When we fail education, we fail democracy

  • by:
  • Source: EdSource
  • 10/26/2023
There comes a time in every profession when it becomes imperative to address the big ideas and to leave aside, at least for a moment, the trivial pursuits that engage us. One big idea that we educators have ignored for too long is the relationship between education and our democracy. Sadly, we have succumbed to the pathology of focusing almost exclusively on reading and math to achieve proficiency cut scores on state tests rather than growing civically competent students. Only 22% of eighth graders tested on the 2022 NAEP assessment were proficient or advanced in civics.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choices are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of our democracy, therefore, is education.”

My colleagues, I suggest to you that we as educators have failed dramatically in our responsibility to help build a strong democratic society. We cannot be solely responsible for this debacle, as our democratic demise has accelerated through the decay of our institutions, money in politics, social media and voter suppression. Nonetheless, we played a significant role in this demise.

Please help put parents in charge of their child’s education by forwarding this article to other parents, family, friends and voters.

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