The Death of Public School: How Conservatives Won the War Over Education in America
A Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist shows how conservatives have pushed for a revolution in public education—one that threatens the existence of the traditional public school
America has relied on public schools for 150 years, but the system is increasingly under attack. With declining enrollment and diminished trust in public education, policies that steer tax dollars into private schools have grown rapidly. To understand how we got here, The Death of Public School argues, we must look back at the turbulent history of school choice.
Cara Fitzpatrick uncovers the long journey of school choice, a story full of fascinating people and strange political alliances. She shows how school choice evolved from a segregationist tool in the South in the 1950s, to a policy embraced by advocates for educational equity in the North, to a conservative strategy for securing government funds for private schools in the twenty-first century. As a result, education is poised to become a private commodity rather than a universal good.
The Death of Public School presents the compelling history of the fiercest battle in the history of American education—one that already has changed the future of public schooling.
Cara Fitzpatrick is an editor at Chalkbeat. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting in 2016 for a series about school segregation. She was a New Arizona fellow in 2019 at New America and a Spencer fellow at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 2018. Fitzpatrick lives in New York City with her husband and children.
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication Date: 09/12/2023 - 12:00am
On Sale: 09/12/2023 - 12:00am