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Episode 112: Common Schools, or, Creating the American Public School

The story of American public education is complex and long. Beginning with the Revolution, Americans began to experiment with modes of public schooling. They experimented not only with educational methods and principles, but perhaps most importantly with the politics of schooling– with methods of taxation and financial support, and of school supervision and governance. The legacy of these changes lives with us today.

On the podcast to discuss its origins and purposes of American public schools is Johann Neem, Professor of History at Western Washington University, and Senior Fellow at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. He is the author most recently of Democracy’s Schools: The Rise of Public Education in America, published by Johns Hopkins Press as part of their series “How Things Worked”. He also has a new book coming out this fall titled What’s the Point of College?