A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door

The Dismantling of Public Education and the Future of School

A trenchant analysis of how public education is being destroyed in overt and deceptive ways—and how to fight back

“A powerful analysis of the predatory, profit-seeking forces that threaten our nation’s public schools. . . . If you care about the future of our society, read this book.”
—Diane Ravitch, author of Slaying Goliath and Reign of Error

In the “vigorous, well-informed” (Kirkus Reviews) A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door, the co-hosts of the popular education podcast Have You Heard expose the potent network of conservative elected officials, advocacy groups, funders, and think tanks that are pushing a radical vision to do away with public education.

“Cut[ing] through the rhetorical fog surrounding a host of free-market reforms and innovations” (Mike Rose), Jack Schneider and Jennifer Berkshire lay bare the dogma of privatization and reveal how it fits into the current context of right-wing political movements. A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door “goes above and beyond the typical explanations” (SchoolPolicy.org), giving readers an up-close look at the policies—school vouchers, the war on teachers’ unions, tax credit scholarships, virtual schools, and more—driving the movement’s agenda.

Called “well-researched, carefully argued, and alarming” by Library Journal, this smart, essential book has already incited a public reckoning on behalf of the millions of families served by the American educational system—and many more who stand to suffer from its unmaking. “Just as with good sci-fi,” according to Jacobin, “the authors make a compelling case that, based on our current trajectory, a nightmare future is closer than we think.”

Praise

“Schneider and Berkshire make a persuasive case that public education is under serious threat. Parents, teachers, and progressive policy makers will learn much from this well-documented account.”
Publishers Weekly
“ A vigorous, well-informed broadside against the marketization of the education system in the U.S.”
Kirkus Reviews
“Jack Schneider and Jennifer Berkshire offer a powerful analysis of the predatory, profit-seeking forces that threaten our nation’s public schools. As they show, the old ideas of the radical right are more dangerous than ever, and are advancing more rapidly than we realize. If you care about the future of our society, read this book.”
—Diane Ravitch, author of Slaying Goliath and Reign of Error
“A scholar and a journalist combine their considerable skills in this book to give us a clear-eyed, searing indictment of the privatizing and profit-seeking threats to our schools. Schneider and Berkshire cut through the rhetorical fog surrounding a host of free-market reforms and innovations—from vouchers to virtual learning—to expose a strategic and terribly dangerous undermining of public education.”
—Mike Rose, author of Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves a Second Chance at Education
“An excellent choice for teachers to understand the politics of their profession, and for people committed to supporting and improving public education.”
Booklist
“[A Wolf at the School House Door] is the book that everyone you know who’s even remotely interested in education policy needs to read.”
Forbes
“How did the once-fringe quest to turn public education into a profit-making industry get so close to wrecking our schools? Jack Schneider and Jennifer Berkshire pull back the curtain on the right-wing ideologues, billionaire donors, and for-profit entrepreneurs who have masked their true purposes well enough to ensnare many who should know better. Read this keenly argued and convincing book to understand that if we lose our public schools, we lose the ‘we’ of ‘We, the People.’”
—Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America
“[A] well-researched, carefully argued, and alarming book.”
Library Journal

News and Reviews

Washington Post

Read an excerpt from A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door in Answer Sheet, the Washington Post’s education blog.

New York Times

Read the op-ed “How DeVos May Have Started a Counterrevolution in Education” by co-authors Jack Schneider and Jennifer C. Berkshire in the New York Times.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Read a feature of A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Goodreads Reviews