On the National Movement to Dismantle Public Schools

The below comments are taken from a post I posted on a local journalist’s blog from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on January 31, 2013:

“The national movement toward dismantling public schools for private ones, or for public charter schools which are operated by private corporations for profit, is not a movement that I support.

That movement has deeper political and philosophical variances from my thinking than I can discuss here. However, I believe that I do see what is going on in our era, with long-ranged ramifications for our state and nation. I will say, however, that I support private schools that are paid for by private funds, and that I support a reasonable number of public charter schools that will work in harmony with traditional public schools – and not against them – for the equal benefit of all of the students in Georgia. I will, also, say that I support the improvement of traditional public schools so that all students in Georgia are well-served. I tried to be a leader toward that improvement of Georgia’s public schools before I retired. I continue to share my thoughts, based on my educational background and experiences, of how to improve Georgia’s public schools on the ‘Get Schooled’ educational blog of the AJC, as well as on my personal blog.

Bottom line: I do not support schools in which the primary intent is profit. I saw myself as a public servant when I was a teacher, and an educational leader, in Georgia’s public schools. The hours that I spent, over and beyond the required hours, were freely given by me for the betterment of Georgia students and of their families, and not for additional money for myself. The educational philosophy of serving all students equally well, and not for monetary reasons, is what I want to see sustained in Georgia and throughout our nation.

Profit has its place in American society and I am certainly not against making a profit in the private domain. However, I believe that profit-making does not belong in public education. Moreover, to the extent that personal profit-making already exists in public education, then I believe that it must be uncovered and stopped. I want Georgia’s public schools to continue to place priority on educating all of Georgia’s students equally well, and not on profit. One cannot serve two masters equally well. One has to choose. The public domain has its place in American society, just as does the private domain. There must continue to be a well-orchestrated balance between the public and the private (or between making personal profit for one’s self and one’s family and serving the common good of all and not for profit for one’s self) as our founding fathers recognized. My life’s choice, and my life’s work, has been in serving, and advocating for, the public domain, which ideally serves the common good.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/22/education/scholarship-funds-meant-for-needy-benefit-private-schools.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

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