#126 What Ever Happened to the Public Good?

The sudden passion for all things parents’ rights may seem like it came out of nowhere. But as education historian Jon Hale explains, it’s the latest in a steady erosion of the idea of public education as a public good. From white parents pulling away from ‘that public’ in the aftermath of the Brown. Vs Board of Education decision in 1954, to the hardening of school district boundaries post Milliken vs. Bradley, we’ve been whittling away at the public good for decades. Oh, and did we mention that the purpose of schooling has shifted over time, becoming increasingly about social mobility? The end result is that it’s increasingly difficult to make the case for public-ness. But Jon Hale, author of The Choice We Face: How Segregation, Race, and Power Have Shaped America’s Most Controversial Education Reform Movement does his best.

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