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The Right's Long War on Public Education and How to Fight Back, with Jennifer Berkshire
I interviewed the author of A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door: The Dismantling of Public Education and the Future of School, and the forthcoming The Education Wars: A Citizen’s Guide and Defense Manual.
Bucks County has been ground zero for the nation’s school board wars. We have a MAGA millionaire, who also happens to be a school choice activist, bankrolling far-right school board candidates. He actually spent hundreds of thousand of dollars last election cycle. We have Moms for Liberty mercenaries sowing chaos and pushing dangerous conspiracies like public schools are trying to bring pedophilia into the classroom. We have right-wing parents trying to ban books from authors like Tony Morrison. And we have school boards like in Central Bucks secretly working with a law firm tied to a Christian nationalist group.
So I reached out to Jennifer Berkshire to talk about the latest iteration of the Right’s long war on public education and to put what we’re seeing today in historical context.
Jennifer writes about the intersection of education and politics for the Nation, the New Republic, the New York Times, and other publications. She is the creator and co-host of the education policy podcast Have You Heard, and the co-author of A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door: The Dismantling of Public Education and the Future of School. Jennifer teaches in the journalism program at Boston College and in the Education Studies program at Yale University. Her next book, The Education Wars: A Citizen’s Guide and Defense Manual, will be out in 2024.