On July 12, 1999, results from a new national opinion poll were released, indicating that more than 60 percent of Americans feel disconnected from government—including the public schools.

While the report, "Americans Unplugged: Citizens and Their Government," received little press in the educational community, its findings are cause for alarm for everyone who believes that public schools fuel democracy.

"This poll underscores our nation's challenge in the next millennium," said Patricia McGinnis, president and CEO of the Council for Excellence in Government, which commissioned the study. "We have an anemic democracy, badly in need of involvement and ownership by its citizens."

Cutting across...

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