Blog Posts By

Deborah Frieze

Deborah Frieze

Deborah is a former co-president of Berkana and co-founder of the Berkana Exchange. An entrepreneur, business strategist and social activist, Deborah joined Berkana in 2002 to help bring Berkana’s vision into the world and grow the Institute. She is currently involved with several Berkana initiatives, include Feeding Ourselves Sustainably, Swaraj University and multiple Illumination and Thought Leadership projects. Deborah is also a member of The Tipping Point Network, a group seeking to catalyze a globally sustainable economy by focusing philanthropic donations on sustainable markets. Deborah has an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Walking Out Isn’t About Abandoning Institutions. It’s About Abandoning Beliefs.

Posted on June 15, 2011

In my May 21st blog, I bemoaned the decision to shut down more than a dozen schools in the Boston public school system—most of which serve low-income neighborhoods. I wondered what “walking out” of this system might look like, and went as far as suggesting “…that might mean pulling our children out of the school system and turning to one another to create neighborhood learning spaces which replace schooling with discovery.”

And then last week, I found myself in a fascinating conversation with the board of a progressive Massachusetts-based foundation whose commitment is to restore the quality and equitability of the U.S. public school system—not walk out of it. They believe that our educational institutions can and should prepare all children—regardless of race, gender, class or native language—to fully participate in our democratic society. Was I suggesting that our schools were doomed to failure? That there was no hope for the future of public education in the United States? That our only options were to stay inside fighting a losing battle or to abandon public schools and invent something entirely new? Read More »