The poor get poorer, and more get poorer. Meanwhile college tuitions keep rising. Meanwhile the media declare that no one who hasn’t got a BA can possibly qualify for a living wage. Something’s rotten in this proposition. It’s a catch-22. And it doesn’t have to be that way. It isn’t that way in Finland, for example.
Finland didn’t do it overnight, but they built it around critical democratic habits: competence and trust. They didn’t trade off one for the other. They joined competence and trust—just as we do when we hire a baby-sitter. I often go back to this metaphor because it seems so odd that we understand trust when it comes to a babysitter (even when our children are so young that we can’t really get “their side” of the story) but keep looking for a trust-proof solution to system-wide public schooling.
Trust and skepticism go fine…
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