Jack Schneider and Jennifer BerkshireJun 28, 2023
A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door
The Dismantling of Public Education and the Future of School
The New Press 2023
Across the U.S., state legislatures-often under the cover of darkness, and usually in spite of public opposition-are passing bills that channel public dollars to private schools. These voucher schemes promise to transfer billions from state treasuries to upper-income families. But that's just the start. Opponents of public schools want to dismantle the public education system entirely. Outrageous and unfounded attacks on the schools-about Critical Race Theory, "gender ideology," and "grooming"-are all part of a broader strategy to sow doubt and distrust. This is the end game.
Education historian Jack Schneider and journalist Jennifer Berkshire trace the war on public education to its origins, offering the deep backstory necessary to understand the threat presently posed to America's schools. The book also looks forward to imagine how current policy efforts will reshape the educational landscape and remake America's future.
A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door: The Dismantling of Public Education and the Future of School (The New Press, 2023) offers readers a lively, accessible, yet scholarly view of a decades-long conservative cause: unmaking the system that serves over 90% of students in the U.S. Presenting a clear view of the ideology motivating this assault, the book also maps the future-outlining how current policy efforts will reshape the educational landscape and remake American democracy.
Laura Beth Kelly is an assistant professor of Educational Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.