Wow, I am confused!
After reading Frederick Hess’ excerpt from “What
Is a ‘Public
School?’ Principles for a New Century,” I was left wondering what he
was trying to say.
In between trying to find where he took a stance, I kept stumbling
across places where
seemed he was contradicting himself.
After I read the other writers’
ensued, I realized I was not alone.
However, I believe I deciphered a
few positions he
tries to take.
First, he, as well as some of the other writers on this
issue, believes that
the premise of public schooling should be re-examined periodically if
change Hess wants to advance pertains to the freedom and flexibility of
teachers in the
He claims that classrooms across America have become
teachers to push their own agenda on children and this can not be
says, “Public schools should teach children the essential skills and
knowledge that make
for productive citizens, teach them to respect our constitutional
order, and instruct them
in the framework of rights and obligations that secure our democracy
and protect our
liberty,” (as cited in Noll, 2007, p. 155).
A more radical suggestion Hess makes, at least in terms of how a public
traditionally thought of, is that all schools should be a part of the
not matter if they are for profit, accept donations from private
industry, or are religious
He says that bridge has been crossed and points to the
example of the Edison
In addition, the religious sector does not have the power and
influence it once
had so religious schools could be a part of the public system as well,
as long as they
operate with the purpose quoted from Hess in the last paragraph and are
Hess also raises the question of public schools giving equal
opportunity to all students,
which is what comes to mind when people think of traditional public
that as long as a district affords that equal opportunity, each school
should not be held
In effect, that is what is in place now with the
existence of magnet