publicschools - Wow I am confused After reading Frederick...

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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 it seemed he was contradicting himself. After I read the other writers’ comments that 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 not changed. One change Hess wants to advance pertains to the freedom and flexibility of teachers in the classroom. He claims that classrooms across America have become platforms for liberal teachers to push their own agenda on children and this can not be allowed. Hess 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 school is traditionally thought of, is that all schools should be a part of the public system. It should not matter if they are for profit, accept donations from private industry, or are religious schools. He says that bridge has been crossed and points to the example of the Edison schools. 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 monitored by public officials. 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 schools. He says that as long as a district affords that equal opportunity, each school should not be held to that standard. In effect, that is what is in place now with the existence of magnet
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schools, alternative schools, and various other schools in the public system. Hess says, “Demanding that a science magnet school accept students with minimal science accomplishments or that any traditional school accept a habitually violent student
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This note was uploaded on 11/20/2010 for the course HISTORY 250 taught by Professor Piper during the Spring '10 term at Piedmont College.

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publicschools - Wow I am confused After reading Frederick...

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