Humanizing Public Education
The Austrian-born economist Friedrich von Hayek may be intellectual godfather of neoliberalism: present-day right-wing economics. His book, The Road to Serfdom, is considered to be the bible of anti-government, free market ideas and the privatization of just about everything. From war to prisons, a core goal of neoliberalism is: Let the private sector do it. And there are few bigger targets than public education. The 50 million students who attend public schools are viewed as products and commodities. Under the banner of “choice,” the regime in Washington, according to Diane Ravitch, noted NYU professor, wants “to shrink the Department of Education, with the ultimate goal of getting rid of it entirely.” The neoliberals want cuts in the education budget for public schools and more taxpayer money to go to charter schools and to vouchers for private and religious schools.
For decades, as a public school teacher and author, Jonathan Kozol has documented inequities in the U.S. education system. He won the National Book Award for Death At An Early Age. His other books include Amazing Grace, Illiterate America and The Shame of the Nation.
James P Foley –
I have never heard such a wonderfully inspiring talk on public education!!
The content of this talk is vital.
The verbal pictures Mr. Kozol paints open the window to wonderfully refreshing draughts of fresh insights into the idea that love for our children, and a willingness to honor each child’s remarkable integrity, creativity, and diversity are what must be at the foundation of our schools’ motivation for teaching.
Mr. Kozol has helped me to feel that there’s reason to hope, and that there are as many reasons for educators to live true to their ideals and to continually rediscover and honor them as there are children in our public schools.
Thank you AR for airing this important program. It is nurturing, confidence building, and inspiring.
Devora Kaufman –
I loved his talk but the intro to the talk placed the blame on changes in education on neo-liberals and equated charter schools with vouchers. It is really important to know that charter schools are public schools and often advocate for the same things that Kozol espouses–creative education that values children as individuals and doesn’t teach to the test. Also, vouchers are the invention of the ultra-conservatives who want religious schools to be financed by public funding. They are nothing like the concept of charter schools.
Kozol talked about charter schools that don’t allow poor and special ed children but that is against the law. I am sure that this happens sometimes but this is not the norm. I am a charter school teacher who individuates education for each of my students..
What a talk, what a man. Kozol has such a pleasing voice and manner.