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These Schools Belong to You and Me


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A challenge to narrow, profit-driven conceptions of school success and an argument for protecting public education to ensure that all students become competent citizens in a vibrant democracy.

About the Author

Emily Gasoi has been an educator for more than two decades and was a founding teacher at Mission Hill School in Boston. In 2012 she earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. Gasoi currently lives in Washington, DC, where she adjuncts at Georgetown University and is cofounder of Artful Education, an organization focused on helping schools and arts organizations improve practices related to creative teaching and learning. Deborah Meier, author of the acclaimed books The Power of Their Ideas and In Schools We Trust, has spent more than five decades working in public education as a parent, school-board member, teacher, principal, writer, and advocate. Meier ranks among the most acclaimed leaders of the school reform movement in the United States. Among her numerous accomplishments, she helped found the Coalition of Essential Schools in the 1980s, under the leadership of Ted Sizer. In 1987, she received a MacArthur award for her work in public education.


"Deborah Meier and Emily Gasoi remind us of the most important question about education: What is the purpose of education? Why do we put children in schools for thirteen years of their life, even seventeen years? We educate them to be empowered citizens, every single one of them. We educate them to sustain our democracy. Standards and tests are not relevant to that goal. Learning to ask questions and to think is."
--Diane Ravitch, author of Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools

"It is fitting that a chapter in this inspiring book is titled 'Falling for Democracy, ' for Deborah Meier and Emily Gasoi have written an intimate and heartfelt love letter to public education. The authors give us the experience of creating and working in schools where democratic principles are vibrantly alive."
--Mike Rose, author of Possible Lives: The Promise of Public Education in America "Once again, Deborah Meier has reminded us to never lose sight of what schools are supposed to be about. Beyond test scores and other measures of academic achievement, our schools must prepare young people to actively participate in a democratic society. They won't be able to do this if they haven't been encouraged to think critically and haven't been treated as respected members of their school community. In this important new book, Meier and her coauthor, Emily Gasoi, remind us that democratic practice and progressive education cannot be limited to independent private schools or be dismissed as liberal feel-goodism. Rather, if our schools are to play a role in bolstering our democracy, then we must always remain clear about how to do this and why it is essential. This book will be a poignant wake-up call to those who have forgotten."
--Pedro A. Noguera, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Education, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

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