The following speech was delivered as the Keynote Address to
the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents Summer Institute,
1997. The audience included about 275 school superintendents and
...I have two propositions I would like to put to you. The first
is that the official education reform movement in Massachusetts
and the nation is part of a decades-long corporate and government
attack on public education and on our children. Its goal is:
not to increase educational attainment but to reduce
not to raise the hopes and expectations of our young
people but to narrow them, stifle them, and crush them;
not to improve public education but to destroy it.
My second proposition is that the education reform movement is part
of a wider corporate and government plan to undermine democracy
and strengthen corporate domination of our society.
What evidence do I have for these assertions? Let's look first
at the long-standing campaign to persuade the American people that
public education has failed.
This has been a disinformation campaign based on fraudulent claims,
distortions, and outright lies.
Since the publication of A Nation at Risk in 1983, there
have been numerous reports issued, each declaring U.S. public education
a disaster, and each proposing "solutions" to our problems.
The sponsors of the many reports are a little like the con-man in
"The Music Man," who declares, "We've got trouble,
right here in River City..." and the chorus repeats, "trouble,
trouble, trouble, trouble..." He just happens to be selling
the solution to all their troubles.
How do you sell radical changes that would have been completely
unacceptable to the public a decade or two ago? You tell people
over and over that their institutions have failed, and that only
the solutions you are peddling offer any way out of their "troubles."
In the past couple of years, several excellent books have been
published showing in detail that these claims are false. My purpose
in this talk is not to cover the ground that these authors have
already explored, but to answer the critical question: Why are the
public schools under attack?
But let's look just briefly at a couple of the key pieces of disinformation
to which the American public has been subjected.
The supposed dramatic decline of Scholastic Aptitude Test scores
was a fraud. These scores did decline somewhat over the period 1963
to 1977. But the SAT is a voluntary test. It is not representative
of anything, and it is useless as a measure of student performance
or of the quality of the schools. The scores began to fall modestly
when the range of young people going into college dramatically expanded
in the mid-sixties.
Did this mean that there was a lowering of student achievement
during this period? Absolutely not. The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude
Test, or PSAT, is a representative exam, given each year to sample
student populations across the country. During the period in question,
PSAT scores held absolutely steady.
Even more notable is the fact that scores on the College Board
Achievement Tests which test students not on some vaguely-defined
"aptitude," but on what they know of specific subject
did not fall but rose slightly but consistently over the
same period in which for the first time in the history of the United
States or any other country, the sons and daughters of black and
white working families were entering college in massive numbers.
Berliner and Biddle comment in their book, The Manufactured
Crisis, "the real evidence indicates that the myth of achievement
decline is not only false it is a hysterical fraud."
How different would have been the public's understanding of what
was happening in the schools if the media and the politicians had
told the truth! How different if they had announced that, during
the period of the greatest turmoil in American society since the
Civil War, in which a higher proportion of young people were graduating
high school and going on to college than ever before, at a rate
unparalleled in any other country in the world, representative tests
showed that overall aptitude and achievement were holding steady
or increasing? How different would have been the history of these
last decades for educators and parents and students and for
What about the claim that U.S. business has lost its competitive
edge because of the alleged failure of public education? Anyone
who has been watching the triumphal progress of American corporations
in the world market in the last two decades or has watched the unprecedented
returns on the stock market knows that these claims are preposterous.
Let me cite a few specific facts here:
- U.S. workers are the most productive in the world. Workers in
Japan and Germany are only 80% as productive; in France, 76% as
productive; in the United Kingdom, 61% as productive.
- America leads the world in the percentage of its college graduates
who obtain degrees in science or engineering, and this percentage
has been steadily rising since 1971.
- Far from having a shortage of trained personnel, there is now
in fact a glut of scientists and engineers in the U.S. The Boston
Globe reported on March 17, 1997 that , "At a time when
overall unemployment has fallen to around 5%, high-level scientists
have been experiencing double-digit unemployment." The government
estimates that America will have a surplus of over 1 million scientists
and engineers by 2010, even if the present rate of production does
What explains the aggressive effort by corporate and government
leaders to discredit public education?
To understand this, I believe we have to look beyond education
to developments in the economy and the wider society. In the past
decades, millions of jobs have been shipped overseas. Millions more
have been lost to "restructuring" and "downsizing."
