Frederick M. Hess
American Enterprise Institute
Originally posted Feb. 22, 2004
M. Hess is a Resident Scholar at the American
Enterprise Institute. His books include Bringing
the Social Sciences Alive (Allyn-Bacon 1999), Revolution
at the Margins (Brookings 2002), and the forthcoming Common
Sense School Reform (Palgrave). His work has appeared in scholarly
journals including Social Science Quarterly, American Politics
Quarterly, Urban Affairs Review, and Teachers College Record.
He is a former high school social studies teacher.
The author would like to thank Andrew Kelly and Brett Friedman for their
The phrase â€œpublic schoolingâ€ has become more a rhetorical device than a
useful guide to policy. As our world evolves, so too must our conception of what
â€œpublicâ€ means. James Coleman eloquently made this point more than two
decades ago, implying a responsibility to periodically reappraise our
assumptions as to what constitutes â€œpublic schooling.â€1 In a
world where charter schooling, distance education, tuition tax credits, and
other recent developments no longer fit neatly into our conventional mental
boxes, it is clearly time for such an effort. Nonetheless, rather than receiving
the requisite consideration, â€œpublic schoolingâ€ has served as a flag around
which critics of these various reforms can rally. It is because the phrase
resonates so powerfully that critics of proposals like charter schooling,
voucher programs, and rethinking teacher licensure have at times abandoned
substantive debate in order to attack such measures as â€œanti-public
the term â€œpublic schoolâ€ is treated with the same veneration in the context
of education as marriage is (or was) treated in the context of relationships. All
schools are public schools.
Those of us committed to the promise of public education are obliged to see that
the ideal does not become a tool of vested interests. The perception that public
schooling has strayed from its purpose and been captured by self-interested
parties has fueled lacerating critiques in recent years. Such critics as Andrew
Coulson and Douglas Dewey find a growing audience when they suggest that the
ideal of public schooling itself is nothing more than a call to publicly
subsidize the private agendas of bureaucrats, education school professors, union
officials, and leftist activists.3 While I believe such attacks
are misguided, answering them effectively demands that we discern what it is
that makes schooling public and accept diverse arrangements that are consistent
with those tenets. Otherwise, growing numbers of reformers may come to regard
public schooling as a politicized obstacle rather than a shared ideal.
While I do not aim to provide a precise answer as to what public schooling
should mean in the early 21st century, I will argue that public schools are
broadly defined by their commitment to preparing students to be productive
members of a social order, aware of their societal responsibilities, and
respectful of constitutional strictures; that such schools cannot deny access to
students for reasons unrelated to their educational focus; and that the system
of public schools available in any community provide an appropriate placement
for each student. In short, I suggest that it is appropriate to adopt a much
more expansive notion of public schooling than the one the education community
What Isnâ€™t Public?
Traditionally, â€œpublic schoolsâ€ are deemed to be those directly accountable
to elected officials or funded by tax dollars.4 As a practical
matter, such definitions are not very useful, largely because there are
conventional â€œpublicâ€ schools that do not fit within these definitions,
while there are â€œprivateâ€ providers that do.
a major objective of teachers unions has been to diminish oversight by elected
officials and transfer decision-making power to the professionals accountable to
no one and only loosely accountable to the nebulous and optional standards of
the profession. In practice, government teachers and administrators now have
veto power over elected officials. If the teachers and administrators donâ€™t
agree with a change or initiative, they can stop it. So, the question arises,
â€œJust how accountable can public schools be to elected officialsâ€”or parents
or the community, for that matterâ€”when the employees have veto power?â€
We generally regard as â€œpublic schoolsâ€ those in which policy making and
oversight are the responsibility of governmental bodies, such as a local school
board. Nongovernmental providers of educational services, such as independent
schools or educational management organizations (EMOs), are labeled
â€œnonpublic.â€ The distinction is whether a formal political body is in
charge, since these officials are accountable by election or appointment to the
larger voting â€œpublic.â€
vast economic resources of teacher unions, plus their ready access to the names,
addresses and telephone numbers of parents with students, which are confidential
to the rest of us, means they can choose who they want to be elected. Consistent
with the goal to diminish oversight by elected officials, they naturally prefer
candidates whose main objective is to raise more money for schools while leaving
policy, practice and procedure to teachers. In other words, the employees of
government schools use the political system to undermine the public role of
There are two particular problems here. First, how â€œhands onâ€ must the
government be for us to regard a service as publicly provided? The National
Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the
U.S. Department of Education, and most other state, federal, and local
government agencies contract with for-profit firms to support, to provide
services, and to evaluate service delivery. Yet we tend to regard the services
as â€œpublicâ€ because they were initiated in response to a public directive
and are monitored by public officials. It is not clear when government-directed
activity ceases to be public. For instance, if a for-profit company manages a
district school, is the school less public than it was when it purchased its
texts from a for-profit textbook publisher and its professional development from
a private consultant?
