“[A]n education [. . .] that was designed to support a truly direct, deliberative democracy [. . .] would be an education oriented to the ‘strong publics’ of decision-making rather than the ‘weak publics’ of opinion formation.” (205)
The concept behind Fleming’s quote is that our school systems are not teaching America’s kids the true value of American democracy and until the education system is developed to promote the process of active decision making than pointless opinion pieces. The difference between decision making and opinion formation is quite profound. First, decision making requires one to look at all of the possible outcomes of the choice they make and why they are making that choice while opinion formation is often a simple as just thinking about if you agree with a topic or not. Furthermore, when a decision is made, it is often final. One can not go back on a decision and the time spent on that choice is lost. However, regarding opinions, a person can change their views on a topic with relative ease and often there is no issue. Decisions have lasting imprints on the environments around people, and some of them have massive impacts on the world. Thus, when decision making comes into importance, one needs to understand the process of making a choice, and schools are more focused on teaching kids to form their opinions and be free thinkers, which is not preparing them for what is to come later in their lives.