Public schools are such a fixture in American life that few parents think — and even fewer politicians dare — to question whether the State should be sponsoring education in the first place. Perhaps more of them would, if they understood just when, where and why the whole idea of government-sponsored education came about. In “The Myth of the Common School,” Boston University professor Charles L. Glenn traces the history of the idea that the State should sponsor popular education in order to mold common loyalties and values among its citizens — and shows how this idea has led inevitably to conflict with parents and groups who do not accept the values and beliefs inculcated by the State and its educators.
“With rare intelligence and lucidity, Charles Glenn tells the story that has brought us too our present moment of conflict and confusion regarding the role of the public school in American society. . . A marvelous provocation to rethink the moral and educational assumptions of a democratic society.” — REV. RICHARD JOHN NEUHAUS
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