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Can Democracy’s Rules Save Us?

When I was young, I played sports all the time. I was attracted to sports as an outlet for my energy and how when we play games, they were governed by a set of rules that made it fair for everyone. I loved this part of football, baseball and soccer. I loved that the referees were hired to enforce the rules and players were benched, or whole teams were penalized when an infraction occurred. The rules made it fair for everyone to achieve their best.

Level Playing Field

Schooling in America struggles to achieve this fairness. Although all schools share the goals of fairness such as open admissions policies to all who live in the neighborhood, a common curriculum for all students, and a logical progression from one grade to another, there are subtle differences that begin to erode the democratic structure of school. For example, sometimes the money allocated for the school does not reach it, sometimes the curriculum materials are not as good as other schools, and sometimes the teachers are not as good as other schools.

The Community Around Us

Regardless of our political aspirations or our socio-economic status, the rules of school to deliver a quality education deserves to be accessed by every child. Money will not solve this. But organizing the money so that it is spent as intended, organizing enough money to hire qualified teachers for every child, and making sure there is enough money to help children who have a disability would be a great start to using money well.

The bottom line is that rules help us make games fair, and rules can help us make school fair. Democracy is at base, an institution of fairness and should not be corrupted to favor one type or another of our great country.

Dr. Robert A. Southworth, Jr.

Dr. Robert A. Southworth, Jr.

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