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The War Against America's Public Schools: Privatizing Schools, Commercializing Education


reviewed by Patrick J. McEwan — 2002

coverTitle: The War Against America's Public Schools: Privatizing Schools, Commercializing Education
Author(s): Gerald W. Bracey
Publisher: Allyn and Bacon, Needham Heights, MA
ISBN: 0321080734 , Pages: 288, Year: 2001
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Gerald Bracey doesn’t mince words.  There is a war, he argues, being waged against public schools.  Its generals are Chester Finn, Eric Hanushek, Milton Friedman, and Paul Peterson.  They plot strategy in darkened chambers of the Heritage Foundation and the Hoover Institution, arming their minions in the financial press with jumbled statistics and specious overstatements.  Their goal is to privatize, commercialize, and ultimately destroy public education (and presumably the American Federation of Teachers if it stumbles into the melee).  In this book, The War Against America's Public Schools, Gerald Bracey mounts a nine-chapter defense that is forceful and occasionally thought provoking, but not always convincing.   Chapter 1 describes the conservative forces arrayed against public schools.  This is familiar territory for casual observers of the “school choice” debate, but Bracey presents it with a vigor that occasionally lapses into paranoia.  The Spencer Foundation is—a little bizarrely—described as a conservative foundation that is not “neutral” or “idea-oriented” (p. 4).  Whipping boys like William Bennett are rightly chastised for mangling statistical data—do we ever... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 104 Number 5, 2002, p. 975-978
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10882, Date Accessed: 10/25/2014 12:14:45 AM

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About the Author
  • Patrick McEwan
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    E-mail Author
    PATRICK J. McEWAN is an Assistant Professor of Educational Policy Studies and Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests include the economics of education and education policy in Latin America.
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