Schools and Democracy

If schools were democracies, what would change? was the topic of an interview between Deborah Meier and Leo Casey of the Albert Shanker Institute on October 7, 2014 in Education Week.

The article states,”I’m constantly amazed at how utopian people think the idea of the school being some form of real democracy is.  I think that underlying this troubling suspicion about democracy’s efficacy is due to miseducation, plus a lack of experience with any democratic institutions.” 

I responded to the the article as follows:

The question is inappropriate. Democracy means rule by the people. Schools are established for many reasons, one of which is perpetuate the culture. Teachers are hired because they know more than students. A school based on democracy would, by definition, give equal rights and power to many students and one teacher. Participatory management is not democracy.