Neal McCluskey

Director, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute

Neal McCluskey is the director of Cato’s Center for Educational Freedom. He is the author of the book Feds in the Classroom: How Big Government Corrupts, Cripples, and Compromises American Education and is co‐​editor of several volumes, including School Choice Myths: Setting the Record Straight on Education Freedom and Unprofitable Schooling: Examining Causes of, and Fixes for, America’s Broken Ivory Tower. He also maintains Cato’s Public Schooling Battle Map, an interactive database of values and identity‐​based conflicts in public schools.

He is on the editorial board of the Journal of School Choice and the editorial advisory board of The Line, a journal promoting civil discourse in K-12 policy debates. His writings have appeared in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Forbes and he has appeared on numerous television and radio programs.

Neal McCluskey is the director of Cato’s Center for Educational Freedom. He is the author of the book Feds in the Classroom: How Big Government Corrupts, Cripples, and Compromises American Education and is co‐​editor of several volumes, including School Choice Myths: Setting the Record Straight on Education Freedom and Unprofitable Schooling: Examining Causes of, and Fixes for, America’s Broken Ivory Tower. He also maintains Cato’s Public Schooling Battle Map, an interactive database of values and identity‐​based conflicts in public schools. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of School Choice and the editorial advisory board of The Line, a journal promoting civil discourse in K-12 policy debates. His writings have appeared in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Forbes and he has appeared on numerous television and radio programs.

McCluskey holds an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University, where he double‐​majored in government and English, has a master’s degree in political science from Rutgers University, Newark, and a PhD in public policy from George Mason University.

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Public Schooling Battle Map

Americans are diverse – ethnically, religiously, ideologically – but all must pay for public schools. The intention is good: to bring people together and foster social harmony. But rather than build bridges, public schooling often forces people into wrenching conflict. This map aggregates a relatively small, but especially painful, subset of such battles: those pitting educational effectiveness, basic rights, moral values, or individual identities against each other.

COVID-19 Private School Closures

The COVID-19 crisis has wrought havoc on all schools, but private schools could be in especially grave danger. Many have long been on a precarious financial footing, forced to keep tuition as low as possible to remain viable against “free” public schools. That razor‐​thin financial model could be difficult to sustain during the pandemic. Cato has been tracking private school permanent closures at least partially connected to COVID-19 since the beginning of local and state lockdowns.