Foreword by: Karen GJ Lewis
Publication Date: July 8, 2016
Proponents of market-driven education reform view vouchers and charters as superior to local-board-run, community-based public schools. However, the author of this timely volume argues that there is no clear research supporting this view. In fact, Schneider claims there is increasing evidence of charter mismanagement—with public funding all-too-often being squandered while public schools are being closed or consolidated. Tracing the origins of vouchers and charters in the United States, this book examines the push to “globally compete” with education systems in countries such as China and Finland. It documents issues important to the school choice debate, including the impoverishment of public schools to support privatized schools, the abandonment of long-held principles of public education, questionable disciplinary practices, and community disruption. School Choice: The End of Public Education? is essential reading for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the past and future of public education in America.
Mercedes K. Schneider is a secondary school teacher in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, education blogger and speaker, and author of Common Core Dilemma—Who Owns Our Schools? She holds advanced degrees in education and statistics. Visit her blog at deutsch29.wordpress.com.
"Mercedes Schneider’s book examines the contradictions of school choice, which is now the rallying cry for those who call themselves reformers. She documents the history of this idea, beginning with economist Milton Friedman’s 1955 essay advocating school vouchers."
—Diane Ravitch, The New York Review of Books
"Public education in America is under attack by the diversion of massive amounts of public funds to special interest private schools and for-profit charter schools, thanks to their political enablers. Experienced educator Mercedes Schneider provides a devastating critique of this sabotage in this well researched, documented book."
—Voice of Reason
“While deftly annotated, this is no overwhelming scholarly tome for which you’ll need your dictionary. This book is designed to be a comprehensive, accessible explanation of what school choice really is.... Schneider doesn’t provide the answer—she’s too good a teacher for that—but she arms readers with facts. It’s up to us to take this wealth of information, use it, and create a movement that fights for democracy, real accountability, and ultimately, excellent public schools for all.”
—From the Foreword by Karen GJ Lewis, president, Chicago Teachers Union
“Mercedes Schneider writes with clarity, courage, and conviction, calling upon everyday people to defend not only public education but also our humanity against the forces that would steal the future from our children. School Choice is a remarkable resource that brings truth-telling and historical understanding to bear on our current struggles and debunks certain myths that keep our communities divided. How fortunate that we have another soon-to-be classic from Mercedes Schneider that informs and empowers us all for the fight back!”
—Joyce E. King, Ph.D., Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair for Urban Teaching, Learning and Leadership, Georgia State University; past president, The American Educational Research Association
“Mercedes Schneider has produced a scrupulous book that is provocative and thorough in its research and analysis of school choice, yet remains a clear, straightforward, and tantalizing read. From her overview of the democratic origins of public education in the United States to the initial promise of charter schools as innovative and student-centered, and also to the market-driven "edupreneurials" who view United States public education as a market to be exploited for financial gain, Schneider provides a must-read for anyone, especially educators, interested in the future of public education.”
—Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell, Louisiana State University
“Outstanding! Powerful! This is the most interesting and best-researched book on school choice I've ever read.”
—Julian Vasquez Heilig, California State University
“Schneider cuts through the fog to get to the hard choices that ‘school choice’ forces upon communities that want the best for all their children. Her book gives valuable insights for this important debate.”
—Anthony Cody, public school teacher