most important point to make here is that since teacher unions have undermined
the power of public school boards, there is no difference between a â€œpublic
schoolâ€ run by professionals and a â€œprivate schoolâ€ run by professionals.
Indeed, the boards of â€œprivate schoolsâ€ may have far more oversight power
than the boards of public schools. The private-public dichotomy has been
seriously eroded by teacher union initiatives.
A second approach to defining â€œpublicâ€ focuses on inputs. By this metric, any
activity that involves government funds is public because it involves the
expenditure of tax dollars. However, this distinction is more nebulous than
we sometimes suppose. For instance, schools in the Milwaukee voucher program
receive Wisconsin tax dollars. Does this mean that voucher schools ought to be
regarded as de facto public schools? Similarly, Wisconsin dairy farmers receive
federal subsidies. Does this make their farms public enterprises?
A particular complication is that many traditional public schools charge
families money. For instance, during 2002-03, the families of more than 2,300
Indiana students are paying tuition of as much as $6,000 to enroll their
children in a public school in another district. Public schools routinely charge
fees to families that participate in inter-district public choice plans, and
they frequently charge families fees if a child participates in extracurricular
activities. Would proponents of a revenue-based definition suggest that such
practices mean that these schools are no longer â€œpublicâ€?
schools are also charging fees for pre-k and kindergarten programs, plus fees
for bus transportation.
A third approach, famously advanced by John Dewey, the esteemed champion of
â€œpublicâ€ education, recognizes that private institutions may serve public
ends and that public institutions may fail to do so.5 Such a
recognition suggests that public schools are those that serve public ends,
regardless of the monitoring arrangements or revenue sources. This approach
is ultimately problematic, however, because we do not have clear
agreement on appropriate public purposes. Iâ€™ll have more to say on this point
What Is Public Schooling?
Previously, I have posed five questions to guide our efforts to bring more
precision to our understanding of â€œpublic schoolingâ€.6 Here, I
offer these questions as a way to sketch principles that may help shape a
contemporary conception of â€œpublic schooling.â€
What are the purposes of public schooling? Schooling entails both
public and private purposes, though we often fail to note the degree to
which the private benefits may serve the public interest. In particular,
academic learning serves the individual and also the needs of the state.
Successful democratic communities require a high level of literacy and numeracy
and are anchored by the knowledge and the good sense of the population. Citizens
who lack these skills are less likely to contribute effectively to the
well-being of their communities and more likely to be a drain on public
resources. Therefore, in a real sense, any school that helps children master
reading, writing, mathematics, and other essential content is already advancing
some significant public purposes.7 It is troubling that prominent
educational thinkers, including Frank Smith, Susan Ohanian, Deborah Meier, and
Alfie Kohn, have rejected this fundamental premise and encouraged â€œpublic
schoolsâ€ to promote preferred social values even at the expense of basic
Swygert, of Number 2
Nice to see Master
Kohn singled out for opprobrium here. Deborah
discussed before, but at least she argues against testing with reason and
experience, rather than hysterical hyperbole (a more recent article about her
Susan Ohanian is a
Bush-hater who apparently considers urban vouchers plans to be "atrocities."
Smith writes books about how the "drill and kill" method is
destructive to children (I find it interesting that one of his books was
published in 1998 but has only one review on Amazon.com).
More fundamentally, there are two distinct ways to comprehend the larger public
purposes of education. One suggests that schools serve a public interest that
transcends the needs of individuals. This line of thought, understood by
Rousseau as the â€œgeneral will,â€ can be traced to Platoâ€™s conviction that
nations need a far-sighted leader to determine their true interests, despite the
shortsighted preferences of the mob. A second way of thinking about the
public purposes of education accepts the classically â€œliberalâ€ understanding
of the public interest as the sum of the interests of individual citizens and
rejects the idea of a transcendent general will. This pragmatic stance helped
shape American public institutions that protect citizens from tyrannical
majorities and overreaching public officials.
