education history

  • Indoctrination in Schools? How About a Century of Capitalist Propaganda?

    by Jennifer Berkshire

    A century ago, the electric power industry faced an existential crisis as government mulled over public rural electrification programs. Their solution was to provide teachers and schools with propaganda for the magic of private enterprise, the first wave of business's efforts to control curriculum.

  • The Other Mothers Fighting the School Wars

    Although Moms For Liberty was the early entrant into the current battles over curriculum, race and LGBTQ policies in schools, other groups have mobilized their identities as mothers to fight the right's efforts. Historians Adam Laats and Stacie Taranto note that school politics have often hinged on who could leverage motherhood as a political force. 

  • There's Never Been a Right Way to Read

    by Adrian Johns

    The intellectual work and play of reading has always competed with other demands on attention; only recently have science and commerce converged to sell remedies for distraction and proprietary methods for reading. 

  • How the Reagan Administration Used "A Nation at Risk" to Push for School Privatization

    by Valerie Strauss and James Harvey

    One of the educators who served on the commission that developed an influential report on the state of American education argues that the report was built to serve an anti-public school ideology, and that its conclusions were a foundation for the culture war battles over schooling today. 

  • Attacks on Education Echo Fascism

    by Eden McLean

    "Florida’s legislation represents only the latest in a long history of attempts to deplore knowledge, deride academic inquiry for its own sake, and discourage intellectual curiosity in our children and the American public."

  • Students are the Victims of DeSantis's Education War in Florida

    Ron DeSantis's education policies are driven by what will rile up the most reactionary voters in the state and have little do do with rectifying the growing problems with student achievement and teacher retention that are actually putting the state's schools in crisis, argue two Floridian writers. 

  • The Book that Launched Black Studies Was a Challenge to Classroom Racism

    by Ibram X. Kendi

    Education historian Jarvis Givens discusses a 90th anniversary edition of Carter Woodson's pathbreaking "The Mis-Education of the Negro," noting that the book was banned in Oklahoma for being "antiklan" in its efforts to overturn the pervasive message of Black inferiority in the established school curriculum. 

  • Democrats' Embrace of Education "Reform" Paved Way for DeSantis

    by Nora De La Cour

    Decades of stressing metrics, measurement and job-readiness has created a vacuum where a robust public discussion of the role of public schools in nurturing shared humanity should be. Conservatives are now eagerly filling this vacuum with privatization and "classical education" curricula. 

  • Have Children Changed in Modern America?

    by Steven Mintz

    A recent argument for the general stability of children over the last century and a half misses the key point that "childhood" has been a fluid concept, and changes in how childhood is understood has necessarily affected the experiences of children.