ed·vocāte v.i. [ed´-vō-kāt]:
to vigorously advocate for high-quality universal public schools that supports both students and a robust prosperous democracy
Public schools matter, which is why controversies about our schools so often decide elections.
Even those who have no school-aged children know the stakes: that a prosperous stable inclusive democracy can only thrive when the vast majority of citizens are able to think critically, make sense of pressing public policy issues, and resist the human tendency to splinter into disjoint (and often antagonistic) sub-groups.
ed·vocāte‘s views will reflect three firmly-held positions:
- the best way to build an inclusive and prosperous democratic society is through high-quality, universal, publicly-funded education free of rigid ideological or religious indoctrination
- schools must focus on the long-term achievement and well-being of students, not on the interests of teachers or administrators or corporations or unions or pressure groups, and certainly not on the partisan desires of politicians, and
- schools must provide students with the concepts and knowledge needed by engaged citizens in a robust accountable democracy.
The PostPandemic Curriculum Project is an outgrowth of these positions. It focuses not on the immediate day-to-day operation of schools, but on the medium and long term need of students, citizens, and society to make sense of complex public policy challenges. CoVid-19 has exposed gaps in the public’s (and many politicians’) understanding of core concepts underlying the spread of disease. Similar gaps are evident in discussions involving climate change and retirement planning, among other issues. The goal of the PostPandemic Curriculum Project is first to identify these core concepts, and then to make them a focus of a reformed curriculum so that students are given the tools they need to fully participate as citizens of a robust responsive democracy.
ed·vocāte is initiating this project in the hope that it will take on a life of its own, extending beyond the three issues that I’ve identified, and beyond my ability to moderate the discussion on this site.