Let’s start a school with a curriculum centered around democratic agency. The final exam, to be taken at any age, will consist of one question: “What does democracy require?”
Responses could be judged on this site, posted for the Kos community to see and evaluate. These would of course be coupled with personal presentations and interviews. We would, in short, be creating future Kossers: crap-detectors and truth-demanders.
If 10,000 are willing to give $100 a year to help create an America which wrestles with the above question, the initial school would have an operating budget of 1 million, plenty of money for one physical school which could also serve as the initial web-hub.
You could send your child, age 17, for a year of study. She will, of course, miss a year of skill-and drill for a year of philosophy, history, psychology, critical analysis, media literacy, debate, reflection, and civic engagement.
Eventually, as we charge others to attend (a minimum fee, as this growing community will, in the name of democracy, continue to give) we can spread this model. A school of this sort could easily go up in every state capital, and the number of Americans who wrestle with American democracy will increase exponentially over time.
Leaving schooling to corporate America allows extremists and fascists to shape children’s consciousness according to their needs. Why can’t progressives start our own network of schooling? We (hopefully) have begun checking corporate control of media by producing our own, why can’t we check corporate control of schooling by starting our own schools?
Corporate America is not going to fund the construction of critical, engaged, democrats. These are individuals capable of crossing borders to create diverse coalitions capable of using America’s institutions for democracy rather than control and conquest.
We are those democrats.
And we’ve gathered here, and I’m asking us, how can we ensure America’s children become democrats, small d, rather than blindly obedient cultural-mimes? Can we come together to facilitate that process building a network of schools dedicated to realizing multiple American dreams?
I have ideas, and I’m sure a few of you have more…