School’s Out for Segregation

How charter schools and other private measures undermine a public good

Thomas Hawk/Flickr
Thomas Hawk/Flickr

School choice. A portfolio of options. Charters. Vouchers. Virtual classrooms. This is the vocabulary of the 21st-century American education system—and having more of these private options is exactly what policymakers, like Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, would like to see. But where did the idea of “public charter schools” come from? And what kind of impact does siphoning money away from the public education system have on the students who remain in that system—or the ones who are taking virtual geometry classes in their kitchens? Noliwe Rooks tackles these questions in her new book, Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education.

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Stephanie Bastek is the senior editor of the Scholar and the producer/host of the Smarty Pants podcast.


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