Democracy and Public Education: A Future in Peril

In state after state, GOP lawmakers are privatizing education and curbing democracy by changing the rules about how votes are cast and counted. Which raises an urgent question. Why are the same states that are rolling back democracy also intent on dismantling public education? We assembled an all-star cast to get some answers. Special guests: Derek Black, author of Schoolhouse Burning: Public Education and the Assault on American Democracy; and Noliwe Rooks, author of Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education

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100th Episode: A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door

Our long-awaited book, A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door, is finally (almost) out. To celebrate its publication, and the 100th episode of Have You Heard, we asked an expert—a former lobbyist for a conservative free-market think tank—to read the book and tell us what we got right & wrong. His main takeaway: our predictions about the future aren’t bleak enough.

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.

Want a free, signed copy of Jack and Jennifer’s forthcoming book, A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door? Sign up to host a virtual book group with 10 or more of your friends and colleagues and we’ll send you one!

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.