Why We Need to Care About the Common Good
Public Schools Week 2019 shows it's time to bring back the concept of the public good
We need to make considering the common good a priority in our school communities. We seem to be drifting to the idea that what’s good for me is much more important than what’s good for our entire community. A quick example is the anti-vaccination movement. It’s baffling that we can no longer bring peanut butter cupcakes to our school celebrations (a common-good approach), but we’re not as concerned that we allow the unvaccinated to freely spread measles to our vulnerable populations.
We have to remember that we’re all in this together, although sometimes in our fractured world, we feel like we’re all in it alone.
We’re not alone.
And that means we have to get back to thinking about the common good in our communities. We can’t rise as a community or a country until we consistently think beyond ourselves.
We have to look up from our phones and out of our cubicles and start looking at people, start talking to people again, start asking how we can make things better for all of us — rather than just for ourselves. How can we look long range and work together as a community to truly make life better for the next generations?
We know there’s no such thing as a silver-bullet solution, but we also know that public schools come as close as anything to be the steroid-type enabler for raising the bar by considering the common good. Yes, public schools are as close we can get to achieving a viable solution.
Public schools reach millions of students
Public schools teach 9 out of 10 students enrolled in education today.
That’s 50.7 million students — all individuals who will eventually add to or detract from the future and well-being of our communities and our lives.
Just think what our total communities would be like without public schools.
Sure, alternatives would pop up, but there’s no way that any of these alt-systems could scale up to provide what is needed for the vast array of today’s students.
Celebrate Public Schools Week
March 25-29 has been set as Public Schools Week. It’s a great time to take stock and celebrate how your public schools pave the way for the common good in your school communities.
Take a look at all you do for your students and how your schools and staff make your community better. And when you point out this major plus of public schools to your community members, work in an engagement component to seek support to make your public schools even better.
As a member of the Learning First Alliance, NSPRA is joining with other major leadership organizations to celebrate Public Schools Week. We encourage all interested supporters to use the LFA toolkit which gives you practical messages, templates, social media feeds, and graphic elements to save time and give ease for your promotions.
Here’s hoping that these resources will help motivate you to join the celebration and to remind our communities about the integral role that public schools play in providing for the common good for all in the years ahead.