The history of public schools as shared by “historydawg” on AJC’s “Get Schooled” blog, January 10, 2017

Readers will be interested in reading this history of public schools, called “common schools” in America, shared by a poster named “historydawg” on Maureen Downey’s blog, “Get Schooled,” of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Opinion: Union attack on ed secretary nominee Betsy DeVos partisan and baseless

“Allen purports to speak for teachers, though she neither represents teachers nor has she been a teacher. She has a degree in education business. Her claim to represent teachers and students seems rather disingenuous. Perhaps if she were honest about the success (or lack of success) of current chapters, perhaps if she were honest about how communities schools lose when charters move in, perhaps if she were truthful that the same folks who promote “choice” are the very ones who created the regulation and rules that charters claim to escape. Of course, it is never about the students, only the choices (and thus privileges) of a selective few. Let’s champion one of America’s greatest exports–the public education, open and equal for all students.”


Mary Elizabeth:
“Well said. And, especially well said are your remarks, below, regarding the history of public schools in this nation.

Thank you, historydawg.”

Mary Elizabeth:

“If vouchers are approved, I think that the legislature and counties need to consider waiving senior citizens from having to pay school taxes which will often go to the cost of vouchers for the already wealthy to send their children to private schools on the backs of senior citizens, without children in school themselves, who may not have the financial wherewithal to support those Georgians much wealthier than themselves who insist upon using public taxes to send their children to private and religious schools. . . .

I am using my personal example, above as a senior citizen, to show this reading audience that there are many other groups of lower to lower middle class yearly incomes who will be unfairly penalized financially by this voucher “choice,” proposed by Mrs. DeVos, and others.

Of course, DeVos is so wealthy that she, no doubt, fails to understand that financial unfairness, nor does she understand that her educational vision will end up hurting teachers (who will work for lower wages and fewer benefits including retirement benefits and healthcare) and students, especially those of poorer means in this state and nation, because the schools in which they will be stuck will become more deficient than ever because of low funding.”


“What she has done has not improved education. She is against what our founders championed for the security of the Republic. Im sure most teachers in Ga who are not in a union would agree that we need a Secretary who has experience and a record of championing the education of all, not a select few so that an even more selective few can make money. Btw States where the AFT is strong have better schools by every GOP-contrived measure.”


A third poster:

“Yes. They thought so strongly about it that they completely left it (education) out of our constitution.When did you start speaking for the founding fathers?”


“Clearly you have read state constitutions from the 1780s and 1790s, written by founders, which all made provisions for other peoples’ children.”

The third poster:

“Then you should know that what are today considered “charter schools” were the norm in the early colonies.Provisions didn’t always exist to set up formal school districts,nor did agreement on curricula or even what personnel could be obtained.Groups of colonists would get together, and ,(although the term was not in common usage for schools) ‘charter’ a school for the betterment of their kids education.There was no eduacracy in those days to demand more and more money and control over parents educational decisions.Things seemed to have worked out just fine.”


“The first Georgia constitution included it, but as today, some rejected this responsibility, especially educating non white kids. deVos is another scene in this fight for a more perfect union that Jefferson, Mann, Dewey and countless other responsible citizens gave their best efforts. . . .

It was called the common school from about 1820s onward and involved communities pooling resources to educate their kids. All kids. Not for profit. Not educating some. Not educating to extend privilege or career. For citizenship. For the Republic that deVos seeks to destroy.”


Mary Elizabeth:

“Excellent summary of the history of public schools in this nation and how Betsy DeVos’ educational ideas are not consistent with that history. Thank you, historydawg.”

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