Democratic Education Consortium History

In 2006, the DEC wrote, “The faith communities as allies of the public schools” to get the cooperation of the faith community in helping democratize public schools.

The DEC inspired commentaries and stories in Indianapolis NUVO magazine (2005), “Democratic Schools: IPS needs to try them” by David Hoppe; the Indianapolis Peace and Justice Center’s Journal(2005), “The power of democratic public schools to bring peace & justice to society” by John Loflin; the Indianapolis Recorder (2006), “Democratic Education: Concept promoted as teaching for 21stcentury” by Brandon Perry; and, letters to the editor in the Indianapolis Star (2005), “Democratic practices to abate dropout problem” (2006) by the DEC group, “Green Party’s platform offers education solutions” by Bill Stant, and (2010) “Give students opportunity to practice democracy” by John Loflin. Each publication reflects the DEC’s efforts to engage the community.

Concepts around the topic of democratic education were presented by the DEC /John Loflin during several conferences: the Opening Panel of the World Education Forum (2007, Sao Paulo, Brazil); Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) conferences (2007-2010, Albany, NY); Rouge Forum (2008, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY), the Mid-west Peace and Justice Summit conferences (2008-2010, IUPUI); Men & Women of Color Leadership Conference (2009, Indiana University); 2nd Annual Democratic Education Symposium (2011, Medgar Evers College, Brooklyn, NY); and, Human Rights Day (2011, Indiana State University).

A 2007 paper, “School Uniforms: A 20th century response to 21st century challenges: Why mandatory school uniforms won’t improve IPS and student voice will” on student voice vs. school uniforms as a means to improve IPS was written and distributed to IPS and local media.

The 2007 paper, “A history of democratic education in American public schools,” inspired by thePoliteia democratic education group in Sao Paulo, is currently published on-line by individuals or groups in the US, Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, and Spain. The work has 92 registered results on Google.

For the 2008 and 2010 elections, the DEC collaborated with Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) students, who were members of major political party campus organizations, to introduce local youth 16-24 to the world of politics. These events were called: “Why Politics?” and “Politicalpalooza.”

Throughout 2008, John Loflin, as the DEC, was able to reason with the Indiana Commission on Disproportionality in Youth Services to add a proposal (Recommendation #44) supporting student participation in school-related decision-making to the final report. Currently, the DEC has letters of support from Indianapolis (NAACP, the Children’s Bureau, Peace Learning Center, and US Congressman Andre’ Carson), and New York City’s Independent Commission on Public Education (ICOPE). These letters are a part of the 175 signatures on petitions. This amounts to support for Rec. #44 by a global audience from 12 countries and 8 US states. See local section of website.

“Civic Literacy A response to the question: What does a democracy require of its schools?” was written and shared with the community in 2009 in order to move citizen members to see the major purpose of public education—to create citizens who can practice self-rule, and elect virtuous and accountable civic leaders.

In 2010, the DEC helped bring Indianapolis City-County Councilor Jose M. Evans to the 18th IDEC in Tel Aviv, Israel. Mr. Evans presented the paper, “What does a democracy requires of its schools?” “Destination City or Education City? A vision of Indianapolis for the 21st Century” is 2010 paper composed by the DEC for Councilor Evans.

The paper, “Hip hop culture, self-actualization, and school democracy: Their relationship to reducing the aggressive impulse: Expanding on the ideas of Yaacov Hecht concerning ‘one-size-fits-all’ as the source of problems in society” was taken from sections of the 2006 IDEC report by John Loflin. It was compiled in 2010 in order to influence Indianapolis efforts to lower community and youth violence.