Message on Public Education 2013
United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries
"The Public Purpose of Public Education"
by Jan Resseger, Minister for Public Education and Witness
The politics of public education have turned so ugly that one wakes in the night with anxious questions. In a year when the platform of one Texas political party would ban the teaching of “higher order thinking skills” and “critical thinking,” have we turned against education itself? A decade after the death of Fred Rogers, have we stopped treasuring our children and wanting them to enjoy childhood while they grow? Have our political leaders, many of them one-percenters, so little experience with the public schools that are the quintessential institution of the 99 percent—both the children and their teachers—that our leaders fail to understand the schools' complex needs?
Peter Wells is the Associate Conference Minister serving churches and clergy in the Central and Hampshire Assocations and the Coordinator of Mission and Justice programs.