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American Public Education and the Responsibility of its CitizensSupporting Democracy in the Age of Accountability$
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Sarah M. Stitzlein

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190657383

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190657383.001.0001

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Accountability, the Public, and Public Schools

Accountability, the Public, and Public Schools

Chapter:
(p.19) 2 Accountability, the Public, and Public Schools
Source:
American Public Education and the Responsibility of its Citizens
Author(s):

Sarah M. Stitzlein

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190657383.003.0002

I begin by laying out the shifting context of public schools and the citizens and democracy they serve. I ground my discussion in a theory of participatory democracy influenced by the ideas of Progressive Era philosopher of education John Dewey and contemporary political theorist Benjamin Barber. I provide that theory as both a foil to analyze contemporary changes in democracy and a guide for how we might respond to and, at times, resist them. I then trace the history of educational accountability to illuminate key aspects of the current accountability crisis. Finally, I define the public and public goods, an important basis for my call to revitalize citizen support for public schools insofar as these concepts show us how schools not only serve as a shared benefit, but also are established and protected as such through our shared efforts.

Keywords:   Accountability, participatory democracy, the public, public good, John Dewey

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