Schools as Democracies

If Schools Were Democracies, What Would Change? was the topic of  a recent conversation between Deborah Meier and Leo Casey of the Albert Shanker Institute in Education Week.

The essence of the discussion follows:

Some people think that schools should be some form of democracy. People who believe schools should be democratic (as in democratic classrooms) often lack experience working in democratic institutions because democracies are so inefficient.

I responded to the discussion below.

2:45 PM on October 7, 2014

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.