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Document Type

Article in Response to Controversy

Abstract

One of the problems with treating schools like a market and treating students and parents like customers is that what students might want from schools is not necessarily what they deserve. Preparation for democratic life—learning to give as well as to take in public discourse, learning to hold others as dearly as myself—may not at all be what children want, but it is what they deserve. Further, democracy is both messy and contentious. Religion is one, but hardly the only, fundamental commitment that divides us, and fundamental commitments by their nature are not easily compromised. And when not religion, it is often something else.

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