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.

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Long, Hot Education Summer

Suddenly education is THE hot topic. But where there’s heat, light doesn’t necessarily follow. Jennifer and Jack discuss what’s missing from the coverage of the backlash against Critical Race Theory, as well as some stories that should be getting more attention, including the Biden Administration’s missing education policy and the collapse of Obama-era education reform. 

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Where Communities Go To College

Community colleges get a bad rap. But recent graduates of Maryland’s Frederick Community College say that stigma is undeserved. These new and soon-to-be-teachers make a powerful case for learning – and teaching – close to home. Warning: this episode may upend preexisting notions about the relationship between education and place, not to mention how we define “smart.” Episode transcript is here. Special guests: Professor Sarah Bigham, Frederick Community College and an all-star cast of FCC grads.

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The K-12 Culture Wars

The public school culture wars are raging more intensely than at any time since the Reagan era. Fueled by intense political polarization and the continued fallout from pandemic school closures, the culture wars now threaten public education. Special guests: New Hampshire teacher Misty Crompton, Iowa teacher Nick Covington, Missouri teacher Jessica Piper and New York City teacher Selena Carrión.

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

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.