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America’s confidence in its public schools has dropped significantly in the past half-century. A mere 29 percent of Gallup survey participants expressed a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in public schools, down from 58 percent the first time the question was asked in 1973. However, unlike the many other institutions that saw a similar decline over the years, no single event or scandal can be blamed for public schools’ waning confidence. Perhaps through their own experience, or that of their kids, people have simply stopped believing that traditional public schools are working. 

So what can we do to fix it? We have to start by asking what the role of K-12 education should be, what subjects we teach and how those courses should be taught. 

America’s early public-school system limited who could access its services, but for those who were fortunate enough to attend, it was spectacularly successful in creating a citizenry of literate 19th-century yeoman with the skills needed to read a ballot, measure a fence, or avoid getting cheated by the other party at the market.

Read the full article in the Daily Caller.

About The Author

Patrick Michel

Dr. Patrick Michel, Vice President of K12’s Career Readiness Program Design, has more than 30 years of public education experience. As an advocate for rethinking education for today’s 21st century student, Dr. Michel is passionate about developing the skills of our workforce in a technology-rich society. At K12, Dr. Michel is leading an effort to introduce Project Based Learning into Career Technical Education (CTE) and Managed Public School (MPS) programs. He also leads the program design for Destinations Career Academies to ensure students’ successful matriculation through completion of Career Pathways, while also creating a framework for students to find summer jobs, internships, and mentorship opportunities. Prior to joining K12, Dr. Michel was district superintendent for Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Counties BOCES (HFM BOCES). Under his leadership, HFM BOCES programs increased the role of technology throughout its programs and services, strengthened local partnerships with Fulton-Montgomery Community College, Fulton Montgomery Chamber of Commerce and area businesses through student internships and increased their credit articulation agreements with colleges, universities and technical training schools across the country. Prior to his appointment to HFM, Dr. Michel served as superintendent of the Monticello Central School District in downstate NY. His educational administrative experiences include positions as Associate Superintendent at Clarkstown Central School District and as a principal in Hyde Park and Pine Bush Central School Districts. Dr. Michel began his career teaching 9th and 12th grade social studies and earth science at Monroe Woodbury Central School District. He holds a doctoral degree in education and a master’s degree from Columbia University, a master’s degree from Brooklyn College, a certificate of advanced study from SUNY New Paltz, and a bachelor’s degree from Manhattan College. He is currently working on a master’s degree in divinity from the St. Bernard Catholic Seminary in Utica, New York.

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