Today our nation celebrates our day of independence, and it is good to remember that our free public school system is the very foundation of our democracy.
In other countries, schooling was only for the children of the elite. Here, we take all comers. We give everyone the opportunity to learn, regardless of family background, wealth or even aptitude.
And what do we teach our children in our classrooms?
Pablo Casals made a wonderful comment about educational ideals for our children.
He said, “Each moment we live never was before and will never be again. And yet what we teach children in school is 2 + 2 = 4, and Paris is the capital of France.
“What we should be teaching them is what they are.
“We should be saying: ‘Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the world there is no other child exactly like you.
“In the millions of years that have passed there has never been another child exactly like you. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel.”
Good thoughts for all to hear — and a true indicator of our freedom and opportunities.