Jonathan Kozol, the great chronicler of what’s happened to our schools, wrote Savage Inequalities a few years back, which did more than just about any other book to wake Americans up to our nation’s two-tier public school system: suburbs vs. urban centers, poor community vs. rich…

Not so long ago, I head Kozol speak before a large audience of socially minded liberal types. He repeated the frightening facts: US expenditures for public education are near the bottom of industrialized countries; results are near the bottom on most subjects; urban high school drop out rates continue to escalate…

Around my table, everyone was super attentive, but when I asked later, only one parent had actually sent his kid through the public system. And that’s just start. Here in New York, both the mayor and the school board chief sent their kids to private schools. In that, they’re like most elected officials. The country’s corporate management don’t enroll their kids in public schools, either. Which means that people charged with changing the public school system have no personal experience. That suggests to me that the solutions are going to come from elsewhere. Like you for instance.

The New York Commissioner of Schools recently told Fortune Magazine that the hardest part of his job is answering the question "How could you send my kid to a school you wouldn’t send your kids to?"

There’s no easy fix to our education problems, generally, but there is an easy fix to that particular problem.

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders, author, and host of RadioNation on Air America Radio, has built a reputation for courageous investigative journalism coupled with compassion and a sense of humor. In writing her last book, Blue Grit, she traveled the country reporting on grassroots success stories and broadcast live to over 150 radio stations from community centers in places including Helena, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Miami, Las Vegas, and Milwaukee. In her television appearances (Lou Dobbs, Larry King Live,) on radio and in her many books (including Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species) and articles (The Nation and others,) Flanders calls for a new politics of fairness, equality and citizen action. Articulating the human dimension of American communities in trouble, her programs have become destinations for those seeking the skills and the will to make a difference. Flanders is a regular contributor to the Nation Magazine and CNN. Before joining Air America, where she was part of the original lineup, and hosted “The Laura Flanders Show” for three years, Flanders was the founding host of the award-winning “Your Call” weekday mornings on public radio, KALW in the Bay Area and CounterSpin, the radio show of the mediawatch group, FAIR.