Michelangelo famously said that he took a piece of marble, chipped away, and out came David. Apocryphal? I’m not sure, but it certainly makes the point all artists know: keep chipping away until the piece presents itself. One more bead on a dress can ruin it; one more line on a painting makes it crass; too many words in the story-ugh!

About a year ago we began the work on Going Public, our documentary whose goal is to remind the world that public education is the heart of our democracy. Our public schools are the last place where people from different classes and different walks of life come together to learn, to share ideas, and to be afforded a fair opportunity to reach for the American dream.

But today, an unholy alliance of wealthy conservatives and agressive hedge fund managers have declared war on public education. Their goal is to dismantle public schools, and ultimately destroy the middle class and the opportunity of upward mobility that defines the can-do American spirit. We asked several questions: Why are teachers, their unions, and public education in general under attack now? Who stands to profit from this? And is there a real basis for these attacks? Finally, we want to know where our schools are working well and why.

We filmed lots of interviews and met amazing people. We listened and chiseled. We filmed and chiseled some more until we found 2 minutes that begin to tell the story. We hope you will watch it and say, “I want to know more,” because we’re now ready to get to the next step.

We need to raise money to complete the documentary. We hope you’ll consider contributing via pay pal. We’re in the process of securing our 501 (c)(3) status so that each of your contributions will be tax-deductible.

For anyone who’s ever hoped for a movement to bring back the dignity of public schools and restore their place in our democracy, for anyone who is looking for answers to the the role outside money is playing in helping to destroy public schools, we hope we’ve got your back.


About The Author

Nancy Letts

Nancy Letts consults with school districts, professional organizations and public sector agencies.Her teaching appointments have included public schools in Pennsylvania and New York, and at Pace University and the City University of New York. She and her work have been the subject of articles in the New York Times, Teaching K-8 Magazine, Thinking: the Journal of Philosophy for Children, and on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” She has been a contributor to the Teachers College Record, The Quarterly at UC Berkeley, and Teaching magazine. Audio tapes include”Building Learning Organizations,” and “Getting Started With Portfolios,” from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Her book "Creating the Caring Classroom" is published by Scholastic Professional Books.

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