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Friday on the importance of diverse public schools

As mourners gather in Chapel Hill today to remember UNC President Emeritus Bill Friday, we thought it appropriate to share a few word by Friday from a 2003 report by the Wake Education Partnership:

‘For more than 100 years, public education has helped to shape the backbone of growth and progress in North Carolina. Our public schools have tackled some of the greatest challenges of a state successfully making the transition from a farm and manufacturing economy to one based on technology, services and education.

A major accomplishment that may be attributed to the public schools is the successful desegregation of our society and the civility we enjoy every day. The public schools, and especially our classroom teachers, served on the front line as we marched through the barriers of races and class to overcome a history of separate and unequal educational systems.

Today, public schools thrive in our state as academic standards continue to increase and more students achieve proficiency than ever before. Our public schools continue to serve a unique role in fostering unity and strength within communities. The choice before us now is whether we will renew a commitment to diverse public schools for the benefit of all children and the larger community.

I urge that each of us become actively involved in understanding the value of healthy and diverse public schools that succeed with all children. Our commitment to diverse public schools is a commitment to each other and to the future of North Carolina.’

3 Comments


  1. wncgirl

    October 17, 2012 at 11:35 am

    You learn empathy in public schools, which is why Romney and his ilk lack compassion or concern for others. When we are left with segregated schools due to economic conditions we can kiss the American dream good-bye for the 99% and enjoy the pain and destitution of a banana republic. Want this to happen sooner? Vote Republican in 2012 and sit back and watch the collapse. The 1% are global. Art Pope, the DeVos (AMway) family, the Koch Bros. Sheldon Adelson… can destroy our country and then move on…. that my friends is not patriotic or sensible only greedy, and evil.

  2. Frank Burns

    October 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    We are left with charter schools and private schools because that is what the public demands. They don’t want their kids in schools where kids have no respect for teachers or themselves. They don’t want a disruptive kid ruining the education of their child who wants to learn. The lack of discipline in public schools is the problem, not Art Pope and certainly not Republicans.

  3. Dawn Carson O'Keeffe

    October 18, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    I absolutely agree with Mr. Henkel. We have to understand, value and support our public schools! We have to recognize the variety of needs that are served daily and the rich texture of the experience for our children and their families as they study and play with other children from all different walks of life. Public education is the foundation of our democratic society!

    My husband and I have produced a documentary project that captures a day in the life of an American school district where we followed 50 subjects on 28 campuses in 1 day. Take a look and be inspired! http://www.gopublicproject.org

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