Swygert: Isn’t "overreaching public officials" a redundant statement?
While neither perspective is necessarily â€œcorrectâ€, our government of
limited powers and separate branches leans heavily toward the more modest
dictates of liberalism. Despite our tendency to suffuse education with the
sweeping rhetoric of a disembodied national interest, our freedoms are secured
by a system designed to resist such imperial visions.
other words, the more government schools strive to â€œdomesticateâ€ (or
condition, train or indoctrinate) students in a fixed and particular wayâ€”which
as a happy coincidence happens to be entirely consistent with educator
expectations of student ideas and behavior in public schoolsâ€”the less freedom
our nation will enjoy. I note it is more than likely that the ideas and
behaviors needed for success outside of school are not precisely the same ones
needed inside schools. This presents a dilemma.
The â€œpublicâ€ components of schooling include the responsibility for
teaching the principles, habits, and obligations of citizenship. While schools
of education typically interpret this to mean that educators should preach
â€œtoleranceâ€ or affirm â€œdiversity,â€ a firmer foundation for citizenship
education would focus on respect for law, process, and individual rights. The
problem with phrases like â€œtoleranceâ€ and â€œdiversityâ€ is that they are
umbrella terms with multiple interpretations. When we try to define them
more precisely â€” in policy or practice â€” it becomes clear that we must
privilege some values at the expense of others. For instance, one can
plausibly argue that tolerant citizens should respectfully hear out a radical
Muslim calling for jihad against the U.S. or that tolerance extends only to
legalistic protection and leaves one free to express social opprobrium. If
educators promote the former, as their professional community generally advises,
they have adopted a particular normative view that is at odds with that held by
a large segment of the public.
above paragraph states a fundamental truth. Tolerance is never free from
intolerance. Diversity is never free of exclusivity or segregation. And most
importantly, the bringing together of people with different values, ideas,
backgrounds and perspectives guarantees someone will be offended by something.
It has only been in the past few years of human history that some people have
taken to believing the right not to be offended trumps the right of free speech.
This is not freedom, but orthodoxy.
Promoting one particular conception of tolerance does not make schools more
â€œpublic.â€ In a liberal society, uniformly teaching students to accept
teen pregnancy or homosexuality as normal and morally unobjectionable represents
a jarring absolutism amidst profound moral disagreement.
observation consistent with Chapter II of John Stuart Millâ€™s On
Nonetheless, many traditional â€œpublicâ€ schools (such as members of the Coalition
of Essential Schools) today explicitly promote a particular worldview and
endorse a particular social ethos. In advancing â€œmeaningful questionsâ€, for
instance, faculty members at these schools often promote partisan attitudes
towards American foreign policy, the propriety of affirmative action, or the
morality of redistributive social policies. Faculty members in these schools
can protest that they have no agenda other than cultivating critical inquiry,
but observation of classrooms or perusal of curricular materials makes clear
that most of these schools are not neutral on the larger substantive
questions. This poses an ethical problem in a pluralist society where the
parents of many students may reject the public educatorsâ€™ beliefs and where
the educators have never been clearly empowered to stamp out â€œimproperâ€
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. Any school that does so should be regarded as
serving public purposes.
How should we apportion responsibility between families and public schools?
The notion that schools can or should serve as a â€œcorrectiveâ€ against the
family was first promulgated in the early 19th century by reformers who viewed
the influx of immigrants as a threat to democratic processes and American norms.
In the years since, encouraged by such thinkers as George Counts, Paulo Freire,
Michael Apple, Peter McLaren, and Amy Gutmann, educational thinkers have
unapologetically called for schooling to free students from the yoke of their
familyâ€™s provincial understandings.
The problem is that this conception of â€œpublic interestâ€ rests uneasily
alongside Americaâ€™s pluralist traditions. American political thought dating
back to Madisonâ€™s pragmatic embrace of â€œfaction,â€ has presumed that our
various prejudices and biases can constructively counter one another, so long as
the larger constitutional order and its attendant protections check our worst
other words, prejudices and biases should be worked on in political processes,
not through education. Education, properly understood, demands the inquiry into
multiple views of values, ideas and cultures. It is the student who, after
thoughtful consideration of multiple viewpoints, must individually decide on the
best balance of social attributes most likely to lead to a fulfilling life. The
best teachers do not indoctrinate, but question. They do not hard sell
particular viewpoints, but hard sell all viewpoints.
