A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door

The hosts of your favorite education podcast have written a book! A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door will be out on November 17 and is available for pre-order now.

If America’s public schools don’t survive the COVID-19 pandemic, it won’t just be due to the virus. Opponents of public education have long sought to dismantle our system of free, universal, and taxpayer-funded schooling. But the present crisis has provided them with their best opportunity ever to realize that aim. Books like Jane Mayer’s Dark Money and Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains sounded a clear warning about the influence that right-wing plutocrats increasingly exert over American politics. Now, A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door takes their analyses a step further, addressing an urgent question: Why is the right so fixated on dismantling public education in the United States?

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 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. With Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, and COVID-19 posing unprecedented threats to our already besieged public schools, the book could not be more timely.

For media requests or to invite the authors to speak to an event or class, just drop us a line.


Inefficient, Ineffective, and Absolutely Necessary: The Case for Elected School Boards

Inefficient. Ineffective. Outdated. Outmoded. Unrepresentative. Sure, local school boards are deserving of all of these criticisms (and more), but they are also seedbeds of local democracy at a time when democracy is under attack. Special guests: school board member and scholar Rachel White, and school committee member Roberto Jiménez Rivera.

Episode transcript is here. The financial support of listeners like you keeps this podcast going. Subscribe on Patreon or donate on PayPal.

State of Siege: What the Free State Project Means for New Hampshire’s Public Schools

Two decades ago, the Free State Project announced an audacious plan to make New Hampshire a utopia for libertarians. Now one of their central goals – privatizing education – appears within reach. Have You Heard heads to the Granite State to explore New Hampshire’s shifting political terrain and why what began as a fringe political movement is no laughing matter. Guests: Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling, author, A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear

Episode transcript is here. The financial support of listeners like you keeps this podcast going. Subscribe on Patreon or donate on PayPal.

Failure to Disrupt. Again

The pandemic gave the education technology industry the opportunity to FINALLY deliver on the bold promises it has been making for decades. What happened instead was just another failure to disrupt, says MIT’s Justin Reich. Transcript is here. And a description of the Imagining September project with links to participate is here.

What They’ve Lost

Students from Boston tell Have You Heard what they’ve lost during this year of pandemic learning. Spoiler: what you’ll hear bears little resemblance to the discussion of “learning loss” that’s atop the agenda of policy makers right now. Special guest Boston teacher Neema Avashia helps us make sense of the gap between how students are feeling and how adults with power are talking. Episode transcript is here.

The financial support of listeners like you keeps this podcast going. Subscribe on Patreon or donate on PayPal.

Kids as Customers

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is creating a network of tuition-free Montessori-inspired preschools for low-income students. But his vision of schools that nurture the autonomy and creativity of kids is on a collision course with the Amazon workplaces Bezos has engineered for adults. Special guest: Mira Debs, author of Diverse Families, Desirable Schools: Public Montessori in the Era of School Choice. Transcript available here.

Note: Have You Heard listeners can get 20% of Mira’s book if they eschew Amazon and order direct through Harvard Education Press. Just enter the code DFDS21. 

And if you’re a fan of Have You Heard, consider supporting us on Patreon. Right now, if you subscribe at the $10/month rate, we’ll send you an autographed copy of A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door.