This trend is not likely to abate. The U. S. is presently enjoying
its lowest official unemployment rate in decades 4.9%, or
about 6.2 million unemployed at the peak of a long period of sustained
growth. But even this large figure is deceptive, because it does
not include the millions of people who have been reduced to temporary
or part-time work, without benefits, without job security, and without
hope of advancement. The number of "contingent" workers
in 1993 was over 34 million.
The future for employment is even more grim. Computerization will
eliminate millions of jobs and de-skill millions more. This is,
after all, the attraction of automation for corporations: it downgrades
the skills required of most jobs, and thereby makes employees cheaper
and more easily expendable. I was talking recently with a chemist
who works at a major hospital in Boston. She expressed dissatisfaction
with her job. She said that, when she began the job ten years ago,
she actually did chemistry. Now, she says, her job has been reduced
to tending a machine which performs chemical analyses. A friend
of mine wrote a book on the effect of computerization on work. She
interviewed a vice-president of Chase Manhattan Bank who was a Loan
Officer at the bank. He sat there smartly in his three-piece suit
and complained that "He doesn't really feel like a loan officer
or a vice-president." Why? Because, after he gets the information
from the person requesting a loan, he punches it into a computer
which then tells him if he can make the loan or not.
The transformation of work through computers has really just begun.
In his book, The End of Work, Jeremy Rifkin estimates that
"In the United States alone, in the years ahead more than 90
million jobs in a labor force of 124 million are potentially vulnerable
to replacement by machines." As Rifkin puts it, "Life
as we know it is being altered in fundamental ways."
Now, what does all this have to do with education?
There were two little incidents which happened to me in 1976-77,
when I was an Education Policy Fellow working in the U.S. Office
of Education in Washington, D.C., which gave me a clue as to how
to understand the attack on education. The first was a conversation
with a man who was at the time a very highly-placed federal official
in education. He put to a few of us this question. He said, "In
the coming decade of high unemployment" referring here
to the 1980s "in the coming decade of high unemployment,
which is better? Is it better to have people with a lot of education
and more personal flexibility, but with high expectations? Or is
it better to have people with less education and less personal flexibility,
and with lower expectations?" The answer was that it was better
to have people with less education and lower expectations. The reasoning
was very simple. If people's expectations are very high when the
social reality of the jobs available is low, then there can be a
great deal of anger and political turmoil. Better to lower their
education and lower their expectations.
A second clue involved a man whom many of you may know. Ron Gister,
who was Executive Director of the Connecticut School Boards Association
at the time, began a speech in 1977 with this simple question. He
said, "Ask yourself, What would happen if the public schools
really succeeded?" What if our high schools and universities
were graduating millions of young people, all of whom had done well?
In an economy with over 6 million unemployed by official count,
in which millions more are underemployed or working part-time or
in temporary jobs, in which many millions of jobs are being deskilled
by computerization and many millions eliminated, and in which wages
have fallen to 1958 levels, where would these successful graduates
go? What would they do? If they had all graduated with As and Bs,
they would have high expectations expectations for satisfying
jobs which would use their talents. Expectations for further education.
Expectations about their right to participate in society and to
have a real voice in its direction.
I think you can see that, for the people at the very top of this
society, who have been instrumental in shipping jobs overseas and
restructuring the workforce and downsizing the corporations and
shifting the tax burden from the rich onto middle-class and working
Americans the class of people, in short, who have been planning
and reaping the benefits of the restructuring of American society
for this class of people at the top, for the schools to succeed
would be very dangerous indeed. How much better that the schools
not succeed, so that, when young people end up with a boring or
low-paying or insecure job or no job at all, they say, "I have
only myself to blame." How much better that they blame themselves
instead of the economic system.
The reason that public education is under attack is this: our young
people have more talent and intelligence and ability than the corporate
system can ever use, and higher dreams and aspirations than it can
ever fulfill. To force young people to accept less fulfilling lives
in a more unequal, less democratic society, the expectations and
self-confidence of millions of them must be crushed. Their expectations
must be downsized and their sense of themselves restructured to
fit into the new corporate order, in which a relative few reap the
rewards of corporate success defined in terms of huge salaries
and incredible stock options and the many lead diminished
lives of poverty and insecurity.
