The latest criticism of public schools today is that they have largely failed to prepare students to be good citizens (“Educate to unify: The urgent need for better civic education in our dangerously divided nation,” New York Daily News, Oct. 7). Yet I wonder if greater emphasis on citizenship in schools will change matters.
I say so because current events demonstrate that this country is a democracy in name only. In reality, it is an oligarchy. America is divided for good reason. The top one percent exert a stranglehold on virtually all issues. Even if teachers were allowed to honestly focus on controversial subjects in the news, which in most cases they may not, I question what difference that would make. For example, the protests about the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court did not succeed.
In the final analysis, there is growing cynicism on the part of the public about how democracy works in reality. We should certainly try to change that attitude in young people while they are in public school. But I seriously doubt anything significant will come of it.
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