The notion that schools are more â€œpublicâ€ when they work harder to stamp
out familial views and impress children with socially approved beliefs is one
that ought to give pause to any civil libertarian or pluralist. Such schools are
more attuned to the public purposes of a totalitarian regime than those of a
democratic one. While a democratic nation can reasonably settle upon a range
of state/family relationships, there is no reason to imagine that a regime that
more heavily privileges the state is more â€œpublic.â€ The relative
â€œpublicnessâ€ of education is not enhanced by having schools intrude more
forcefully into the familial sphere.
Who should be permitted to provide public schooling? Given publicly
determined purposes, it is not clear that public schooling needs to impose
restrictions on who may provide schooling. There is no reason why for-profit or
religious providers, in particular, ought to be regarded as suspect.
While traditional public schools have always dealt with for-profit providers of
textbooks, teaching supplies, professional development, and so on,
profit-seeking ventures have emerged as increasingly significant players in
reform efforts. For instance, the for-profit, publicly held company Edison
Schools is today managing scores of traditional district schools across the
nation. Yet these are still regarded as â€œpublicâ€ schools. In fact, Edison is
managing the summer school programs, including curricula and personnel, for more
than 70 public school districts. Yet those communities continue to regard
summer school as public schooling.
Such arrangements seem to run afoul of our conventional use of the term
â€œpublic,â€ but the conflict is readily resolved when we recognize that all
public agencies, including public hospitals and public transit systems,
routinely harness the services of for-profit firms. Just as a public university
is not thought to lose their public status merely because portions of it enter
into for-profit ventures with regards to patents or athletics, so the entry of
for-profit providers into a K-12 public school does not necessarily change the
institutionâ€™s fundamental nature. What matters in public higher education is
whether the for-profit unit is controlled and overseen by those entrusted with
the universityâ€™s larger public mission. What matters in public schooling is
whether profit-seekers are hired to serve public ends and are monitored by
monitoring most consistent with freedom and democratic principles is the
monitoring that comes from students and parents who are free to choose which
schools they will support with their attendance.
The status of religious providers has raised great concern, among such groups as
People for the American Way
and the Center for
Education Policy. However, the nationâ€™s early efforts to provide public
education relied heavily upon local church officials to manage public funds,
provide a school facility, and arrange the logistics of local schooling. It was
not until the anti-Catholic fervor of the mid- and late-19th century that states
distanced themselves from religious schooling. It was not until the mid-20th
century that advocacy groups like the American Civil Liberties Union pushed the
remnants of religion out of state-run schools.
that interesting? It was intolerance and prejudice, not tolerance and diversity,
that were instrumental in shaping our current delivery system of education
In recent decades, the U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that the push for a
â€œwall of separationâ€ had overreached and run afoul of First Amendment
language protecting the â€œfree exerciseâ€ of religion. Moreover, contemporary
America has continued to evolve since the anti-Catholic zeal of the 19th century
and the anti-religious intellectualism of the mid-20th century. Those conflicts
were of a particular time and place. Today, church officials have less local
sway and lack the unquestioned authority they once held, while they are more
integrated into secular society. Just as some one-time opponents of single-sex
schools can now, because of changes in the larger social order, imagine such
schools serving the public interest, so too we should not reflexively shrink
from viewing religious schools in a similar light. In most industrial
democracies, including nations like Canada, France, and the Netherlands,
religious schools operate as part of the public system and are funded and
What obligations should public schools have to ensure opportunity to all
students? We have never imagined that providing opportunity to all
students means treating all students identically. The existence of magnet
schools, special education, gifted classes, and exam schools makes it clear that
we deem it appropriate for schools to select some children and exclude others in
order to provide desirable academic environments. Our traditional school
districts have never sought to ensure that every school or classroom should
serve a random cross-section of children, only that systems as a whole should
appropriately serve all children.
Given the tension between families who want their child schooled in an optimal
environment and public officials who must construct systems that address
competing needs, the principle that individual schools can exclude children but
that systems cannot is both sensible and morally sound. That said, this
principle does mean that some children will not attend school with the peers
their parents might prefer.
The dilemma this presents is that no solitary good school can serve all the
children who might wish to attend and that randomly admitting students may
impede a schoolâ€™s effectiveness. Demanding that a science magnet school
accept students with minimal science accomplishments or that any traditional
school accept a habitually violent student threatens the ability of each school
to accomplish its basic purposes. This is clearly not in the public interest.
