From Cambridge Forum:
“The Massachusetts School Law of 1642 laid out the rationale for public education: “Forasmuch as the good education of children is of singular behoof and benefit to any Common-wealth.” How do contemporary efforts to privatize public education square with the civic role that education has played in American democracy? Internationally recognized leader in education policy Julian Vasquez Heilig examines the variety of ways in which public education is being privatized in the name of “reform” and suggests ways for citizens to respond that both improve educational experience and strengthen the societal and civic role that education plays.
Cambridge Forum programs are held in the historic First Parish (Unitarian Universalist) at 3 Church Street (Harvard Square), in Cambridge. The format includes a relatively brief introductory statement (20 minutes) from the speaker, with a 10 minute response, followed by a moderated discussion with our live audience that would last approximately 60 minutes. Cambridge Forum is also inviting a teacher with experience in a broad range of Boston-area schools to serve as respondent and moderator.
This forum is part of Cambridge Forum’s 2015 series on “The Health of Democracy.” During the winter, our programs will focus on the relationship between a healthy democracy and a robust social contract, with particular speakers examining the role that social immobility, wealthy inequality, privatization, polarization, the corporate media, and disenfranchisement play in our society today. After the speaker has described the threat posed by each of these factors, moderators will discuss ways that citizens can take action to respond to these challenges.
Questions that were key in conceptualizing this forum include: How do contemporary efforts to privatize public education square with the civic role that education has played in American democracy? What are the various ways in which public education is being privatized in the name of “reform”? How can citizens respond with efforts that both improve the educational experience and strengthen the societal and civic role that education plays?
In fall of 2014, Cambridge Forum began its 48th year of presenting free, public lectures with guest speakers in Harvard Square. Featuring prominent scholars, writers, scientists and artists, Cambridge Forum is dedicated to presenting ideas and topics of public interest and concern from a variety of fields and points of view. Our roster of speakers has included Buckminster Fuller, Kevin Phillips, Lani Guinier, Robert Reich, Paul Krugman, Lester Brown, Naomi Klein, Howard Gardner, Jonathan Kozol, Lawrence Lessig, Garrison Keillor, Marian Wright Edelman, Deborah Meier, Chris Hedges, and John Kenneth Galbraith, among many, many others. Our forums are taped, edited and distributed for broadcast on National Public Radio, reaching our nationwide network of public, college and community radio stations as half-hour programs, with a core listener base of a quarter-million people. Selected Forum’s are also available as podcasts and YouTube videos.”
I hope to see you March 8 at 3 p.m.!
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A couple of episodes from the Cambridge Forum’s YouTube channel: