If America's Schools are to meet the needs of the twenty first century, they must be reinvented. It is not enough to try to fix the schools; they must be reconstructed in both fundamental and radical ways. The school system must be restructured. The future of the American public school system is significant because the maintenance of an informed and productive citizenry is vital to the future of this country. Historically Americans have strongly asserted the importance of public schools in a democracy and despite growing disdain for the perceived value of the school system, public schools remain central to democracy in the United States.
For more than a century, America's public schools have been an indispensable source of the country's strength. Public education has allowed citizens to become productive members of society by providing them with the skills and knowledge necessary for the labor force. Schools prepare students to be literate, informed and reasoning citizens.
According to Philip Schlechty, author of Schools for the twenty-first century, "Public schools are the ties that bind this pluralistic society into a nation. Our Nation's thirty-sixth president, Lyndon B. Johnson, also believed that there is no institution more fundamental to American society and democracy than its public schools."(36)
Public schools are the cornerstone of America's future. The development of youth's knowledge, skills and social dispositions has always been critical to the country's success. In the next century, America's youth will play an increasingly important role in the country's survival and well-being. By the year 2025, one out of five Americans will be 65 or older, and by the year 2040, one out of four Americans will be 65. In less than 15 years, the first baby boomers will reach the age of 65 (Peterson 64). It is clear that the economic success of...