If education is nothing but a provider of the “human capital” that will help students get a job, the argument to privatize public education will be far too convincing. Instead, we should look at our schools as institutions to educate kids to be citizens in a democracy with expectations for better lives.
Jon Shelton is an associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay and author of Teacher Strike! Public Education and the Making of a New American Political Order.
Corporate leaders, reactionary Republicans, and neoliberal Democrats have told Americans to keep lowering their expectations — a better world isn’t possible. They’re wrong. But we’ll only be able to win that improved world by mobilizing workers.