EDUCATION

A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door: The Dismantling of Public Education and the Future of School

New Pr. Dec. 2020. 256p. ISBN 9781620974940. $26.99. ED
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Schneider and Berkshire, hosts of the education podcast Have You Heard, clearly and concisely present the many battles in the war against public education. The authors explain their stance on public vs. private education—by publicly educating our young in the best way possible, all of society benefits, while private education tends to favor individuals with wealth and privilege. Schneider and Berkshire explain past and current dogma and ideology, explore changes already occurring, and offer glimpses into the future. They also recount the many ways public education is being threatened: charter school fraud, attempts to overturn teacher unionization, public funding of private schools, and inadequate teacher compensation. The authors note that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s policies are playing a major role in dismantling public education, emphasizing consumer-driven education and providing religiously affiliated institutions with government funding through neo-vouchers known as tax-credit scholarships. As districts and schools compete for tuition dollars, administrators stress marketing rather than learning and equity.
VERDICT This well-researched, carefully argued, and alarming book supplements those by Andrea Gabor and Diane Ravitch.

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