The education of children and youth in general is an immense undertaking with personal, local, regional, and even international implications for the present and the future. While the United States' public education is based on non-sectarian, liberal, democratic values, the current challenges to public education's vision and purposes are many, and, in our current cultural milieus, they originate from multiple interacting factors. While building upon what seems to be a religious term--""sacred calling""--this ""primer"" (1) examines diverse contexts and directions which influence the endeavor of public education (negatively and positively); and (2) attempts to encourage and inspire the efforts of educators and citizens alike for the common good. These pages are intended for a wide audience which includes, for example, classroom educators, school administrators, school board members, parents, community groups with religious associations, civic associations which are not religious, etc. As citizen stakeholders, we all can be ""coached up"" through this book's balanced assessment of basic and secondary issues, which often are either forgotten, disregarded, twisted, or taken for granted. ""An inspirational and challenging read. Students, teachers, parents, and taxpayers must all answer the call to lift up our public schools if our democracy is to survive and thrive. It is an obligation and privilege to do so. If not now, then when?"" --Elaine Dodd, Past State President, Oklahoma Retired Educators Association; Past President, Tulsa Metro Retired Educators Association; Ruling Elder, Presbyterian Church USA Theodore V. Foote Jr., is a Presbyterian Church (USA) pastor living in Bryan, Texas. He has served congregations in Texas and Oklahoma since 1979. With P. Alex Thornburg, he has co-authored Being Presbyterian in the Bible Belt (2000) and Being Disciples of Jesus in a Dot.Com World (2003).
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