Cara FitzpatrickAug 23, 2023
The Death of Public School
How Conservatives Won the War Over Education in America
Basic Books 2023
America has relied on public schools for 150 years, but the system is increasingly under attack. With declining enrollment and diminished trust in public education, policies that steer tax dollars into private schools have grown rapidly. To understand how we got here, The Death of Public School: How Conservatives Won the War Over Education in America (Basic Books, 2023) argues, we must look back at the turbulent history of school choice.
Cara Fitzpatrick uncovers the long journey of school choice, a story full of fascinating people and strange political alliances. She shows how school choice evolved from a segregationist tool in the South in the 1950s, to a policy embraced by advocates for educational equity in the North, to a conservative strategy for securing government funds for private schools in the twenty-first century. As a result, education is poised to become a private commodity rather than a universal good.
The Death of Public School presents the compelling history of the fiercest battle in the history of American education--one that already has changed the future of public schooling.
Laura Beth Kelly is an assistant professor of Educational Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.