As Americans we are constantly reinforced to believe that through hard work, sacrifice and personal effort we control our own destiny. George Washington bequeathed part of his estate to create a system of schooling that would "do away with local attachments and state prejudices." James Madison acknowledged in the Federalist Papers that we need to develop a new kind of citizen through our schools. Unless we could educate citizens and leaders who could rise above personal ambition and special interest to seek the common good, our new republic would fail as had all prior republics in history. But increasingly, the fundamental institutions of American society function unfairly, restricting access and opportunity for millions of people. The greatest example of this is the present-day criminal justice system.
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