The same is true when a constructivist school is required to admit students from
families who staunchly prefer back-to-basics instruction and will agitate for
the curricula and pedagogy they prefer. In such cases, allowing schools to
selectively admit students is consistent with the public interestâ€”so long as
the process furthers a legitimate educational purpose and the student has access
to an appropriate alternative setting. Such publicly acceptable exclusion must
be pursued for some reasonable educational purpose, and this creates a gray area
that needs to be monitored. However, the need to patrol this area does not
require that the practice to be preemptively prohibited.
No single system of public schools can meet the needs of all students equally.
Moreover, self-selected or homogeneous communities are not necessarily less
public than others. For instance, no one suggests that the University of Wyoming
is less public than the University of Texas, though it is less geographically
and ethnically representative of the nation. It has never been suggested that
elections in San Francisco or Gopher Springs, West Virginia, would be more
public if the communities included more residents who had not chosen to live
there or whose views better reflected national norms. Nor has it been suggested
that selective public institutions, such as the University of Michigan, are less
public than are community colleges, even though they are selective about whom
they admit. Moreover, there is always greater homogeneity in self-selected
communities, such as magnet schools, as they attract educators and families who
share certain views. None of this has been thought to undermine their essential
Even champions of â€œpublic education,â€ such as Deborah Meier and Ted Sizer,
argue that this shared sense of commitment helps cultivate a participatory and
democratic ethos in self-selected schools. In other words, heightened
familial involvement tends to make self-selected schools more participatory and
democratic. Kneeling before the false gods of heterogeneity or
non-selectivity undermines our ability to forge participatory or effective
schools, and does so without making them commensurately more â€œpublic.â€
Nowhere, after all, does the availability of a â€œpublic serviceâ€ imply that
we get to choose our fellow users. In every fieldâ€”whether public medicine,
public transportation, or public higher educationâ€”the term â€œpublicâ€
implies our right to a service, not our right to have buses serve a particular
route or to have a university cohort configured to our preferences. Even
though such considerations influence the quality of the service, the need for
public providers to juggle the requirements of all the individuals they must
serve necessarily means that each member of the public cannot necessarily
receive the service in the manner he or she would ultimately prefer. â€œPublic
schoolingâ€ implies an obligation to ensure that all students are appropriately
served, not that every school is open to all comers.
What parts of public schooling are public? Debates about publicness focus
on the classroom teaching and learning that is central to all schools.
Maintenance, accounting, payroll, and food services are quite removed from the
public purposes of education discussed above. Even though these peripheral
services may take place in the same facility as teaching and learning, their
execution does not meaningfully impact the â€œpublicnessâ€ of schooling.
Rather, we understand that it is sufficient to have ancillary services provided
in a manner that is consistent with the wishes of a public education provider.
For example, federal courts and state legislatures are indisputably public
institutions, yet they frequently procure supplies, services, and personnel from
privately run, for-profit enterprises. We properly regard these institutions as
public because of their core purposes, not because of the manner in which they
arrange their logistics.
Todayâ€™s â€œPublicâ€ Schools Often Arenâ€™t
Given the haphazard notion of public schooling that predominates today, it comes
as little surprise that we offer contemporary educators little guidance in
serving the public interest. This poses obvious problems, given that employment
as an educator doesnâ€™t necessarily grant enhanced moral wisdom or personal
virtue. If schools are to serve as places where educators advance purposes
and cultivate virtues that they happen to prefer, it is not clear in what sense
schools are serving â€œpublic purposes.â€
Blindly hoping that educators have internalized shared public purposes, we
empower individuals to proselytize under the banner of â€œpublic schooling.â€
This state of affairs has long been endorsed by influential educational
theorists like George Counts, Paulo Freire, Henry Giroux, and Nel Noddings, who
argue that teachers have a charge to use classrooms to promote personal visions
of social change, regardless of the broader publicâ€™s beliefs. For these
thinkers, â€œpublic schoolingâ€ ironically implies a community obligation to
support schools for the private purposes of educators. The problem is that
public institutions are not personal playthings. Just as it is unethical for
a judge to disregard the law and instead rule on the basis of personal whimsy,
so it is inappropriate for public school teachers to use their office to impose
personal views upon a captive audience.