If my analysis is correct, it means that you public educators,
every person in this room, and all the staff and colleagues you
have worked with these many years you are under attack not
because you have failed which is what the media and the politicians
like to tell you. You are under attack because you have succeeded
in raising expectations which the corporate system cannot
They are also attacking education for a second reason: Blaming
public education is a way of blaming ordinary people for the increasing
inequality in society. It is a way of blaming ordinary people for
the terrible things that are happening to them. The corporate leaders
and their politician friends are saying that, if our society is
becoming more unequal, if millions don't have adequate work or housing
or health care, if we are imprisoning more of our population than
any other country on earth, it is not because of our brutal and
exploitative economic system and our atomized society and our disenfranchised
population. No, they say, it is not our leaders or our system who
are at fault. The fault lies with the people themselves, who could
not make the grade, could not meet the standards. According to the
corporate elite, the American people have been weighed in the balance,
and they have been found wanting.
Where does the education reform movement fit in this picture?
My first experience with education reform came in September 1977,
when I became Washington Director of the National PTA. It so happened
that I began my job on the same day that Senators Daniel Moynihan
and Robert Packwood and 51 co-sponsors filed the Tuition Tax Credit
Act of 1977. The Tuition Tax Credit Act proposed giving the parents
of children attending private schools a tax credit of up to $500
to cover tuition costs. The sponsors cited the SAT report as proof
that the public schools were failing and that private schools needed
Like many others in the public school community, I saw tuition
tax credits as a real threat. I met with representatives of the
NEA, the AFT, AASA, and others, and we formed the National Coalition
for Public Education to oppose tuition tax credits. Over the next
several months we organized a coalition comprising over 80 organizations
with some 70 million members.
The Tuition Tax Credit bill was a serious threat to public education.
The entire federal budget for public elementary and secondary education
at the time was about $13 billion. The Packwood-Moynihan bill would
have taken about $6 billion from the public treasury. At the time,
nearly 90% of our young people attended public schools. The Tuition
Tax Credit Act proposed to give an amount equal to nearly half of
all the federal moneys spent on the 90% of children in public school
to the parents of the 10% of children attending private school.
Aside from its budgetary impact, the bill would have meant a reversal
of the federal role in education. The historic role of the federal
government has been to equalize educational opportunity. Tuition
tax credits, since they are a credit against income and go chiefly
to upper-income parents, would disequalize educational opportunity.
Federal funding of private education would have established and
given official sanction to a two-class system of education, separate
The Tuition Tax Credit Act had enormous media and political support.
It passed the House in May, 1978. We were able to stop it in the
Senate only in August, 1978 with tremendous effort , and then by
only one vote. Like the Tuition Tax Credit Act that started it all,
the official education reforms such as school vouchers, charter
schools, school choice, school-based management, raising "standards,"
the increased use of standardized testing, the focus on "School
to Work," and other reforms, are calculated to make education
more sharply stratified, more intensely competitive, and more unequal,
and to lower the educational attainment of the great majority of
young people. They are calculated also to fragment communities and
undermine the web of social relationships which sustains society,
and so to weaken people's political power in every area of life.
Just look at some of the reforms:
PRIVATIZATION AND FRAGMENTATION:
Public schools have historically been at the center of neighborhood
and community life in the United States. In addition, the schools
have been a public good which relies on the whole community for
support and in which the whole community participates.
School vouchers, tuition tax credits, charter schools, and school
choice attack community connections among people. They attack the
idea of a public good and replace it with the competition of isolated
individuals competing to achieve their own private interests. In
this way, privatizing education or establishing separate charter
schools will dramatically undermine the power of ordinary people
to affect the direction of society.
Voucher and choice plans also legitimize greater inequality in
America's schools, as students with better connections or more self-confidence
choose better schools. Who can argue with tracking students into
good schools or poor schools when the students themselves have apparently
chosen their fate?
School-based management is part of this trend. Though school-based
management is usually touted as a way of "empowering"
parents and teachers at the local level and of cutting back on the
costs of central administration, its real purpose aside from
undermining the power of organized teachers is to fragment
school districts and communities, and further to disempower them.
School-based management makes every school an island. It encourages
people to think only about their own school and their own place
There is a world of difference between raising our "expectations"
for students and raising "standards." Raising our expectations
means raising our belief in students' ability to succeed and insuring
that all the resources are there to see that they do. Raising standards
means erecting new hoops for them to jump through.
