The Superintendent: Championing the Deepest Purposes of Education
by Paul D. Houston - 2006
To be proactive and to broaden our leadership agenda, we must recognize that the first and foremost mission of the public schools is their civic mission. In these times of making education the foremost instrument of the global economy while making public schools the scapegoat for society’s lack of will to tackle the messy issues of race and class, that mission has gotten lost. What would it take to recapture the deepest reasons we have public schools? What would it take to confront the issues of how we keep children whole and how we address the needs of the whole child in an era in which children are being sliced and diced into categories on standardized tests? What is the role of local districts, of local control, when state and federal bureaucracies are making the decisions and calling the dance? What are the implications of all this for education and for democracy?
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