Friday Informal Forum:
What is the 21st Century Mission for Our Public Schools?
September 24, 2010
Russell Library Auditorium, UGA
Russell Forum for Civic Life in Georgia, a civic engagement program of the Russell Library hosts community deliberative forums on a monthly basis to explore challenging public issues in a deliberative, civil way.
About this month’s forum on public education…
This month’s informal forum discussion asks us to consider what the 21st century mission of public schools should be. From the very start, Americans have held widely divergent views on issues related to public schools. Many of these have to do with the methods by which we achieve an educated society. Key questions related to this issue include:
- How do we ensure that our schools are accessible to all children?
- By what means do we hold students accountable for learning and schools accountable for teaching them?
- What is the role of families in the education of their children?
- What is the responsibility of schools in addressing social issues that affect their students?
- What is the most efficient and fair way to fund public education?
Underlying all of these questions is a more basic one: what is the mission of our public schools?
A Different Kind of Talk…
In this community forum we will explore this complex issue by working together to understand the issue better. With help from trained neutral moderators we will look at several possible approaches to crafting a 21st century mission for public education and consider both the benefits and consequences of each approach, as well as possible trade-offs. Finally, we will explore possible actions that might make a positive difference in our community. Throughout the forum we may find some areas of agreement among us, just as we will likely clarify areas where our beliefs and perspectives differ greatly. This robust and civil threshing of the tough public issues that we face is the foundation for vibrant and resilient community.
About the issue guide…
This forum will use the deliberative issue guide developed by the Kettering Foundation. If you are interested in reading more about the issue, you can download the moderator’s guide fro free at http://store.nifi.org/guide/21st_century_mission_mg.pdf
How to Find the Russell Library (Parking, Bus access, walking)
The Russell Library is located in the University of Georgia Main Library Building just off South Jackson Street in Athens, GA. Parking is available in the North Campus Parking Deck also on South Jackson St. Athens Transit and UGA Bus Service both serve the main library via the bus boarding zone on South Jackson Street.
The Russell Library maintains its own entrance on the West side of the Main Library building. Follow the path/steps down the right side of the main library building (the west facing side) and down the stairs to access our door. If you need handicapped access, please go to the main entrance of the Library and check in at the security desk.
For more information about this forum, please contact Jill Severn at 706-542-5766 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Russell Forum for Civic Life in Georgia, visit www.libs.uga.edu/russell/rfclg
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