Bertis Downs, a member of the board of the Network for Public Education, is a lawyer who lives in Athens, Georgia. His daughters attended public schools in Athens, where they thrived. Bertis spent his professional life representing the rock group REM. He now devotes most of his time to what he values, as a board member of NPE and People for the American Way. He is a wonderful person! On a trip to London, he visited the historic Church of St. Martin in the Fields. He thought about the famous quote from John Dewey about the best and wisest parent and did a mash-up with the prayer of St. Martin.

And we got this prayer from Bertis:

“It seems that John Dewey was Episcopalian, so I like to imagine him re-writing the St Martin’s Prayer for the World for school purposes:

“God, give us a vision of our public schools, where what the best and wisest parents want for their own children, the whole community and its leaders want for all of its children, leading to a world as your love would make it: a world where the weak are protected and none go hungry, uneducated or poor; a world where the benefits of civilized life are shared, and everyone can enjoy them; a world where different races, nations and cultures study and thrive and live in tolerance and mutual respect; a world where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love; and give us the courage to build it.