How Centrist Democrats Paved the Way for Betsy DeVos

A consensus between Republicans and centrist Democrats around charter schools has been at the very center of education policy for the past three decades. Guest David Menefee-Libey joins us to talk about the formation of the charter school “treaty,” why it unraveled and what happens next. 

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

Jennifer and Jack’s forthcoming book A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door: The Dismantling of Public Education and the Future of School, is now available for preorder!

Pandemic Pods: Parents, Privilege, Power and Politics

Private pandemic “pods” are the latest edu-craze to sweep the land. But turns out there’s nothing new about privileged parents fleeing the public school system—or using the threat of departure as leverage. Special guests Jessica Calarco, L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy and Jon Hale help us understand the implications of pods for public education. And Jennifer and Jack discuss why pods have quickly emerged as a policy darling on the right. Hint: conservatives see the pandemic as the best opportunity they’ve ever had to dismantle public schools. Complete transcript available here. The financial support of listeners like you keeps this podcast going. Subscribe on Patreon or donate on PayPal.

States of Shock: the Coming Budget Calamity

A looming budget calamity worse than the Great Recession could mean mass teacher layoffs and deep cuts to school spending. In our latest episode Have You Heard previews the bleak budget forecast, how to avert it, and why the GOP seems to want states to go broke. Experts Bruce Baker, Sarah Reckhow and Jesse Rothstein weigh in, and, in a sign of what’s to come, we meet a teacher whose alternative school is going online and for-profit next year. Full transcript of the episode is here. And if you enjoy Have You Heard, please consider supporting us on Patreon.

Don’t Mess with Texas’ Schools

Have You Heard heads to fast-growing north Texas for a first-hand look at how support for public education is upending the state’s politics. Spoiler: GOP candidates are scrambling to paint themselves as lovers of public schools and their teachers. But does their new-found love translate into actual policy? And will former GOP voters who prize public education end up changing the way they vote?  Part of our series on education and politics in 2020, this episode captures a trend with major implications for Texas and beyond. Transcript available here.

And if you like what you hear, consider supporting Have You Heard on Patreon. The financial support of listeners like you keeps this podcast going and enables us to hit the road to do original reporting.

Michigan’s School Choice Mess

Have You Heard heads to Michigan to learn about a lesser-known part of the state’s free market education experiment: inter-district school choice. More than 100,000 Michigan students attend school in a district other than where they live. The outflow of students has pushed urban districts to the brink and spawned a competition for enrollment among rural and suburban districts.

Full transcript here. And if you’d like to see (or hear) more from the Have You Heard investigative road crew, consider supporting us on Patreon.