Thursday, October 29, 2020

100th Episode: A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door – Have You Heard

100th Episode: A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door – Have You Heard
100th Episode: A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door

Our long-awaited book, A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door, is finally (almost) out. To celebrate its publication, and the 100th episode of Have You Heard, we asked an expert—a former lobbyist for a conservative free-market think tank—to read the book and tell us what we got right & wrong. His main takeaway: our predictions about the future aren’t bleak enough.

Complete transcript of the episode is here. The financial support of listeners like you keeps this podcast going. Subscribe on Patreon or donate on PayPal.

Want a free, signed copy of Jack and Jennifer’s forthcoming book, A Wolf at the Schoolhouse DoorSign up to host a virtual book group with 10 or more of your friends and colleagues and we’ll send you one!

A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door

A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door Website -

“There’s no more time for tinkering around the edges.” — Betsy DeVos, 2018 “Rethink School” tour.


If America’s public schools don’t survive the COVID-19 pandemic, it won’t just be due to the virus. Opponents of public education have long sought to dismantle our system of free, universal, and taxpayer-funded schooling. But the present crisis has provided them with their best opportunity ever to realize that aim. Books like Jane Mayer’s Dark Money and Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains sounded a clear warning about the influence that right-wing plutocrats increasingly exert over American politics. Now, A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door takes their analyses a step further, addressing an urgent question: Why is the right so fixated on dismantling public education in the United States? 

Education historian Jack Schneider and journalist Jennifer Berkshire trace the war on public education to its origins, offering the deep backstory necessary to understand the threat presently posed to America’s schools. The book also looks forward to imagine how current policy efforts will reshape the educational landscape and remake America’s future. A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door offers readers a lively, accessible, yet scholarly view of a decades-long conservative cause: unmaking the system that serves over 90% of students in the U.S. With Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, and COVID-19 posing unprecedented threats to our already besieged public schools, the book could not be more timely.