on her fifty-plus years of experience in education to argue that the purpose of universal education is to provide young people with an "apprenticeship for citizenship in a democracy." Through an intergenerational exchange with her former colleague and fellow educator Emily Gasoi, the coauthors share their experiences working in democratically governed schools and analyze the last several decades of education reform.

Reflecting on the trajectory of education and social policies that are leading our country further from rule "of, for, and by the people," the authors apply their extensive knowledge and years of research to address the question of how public education must change in order to counter the erosion of democratic spirit and practice in schools and in the nation as a whole.

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"It is fitting that a chapter in this inspiring book is titled 'Falling for Democracy,' for Deborah Meier and Emily Gasoi have written an intimate and heartfelt love letter to public education. The authors give us the experience of creating and working in schools where democratic principles are vibrantly alive." -Mike Rose, author of Possible Lives: The Promise of Public Education in America

"Once again, Deborah Meier has reminded us to never lose sight of what schools are supposed to be about. Beyond test scores and other measures of academic achievement, our schools must prepare young people to actively participate in a democratic society. They won't be able to do this if they haven't been encouraged to think critically and haven't been treated as respected members of their school community. In this important new book, Meier and her coauthor, Emily Gasoi, remind us that democratic practice and progressive education cannot be limited to independent private schools or be dismissed as liberal feel-goodism. Rather, if our schools are to play a role in bolstering our democracy, then we must always remain clear about how to do this and why it is essential. This book will be a poignant wake-up call to those who have forgotten." -Pedro A. Noguera, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Education, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

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