Conversations Along the Road

By Deborah Wadsworth, Joe Nathan, Frederick M. Hess, Kenneth A. Dragseth, Harris Sokoloff, Douglas B. Reeves, Florence Johnson, and Theodore Sizer

There was a time, not so long ago, when the public schools were a vital part of the fabric of community life -- a time when to be a teacher was a noble calling, when to serve on the school board was a badge of civic pride, when citizens believed in the power of public education to uplift and improve society.

In some lucky communities, this is all still true. But in many others, the pace and pressure and complexity of modern life have chipped away at much of what was best about public education, leaving behind a struggling institution.

What happened? How can we reconnect the public with the public schools? American School Board Journal asked noted education reformer Deborah Meier for her advice. Her response, "The Road to Trust," appears on page 18. We also asked a number of other educators to comment. Their observations follow. 

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