For years Massachusetts has ranked just after Mississippi as the
state with the greatest inequality among its school districts. Vast
inequalities still remain among Massachusetts schools. Sharply raising
standards while not equalizing resources at a common high level,
and using "high stakes" tests as the engine of reform,
is setting many thousands of children and many school districts
up for failure.
Establishing a statewide core curriculum and curriculum frameworks
can be very useful steps toward educational quality and equity.
My limited conversations with teachers who have seen these frameworks
in various disciplines, however, lead me to think that they are
being established at unrealistic levels that will assure massive
INCREASING STANDARDIZED TESTING:
The massive increase in standardized testing is exactly the wrong
thing to do in our schools. At the very time when educators are
calling for more "critical thinking" and "higher-order
thinking skills," teaching is increasingly being driven by
standardized, norm-referenced, multiple-choice tests. The effect
will be to narrow the curriculum and push teachers into teaching
techniques geared toward memorization and rote learning. With more
focus on norm-referenced testing, the content of education disappears,
to become simply the "rank" of the individual student.
The effect is to attack the relationships among students and force
them into greater competition with one another. Education is more
than ever reduced to a game of winners and losers.
LOWERING THE SCHOOL LEAVING AGE:
Another thrust of such plans has been to encourage young people
to leave school at an earlier age. In 1985 I was employed by the
Minnesota Education Association to help design a strategy to defeat
the reform plan proposed by the Minnesota Business Partnership.
The Minnesota Business Partnership Plan was probably the most sophisticated
education reform plan proposed in any state at the time. It proposed,
among other things, moving from a K-12 to a K-10 system, and giving
a "Certificate of Completion" to all students who successfully
completed the tenth grade. Only a select group of students
projected to be about 20% would then be invited back to complete
grades 11 and 12. The clear effect would have been that a great
many students would end their education at age 16.
What was the sense of this proposal? The Business Partnership claimed
that the plan was designed to allow students greater "personal
flexibility" and "choice." In fact it had a quite
different purpose. Minnesota at the time had the highest school
retention rate in the country: fully 91% of Minnesota's young people
were graduating from high school, and a high proportion of these
were proceeding on to college. By encouraging tens of thousands
of young people to leave school at age 16, the Business Partnership
comprising some of the largest Minnesota corporations, like
3M, ConAgra, and Honeywell would have created huge new pools
of cheap labor in Minnesota, to work in stock yards and assembly
plants and flip hamburgers.
The Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 does not have exactly
the same proposal, but the Massachusetts law moves in a similar
direction. In 1998 Massachusetts will require that all students
pass a "high stakes" test in the tenth grade to be eligible
to graduate. At the same time, the schools will begin offering students
a "certificate of competence" upon successful completion
of the tenth grade curriculum. What will be the effect of the "high
stakes" test, especially if dramatic steps are not taken to
insure that the educational programs offered young people in many
poorer or urban districts are dramatically improved? I suspect that
many thousands of young people who would otherwise be graduating
with a high school diploma will leave school instead with a "certificate
of competence" after the tenth grade. (Only 48% of Chicago's
young people recently passed the new "high-stakes" test
required for graduation.) I suggest to you that the effect of the
high stakes 10th grade test will be to lower the school retention
rate, and that it has the same purpose as the proposed Minnesota
reform: to enlarge the pool of cheap labor, and to make it seem
as if it is our young people and not our system that is failing.
You may be aware that in 1995 for the first time in our history
the gap between black and white high school completion rates was
closed: 87% of black and of white young people between the ages
of 25 and 29 have completed high school. Also, in the years from
1978 to 1993, the average SAT scores of black students rose 55 points.
Are we now prepared to abandon these young people and undo this
FOCUSING ON SCHOOL TO WORK:
Beginning with A Nation At Risk, nearly all of the education
reform plans have been couched in terms of one great national purpose:
business competition. According to these plans, the great goal and
measure of national and educational progress is how effectively
U.S. corporations compete with Japanese and German corporations
in the international marketplace.
I think that most educators-most people, in fact-are downright
uncomfortable with the idea that the fulfillment of our human potential
is best measured by the Gross National Product or the progress of
Microsoft or General Motors stock on the Big Board.
In the 1950s, Charles Wilson, the former president of General Motors
whom Eisenhower had appointed Secretary of Defense, declared, "What's
good for General Motors is good for the country." In the 1960s,
however, millions of ordinary people became engaged in the civil
rights and the anti-war movements and the rank-and-file labor movement.
