Sarah Stitzlein’s new book, American Public Education and the Responsibility of its Citizens, argues that public schools are central to a flourishing democracy, where children learn how to solve problems together, build shared identities, and come to value justice and liberty. Taking up John Dewey’s legacy, Stitzlein’s book does several things,
- Helps citizens understand recent changes in school practice and governance
- Responds to citizens feeling disinterested in public institutions and helps them see not only that they should support them, but also how they can do so, including offering specific examples of people and communities that are already succeeding in this work
- Offers a critical, but hopeful vision for how citizens can respond to problems in schools and how they can alleviate them
- Focuses on hope and a vision of shared public work for the common good in the midst of a climate the emphasizes individualism and personal gain.