In his trenchant essay, Salutin explores and defends public education at a time when the public sector "dares not utter its name for fear of derision and worse." He simplifies complex issues with the observation that "almost anything can work" if educators are genuinely committed and teachers are respected rather than demonized. He travels to Finland to study the world's most successful public education system. He challenges the sacred cow of educational "choice" and emphasizes that public element of public education instils a natural pride in community and diversity, something no other form of teaching can offer.
"Teachers will find this little book (it's just 64 pages) heartening, administrators will feel their problems are recognized, and those of us who believe that public education is one of Canada's greatest gifts to its citizenry will now have new tools to back up our claims.At a time when many of our public institutions are being dismissed as unnecessary, inefficient, or the product of outdated lefty beliefs, Salutin comes out swinging in favour of public education and against the trends toward privatization, corporatization, the free market, and deregulation that he sees threatening it. In this series of articles (originally published in theToronto Star in 2011), he looks at testing and accountability, school choice, equity, teaching, and what defines the "public" in public education. He argues that society's current love-in with the free market is based more on faith than on evidence, and he urges us to protect public education from the ever-encroaching "religion" of privatization." Education Canada, Summer 2012