Qualifying my faith in the common school ideal: A normative framework for democratic justice

Educational Theory 60 (6):683-702 (2010)
In this essay, Kathleen Knight Abowitz makes the case that charter schooling can enable multiple publics to develop and create educational visions. Charter schooling policies can enable these publics to pursue these visions and agendas on behalf of both public and common educational goals as well as goals associated with particular identities and interests. This vision of a plural public sphere, with its movement away from purely state‐run traditional public schools, challenges the common school ideal that has been part of the Western nation‐state narrative for several centuries. Yet the common school ideal need not focus on one particular kind of school structure; rather, the ideal represents a moral claim: that schools receiving public funds should provide participatory parity to all students, achieved through educational structures and curriculum shaped by principles of democratic justice. Participatory parity and its guiding normative principles, Knight Abowitz concludes, help to qualify and clarify our faith in the common school ideal shaped for a new era
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DOI 10.1111/j.1741-5446.2010.00384.x
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