One appropriate public response is to specify public purposes and to demand that
teachers reflect them, though we are reasonably cautious about adopting such an
intrusive course. To the extent that explicit direction is absent, however,
educators are left to their own devices. In such a case, our liberal tradition
would recommend that we not subject children to the views of educators at an
assigned school but allow families to avail themselves of a range of schools
with diverse perspectives, so long as each teaches respect for our democratic
and liberal tradition.
Today, our system of â€œpublic schoolingâ€ does little to ensure that these
schools serve public purposes, while permitting some educators to use a publicly
provided forum to promote personal beliefs. Meanwhile, hiding behind the
phraseâ€™s hallowed skirts are partisans who furiously attack any innovation
that threaten their interests or beliefs.
There are many ways to provide legitimate public education. A restrictive state
might tightly regulate school assignment, operations, and content, while another
state might impose little regulation. However, there is no reason to regard the
schools in one state as more â€œpublicâ€ than those in the other. The
â€œpublicnessâ€ of a school does not depend on class size, the use of certified
teachers, rules governing employee termination, or the rest of the procedural
apparatus that ensnares traditional district schools. The fact that public
officials have the right to require public schools to comply with certain
standards does not mean that schools subjected to more intrusive standards are
somehow more public. The inclusion of religious schools in European
systems, for instance, has been accompanied by intensive regulation of curricula
and policy. Regulation on that order is not desirable, nor is it necessary for
schools to operate as part of a public system; it is merely an operational
choice made by officials in these relatively bureaucratic nations.
As opportunities to deliver, structure, and practice education evolve, it is
periodically necessary to revisit assumptions about what constitutes public
schooling. The ideology and institutional self-interest that infuse the dominant
current conception have fueled withering attacks on the very legitimacy of
public schooling itself. Failure to address this impoverished status quo
will increasingly offer critics cause to challenge the purpose and justification
of public education. Maintaining and strengthening our commitment to public
schooling requires that we rededicate ourselves to essential principles of
opportunity, liberal democracy, and public benefit while freeing ourselves from
the political demands and historic happenstance.
opportunities to re-form the structure and delivery of education services, see The
21st Century Student.
In an age when social and technological change make possible new approaches
to teaching and learning, pinched renderings of â€œpublic schoolingâ€ have
grown untenable and counterproductive. They stifle creative efforts, confuse
debates, and divert attention from more useful questions. A more expansive
conception is truer to our traditions, more likely to foster shared values, and
better suited to the challenges of the new century.
1 James Coleman, â€œPublic Schools, Private Schools, and
the Public Interest,â€ Public Interest, Summer 1981, pp. 19-30. See also idem,
â€œQuality and Equality in American Education,â€ Phi Delta Kappan, November
1981, pp. 159-164.
2 For the best empirical examination of the scope and
nature of the â€œpublic school ideology,â€ see Terry Moe Schools, Vouchers, and
the American Public (Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 2001).
3 See Andrew Coulson, Market Education: The Unknown
History (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1999); or Douglas Dewey,
â€œAn Echo, Not a Choice: School Vouchers Repeat the Error of Public
Education,â€ Policy Review, November/December 1996, www.policyreview.org/nov96/backup/dewey.html.
4 See Frederick M. Hess, â€œMaking Sense of the
â€œPublicâ€ in Public Education,â€ unpublished paper, Progressive Policy
Institute, Washington D.C., 2002.
5 John Dewey, The Public and Its Problems (1927; reprint,
Athens: Ohio University Press, 1954).
6 See Frederick M. Hess, â€œWhat Is â€˜Publicâ€™ About
Public Education?â€ Education Week, 8 January 2003, p. 56.
7 Paul Hill has provided an extended discussion of this
point. See Paul T. Hill, â€œWhat Is Public about Public Education?,â€ in Terry
Moe, ed., A Primer on Americaâ€™s Schools (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution,
2001), pp. 285-316.
8 Frank Smith, â€œOverselling Literacy,â€ Phi Delta
Kappan, January 1989, pp. 353-59; Alfie Kohn, No Contest: The Case Against
Competition (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1986); Susan Ohanian, â€œCapitalism,
Calculus, and Conscience,â€ Phi Delta Kappan, June 2003, pp. 736-47; and
Deborah Meier, â€œEducating a Democracyâ€ in idem, ed., Will Standards Save
Public Education? (Boston: Beacon Press, 2000).