Policy Forum

Why We Fight: Do Public Schools Cause Social Conflict?

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Featuring: Neal McCluskey, Policy Analyst, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute; Charles Haynes, Senior Scholar and Director of Education Programs, Freedom Forum First Amendment Center; and Gerald Bracey, Associate, High/​Scope Educational Research Foundation.

Many Americans believe that public schools are the gentle flame beneath the Great American Melting Pot – that they are the best, perhaps the only, means of fostering social cohesion and good citizenship. But are they?

A new report from Cato’s Center for Educational Freedom argues that, in reality, public schooling is inherently divisive. In “Why We Fight: How Public Schools Cause Social Conflict,” Neal McCluskey explains that public schooling forces everyone to pay for a single official system that does not – and indeed cannot – reflect the public’s diverse and often conflicting views. The inevitable result of this system, he concludes, is endless social discord over what is taught.

Charles Haynes and Gerald Bracey bring two contrasting views to the table, setting the stage for a lively debate. Please join us as our panel takes on this report and its grave implications.