For many, the term public education conjures up the image of a neighborhood school that is open to all children in a community. As powerful as that image is, other characteristics also define public education and give even greater value to the unique role it plays in achieving and reflecting American ideals.
According to Slate, public education means a tuition-free, publicly funded system that must provide an education to each child in a neighborhood school within a publicly governed school system. The academic standards, the teachers and administrators, the values and methods of operation employed in these schools are all subject to oversight and direction by public policy-making bodies. The rights of students and parents are legally defined and are enforceable by the courts.
Public education means that a wide range of decision-making resides at the community level through the operation of locally elected school boards and through other avenues of direct citizen participation in the schools. Public decision-making also occurs through the election of state and congressional representatives, as well as the various publicly accountable agencies designated to carry out specific school functions.
Public education also means a system in which parents and the general public can obtain detailed information about their schools and be involved in school activities. What would education and society in America be like if these principles weren't at the core of what is meant by public education?
There's a reason that people who care about public education in the United States are mightily worried about President-elect Donald Trump. There are, actually, a number of reasons - all of which lead to this question: Will Trump's administration destroy U.S. public education?
The short answer is that he can't all by himself destroy America's most important civic institution. At least not without help from Congress, as well as the state and local legislatures and governors.
Education for All In 21st-century America, education is the key to success. Only the public schools are legally required to accept and retain all students, no matter their race, no matter their religion, no matter their educational attainment, social class, family income, special needs, or personal characteristics, as per Study USA.
Only the public schools must guarantee that within a legally enforceable range, the amount spent on each student will be equal from school to school within communities and across the state where those students reside. With that said, what do you think is the future of the U.S. public school systems under the Trump administration.
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