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FEATURING DEREK W. BLACK – American public schools, once considered the envy of the world, are in deep trouble. Over the course of decades, schools have seen funding cuts, charter schools have eaten up dwindling resources without improving outcomes, and the debate over education has been reduced to testing, teacher accountability, and digital technology as a panacea.

But my guest makes the case that public education in the U.S. was critical to the nation’s founding and the idea of democracy in a way that has not been fully appreciated. Now, as our democracy is under threat after four years of Donald Trump’s presidency, a movement to save public education is long overdue.

Derek W. Black, professor at the University of South Carolina Law School where he teaches constitutional law, civil rights, and education law. Professor Black founded the Education Rights Center at Howard University, worked on civil right issues for President Obama’s transition team, and eventually became one of the nation’s leading experts on education law and policy. He is a well-known and outspoken advocate of the importance of public education and his work has been published in both professional legal journals as well as the mainstream media. His new book is called Schoolhouse Burning: Public Education and the Assault on American Democracy.

** This segment originally aired on October 21, 2020.

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