On this day when students around the country are speaking out for social change, we should focus on the important role that schools need to play in preparing all students to function productively as civic participants. People across the political spectrum believe that all students should receive a meaningful opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that they need to be capable civic participants, including the belief in their ability to effect change.
How can we make sure that all schools, including schools attended primarily by students in poverty and students of color, are equipped to provide the resources, services, and supports to make this happen?
Flunking Democracy: Schools, Courts, and Civic Participation, the new book by Michael A. Rebell, professor of educational law and practice and executive director of the Center for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University, addresses this critical question.
Flunking Democracy is the first publication from CEE’s new educational-rights project on preparing students for civic participation. In it, Rebell makes the case that, for generations now, most public schools in the United States have moved away from one of the fundamental purposes of public education—preparing students to become capable citizens. This trend has persisted despite court holdings in New York, and many other states, that education for civic participation is the constitutional right of all children.
The book analyzes the causes of the decline in civic preparation, provides a detailed analysis of what we know about how to prepare students for productive citizenship and considers examples of best practices. Flunking Democracy further argues that the courts are a vital part of the solution to this civic decline and concludes with specific recommendations for how the courts can and should address this deficiency.
Flunking Democracy is essential reading for anyone interested in education, the law, and creating a more democratic society. Order your copy today!