Today our newspapers will be dominated by the headlines that March 4 was a historic day for public education. They will say that never before have so many people from all the sectors of education mobilized across the state and country.
They are right that March 4 should be remembered for all of these things. Unfortunately, the real history-making day will have been misquoted. It is our actions and decisions on March 5 that will truly mark just how determined we are to transform our broken education system.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up