make the public schools public

The answer to privatization is to make the public schools truly public:  voluntary, public-access centers providing learning services.  The public is not actually allowed any input in the current approach.  We don't have public schools for the people who are the public:  we run public schools that force the public to participate in a manufacturing scheme foisted on kids.  Massive planning and testing and standards make good jobs but this factory scheme doesn't even bother to include families or kids and their needs and desires. The public must attend no matter what and the private truancy police that schools maintain enforce this. The public needs to actually be involved: families, the people excluded by the push for compulsory attendance, need to finally get some substantial choices for their kids.  Real choices.

You won't easily find information on what families want and need because no one asks them. Families and kids have no input. So who knows what they want?  Families are used to this and they assume what they want is unimportant: they have never been empowered to make any real choices in education.  Their kids are required to be part of the school factory system that makes jobs for everyone except the kids themselves.

Vouchers won't work because most issues won't be solved going to another school with the same factory-format, grades, peer-grouped, march of classes toward a degree.  A choice to go to a Catholic school instead of your local public may be good for a few cases here and there but what the vast majority of families and children need are real choices in areas that make huge changes for them like:
  • what classes to take
  • when to take their classes
  • guidance and coaching for kids and families 
  • hand-on classes
  • part-time and flex options 
  • after hours classes
  • daycare and preschool
  • real food
  • gardening and more time outside 
  • a different social climate in schools
  • less social stress within the school
  • lees peer group confinement
  • less age-segregation
  • flexible schedules that allow for weather
  • a social environment that is more supportive
  • relief from homework so families have time together
  • ending the social violence of grading 
  • inter-generational and multi-age learning options
  • real-world apprenticeships and activities
  • portfolio-building
  • counseling and support service
  • real-time responsive schedules and calendars that change easily and keep everyone informed
  • carpooling and transportation networks 
  • negotiation and mediation services offered for families 
  • feedback and counseling services ongoing for every child and family, from planning vocational choices to specific curricular choices (a student needs a different learning approach to a subject than what is offered)
  • support groups 
  • coordinating community services 
  • gardening, green energy and real food programs
The basic problem with the schools is that they do not serve the families who use them. Let's make the public schools public, like the libraries. Let's let families and kids lead the way.

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