1. What are the characteristics of an educated person?
I would expect an educated person to have a general knowedge of the way things work in the world and be able to think logically. As a minimum, an educated person would need to be able to read and write, know correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. They would be able to calculate basic maths problems in their head (and by basic I mean addition and subtraction of up to three digits, multiplication tables up to 12, and be able to take a word problem and translate it into a maths equation and then solve it - you know those ones they used to make you do alll the time?). They would also have a knwoledge, or at least awareness of major events in history.
2. What are the characteristics of an educated community?
Thats a hard one to answer =S
I suppose the easiest way to measure this would be a high literacy rate. I would also expect that a high percentage of the population (more people than less) would have completed the mandatory years of schooling. I guess an 'educated' community would also involve most the citizens in regular paid work of some sort. I know this is a bit of a stereotype but to me, to have a community of people who primarilly do not have a job tells me that they are somewhat uneducated. (obviously this doesn't apply to say a retirement community =P). This statement is based on the local community around me and what I have observed from it. I do not mean to stereotype or prejudice in anyway (and excuse me if I have offended), it is just my opinion in what I have observed.
3. What should be the principles of public education?
No child is left behind.
I have seen kids reach high schools who cannot read or write. How is it that the system allows a child to work their way up through primary school (I suppose thats elementary school in the US?) without teaching them to read?!? It truly amazes me. And I am not saying it is the teachers fault, I am talking about the system in general. This is not one isolated case, I know of many cases where this has happened and think there should be more assistance for children who need extra help and keep getting left behind in class.
Other than that, a basic knowledge of everything would be great!! Literature, maths, science, history, arts (visual and music). I believe school should be a place where a child is exposed to absolutely everything, so that they can firstly learn to appreciate it all and secondly decide which path they want to persue with their further studies and career. =) I also think public education (or education in general) plays a very important role in teaching kids the basics of how society works. Things like, things aren't always fair. Sometimes the big guy will always win no matter how wrong he is. Sometimes people don't like you, or you have to work with people that you don't like. All those little things that prepare you for the real world.
Age: (or general age) 20s
Religious Affiliation: not religious
Race/Ethnic Group you most associate with: aussie/asian (aussie born, parents from Cambodia)
Anything else you want to share about your education (K-12): I never went to a public school. My schools were all religious... excuse my ignorance but I am not exacly sure what they were (they never told us we went to an anglican school or a catholic school or whatever else so I am not exacly sure what they would be categorised as). I have had different religious influences my whole life, buddhism from my parents, and christian influences from school. Neither ever really stuck. As a child I never believed in Santa. I didn't always get christmas presents for that matter but my parents never bothered with the whole pretend game of santa is coming. The easiest way to explain my views on religion (and once again I do not mean to offend anyone) is that jesus and god and the bible were just another story. And I accepted that everyone has different believes, and I learnt all the stories and attended church and all that with school but it was never a faith to me. Sorry that was a bit of a ramble, I just meant to add to question 3 to say that that was my view but I did not have personal experience with public education =P.
Oh. And Also, no one ever at any point of my schooling life taught me how to properly care for fish!! good thing we have internet now ;)