People began increasingly to question the role that the corporations
play in American society and began to question the Gross National
Product as the real goal and measure of democracy.
Now come the corporate education reformers to tell us that the
goal of human development is the success of Big Business! The education
reform movement is trying to reassert the moral authority of business
as the guiding light of human society and corporate profit as the
measure of human achievement.
On a more concrete level, the "School to Work" program
aims to shape every child to meet the needs of the corporations.
What kind of terrible power are we giving these corporations, what
gods have they become, if now we should sacrifice our children to
Let me hasten to point out that there is much that is being done
in the name of reform that is good, and I am sure that each of you
has programs in his own district which you could point to as education
reform in the best sense. Education reform has two faces. The goals
of the official "reformers" are destructive. Public education
in the U. S., however, is a huge enterprise, involving millions
of students and teachers and administrators. There is no way that
this huge undertaking can be changed without the active involvement
of tens of thousands of educators and others. These people
people like you and me and your teaching staff and other educators
do not share the goals of the corporations. Far from it:
we genuinely want children and schools to succeed. So the effect
of the massive involvement of educators at the grassroots has been,
to one extent or another, to push reform in a more positive direction.
In fact, I believe that the appointment of John Silber as Chairman
of the Board of Education was precisely to put a stop to popular
involvement in education reform. Silber's role is to put the genie
of democratic education reform back in the bottle, so that the goals
of the corporate reformers can be achieved.
It is important to see that the attack on public education does
not stem from a "right-wing fringe," as some writers have
charged, but from the most powerful corporate and government interests
in American society. Business groups at the national level and in
most states have led the call for vouchers and charter schools and
new standards. President Clinton himself has made Charter Schools
the focus of his efforts in K-12 education, and has made tuition
tax credits the focus of new aid for higher education.
The assault on public education is part of a wider strategy to
strengthen corporate domination of American society.
In the sixties and early seventies, at the time education was being
greatly expanded, we experienced a "revolution of rising expectations,"
as people's ideas of what their lives should be like greatly expanded.
These rising expectations threatened the freedom of elites in the
U.S. and around to the world to control their societies. Beginning
around 1972, both capitalist and communist elites undertook a counteroffensive,
to lower expectations and to tighten their control. This counteroffensive
took many different forms, all designed to undermine the economic
and psychological security of ordinary people.
For example, the export of jobs and restructuring of corporations
which have left many millions of Americans unemployed or underemployed
did not happen by chance. They are government policies. Corporations
were given tax incentives to move their operations overseas. The
huge debts incurred in corporate buyouts were made tax deductible.
The safety net of social programs instituted during the New Deal
and Great Society was dismantled.
The gutting of these social programs was not a matter of fiscal
necessity, as we were told, but of social control. David Stockman,
while Budget Director for President Reagan, boasted that the Administration,
by slashing taxes on corporations and the rich while vastly increasing
military expenditures, had created a "strategic deficit"
precisely in order to dismantle social programs. Why? Because programs
such as food stamps and Aid to Families with Dependent Children
and unemployment insurance make people less vulnerable to the power
of the corporations. A succession of presidents, Republican and
Democrat, has continued to cut the social safety net, to make people
more frightened and controllable.
The current supposed "crisis" in Social Security is a
case in point. There is nothing wrong with the Social Security system
that a few adjustments such as removing the upper limit on
salaries that are taxed could not fix. Yet the government
and corporations have mounted a scare campaign similar to the attack
on public education to suggest that the Social Security system is
near collapse and cannot survive without radical "reform,"
such as privatization. The goal is to make people feel insecure
What changes are needed in public education? We know that public
education has important problems. We do not claim that the schools
are not in need of change. The problem, however, is that the changes
being proposed move in the wrong direction. They exacerbate the
worst thing about the public schools: their tendency to reinforce
the inequality of American society.
At the heart of the public education system, there is a conflict
over what goals it should pursue. On one side stand educators and
parents and students, who wish to see students educated to the fullest
of their ability. On the other side stand the corporate and government
elite, the masters of great wealth and power. Their goal is not
that students be educated to their fullest potential, but that students
be sorted out and persuaded to accept their lot in life, whether
it be the executive suite or the unemployment line, as fitting and
just. The goal of this powerful elite for the public schools is
that inequality in society be legitimized and their hold on power
reinforced. This conflict is never acknowledged openly, and yet
it finds its way into every debate over school funding and educational
policy and practice, and every debate over education reform.
