Charles Best
Founder, DonorsChoose.org
02:03

The State of Public Education in America

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If you don’t have a child in the system, why should you care?

Charles Best

Charles Best founded DonorsChoose.org at Wings Academy, a public high school in the Bronx where he was a social studies teacher for five years. He thought up DonorsChoose.org during a lunch conversation with colleagues, and his students volunteered to help start the organization. To entice his fellow teachers to try out the new website, Charles offered them his mother's famous pear dessert. DonorsChoose.org has been growing since.
Transcript

Charles Best: The state of the public school system in our country I guess I would describe as totally varied, and that's sort of part of problem, there are so many communities, wealthy communities where public schools do provide a great education and do provide their students with all the resources that they need to learn, but then there are other communities where it's a totally different story and, in fact, the high school where I taught was not an example of a down and out dilapidated public school, the high school where I taught in the Bronx, Wings Academy had been pretty newly constructed, it was a great facility, compare to other public schools. We actually did have a decent amount of copy paper and pencils, but even at that kind of newly constructed public high school, I know that it was providing a different level of education than up in suburbs.

Question: If you don’t have a child in public school, why care?

Charles Best: Civic leaders and politicians have said it a lot better than I could, but even for those people who don’t have kids in the public schools, I think were all invested as a country and the state of public education and whether you're business man and you want to heir employees who are literate and can compute really effectively, you need public schools to be great. If you just believe in our democracy and you want an informed electorate, public schools are in your interest and I think our country is dependent on public schools, whether or not you personally have a kid in the public school system.

 

Recorded on: 1/29/08


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