The Future of Public Education: A Free Appropriate Public Education for All Students
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This paper examines the challenges facing the public school system as it attempts to live up to the promise to provide a “free appropriate public education” to all of its students. The funding mechanism for public schools, with its reliance on community funding, lends itself to inequities. The lack of an effective response to the rising challenge of mental health issues, the unwillingness to respond to the changing skill demands of the workforce by revising curriculum and the ineffectiveness of efforts to close the achievement gap have all led the public to question whether or not they are receiving an “appropriate” education. The response increasingly has been to look for a better educational alternative elsewhere, in charter schools. The effect of charter schools overall has been to weaken public schools’ abilities to provide a quality education for each and every student. An analysis of each of these challenges and possible responses will provide a possible road map for traditional public education to do a better job of living up to its mandate, to “promote the general welfare”.
M.S.E., Montessori Teacher Education