A key question for us is, "What are we educating our students
for?" The choices, I think, come down to two. We can prepare
students for unrewarding jobs in an increasingly unequal society,
or we can prepare our young people to understand their world and
to change it. The first is education to meet the needs of the corporate
economy. The second is education for democracy.
The goal of the schools must be education for democracy. With this
goal we would substitute high expectations for low, cooperation
and equality for competition and hierarchy, and real commitment
to our children for cynical manipulation. With the goal of education
for democracy I believe we could build a reform movement that would
truly answer the needs of our children and truly fulfill the goals
that led us to become educators.
There is no time for me here to outline a program of positive education
reforms, although I have listed ten possible principles of reform
on a separate sheet.
Let me say in general, however, that the process of formulating
positive reforms should begin with a far-reaching dialogue at the
local and state levels, involving administrators, teachers, parents,
and students, about the goals of education. This dialogue should
examine present educational policy and practice to find what things
contribute to self-confidence and growth and healthy connections
among young people, and strengthen the relationships of schools
to communities, and what things attack this self-confidence and
growth and undermine these relationships. A similar dialogue should
be organized in every community and at every school. It might include
public hearings, at which parents and teachers and others are encouraged
to state their views on appropriate goals for education, and to
identify those things in their local school which support or retard
these goals. Superintendents would have to be both leaders and careful
listeners at such hearings.
What conclusions can we draw from this analysis? I suggest several:
One is that you as educators are under attack not because you have
failed, but because you have succeeded.
A second is that you did not make a mistake, five or ten or twenty-five
years ago, when you became an educator. The work you have been doing
for all these years has made a tremendous contribution to our society,
and you should be proud of it.
A third is that your job now is more important than ever, because
you have a mission. Your mission is to play a leading role defending
public education and forthrightly leading change for the better.
Your role is to help lead the fight for education for democracy.
The theme of your Summer Institute is "Building Stable Institutions
in an Unstable World." The key to building stability in our
public schools is threefold: understanding why they are under attack,
understanding what is of value in them, and forging a direction
What can we do, as superintendents and educators? I have a few
1. M.A.S.S. should prepare superintendents to play a leading role
in reversing the attack on public education, by establishing a standing
committee responsible for planning a long-term, serious campaign;
preparing a range of literature and other materials for use at the
local level; and holding training and strategy sessions. The literature
should explain the attack on public education: why it is happening,
the role that the official education reforms play in this attack,
and call for positive reforms. M.A.S.S. should organize discussions,
perhaps using the Superintendents' Round-tables or some other vehicle,
for superintendents to compare their own experiences dealing with
2. The most important thing to do is to reach out to the community
with information explaining the attack on public education. We should
remember that the community begins with us that is, with
all the many people involved in public education: teachers, administrators,
parents and students. If we can educate and mobilize this great
community force, we can achieve a great deal.
3. We should, through dialogue with other educators and with parents
and students, develop positive education reforms consistent with
achieving education for democracy.
4. We should create local and statewide coalitions to expose the
attack on public education and to change the direction of reform
toward education for democracy. We should use Massachusetts as the
base for a national movement for education for democracy.
We are called to a great purpose. We are called to build a movement
capable of defending our institutions from corporate attack and
capable too of transforming them, to lead them in a more democratic
direction. We must build a movement to take back America from the
corporate powers and the masters of great wealth, to place our country
truly in the hands of the people.
We will not be alone in this battle. The great majority of people
in our schools and in our communities share the same fundamental
beliefs about what our schools should be like and what our society
should be like. We can build upon shared values of commitment to
each other and to future generations, and shared belief in democracy.
For most of the twentieth century, the people of the world have
been trapped between capitalism and communism. Neither of these
systems is democratic. Neither has held much promise for most people.
Now communism has collapsed. I believe our task as we approach the
end of the twentieth century is to create human society anew on
a truly democratic basis, in which human beings are not reshaped
and restructured to fit the needs of the economy, but rather social
and economic structures are reshaped to allow the fulfillment of
our full potential as human beings.
David Stratman was the Director of Governmental Relations of
the National PTA from 1977-79, and directed the National Coalition
for Public Education in its defeat of the Tuition Tax Credit Act
in 1978. He works now as a consultant to education organizations
and school districts.
David G. Stratman