Review: The Education Wars

Review: The Education Wars

If you’re at all interested in the complex relationship between education and politic, The Education Wars is a book you don’t want to miss. While it discusses mostly about education in the United States, I believe most of us can relate to the issues.

In this book, Jennifer Berkshire and Jack Schneider raises the hot problems over what the role of public schools should be and who gets to decide that. Problems in education become worse and complicated everyday because we burden schools with so many of hopes and expectations. Schools has been seen as battlegrounds where societal frustrations over income inequality and lack of social support systems are laid bare.

What really struck me was how the authors question the common belief that education alone can solve all social and economic issues. They suggest a bold rethinking of our expectations from educational institutions. Imagine a world where schools are not seen as fix-all solutions but as places that prepare students to be informed, thoughtful citizens. If we could ensure equitable access to good jobs, housing, and healthcare, schools wouldn’t have to shoulder such a heavy burden. This shift would allow them to focus more on broadening minds rather than merely boosting future earnings. Thus we do not have to face a consequence that we commonly see right now where people are so obsessed with becoming rich that they often forget to treat other humans with humanity.

The Education Wars is a must-read for policymakers, educators, parents, and anyone who cares about the next generation. It invites us to reconsider how we perceive and engage with education system. It’s time to broaden our perspectives and expect more from our societal structures, not just rely on schools.

My Favorite Bits

If access to good jobs, housing, health care, and other essentials was fairer, we wouldn’t heap such outsized economic expectations on our schools. If we aren’t asking them to fix our deepest social and economic inequalities, for example, we can ask them to focus on preparing kids for citizenship in a diverse democracy. Today, we measure the success of our schools mostly according to how well they advance the interests of individual consumers.

Jennifer Berkshire and Jack Schneider, The Education Wars: A Citizen’s Guide and Defense Manual

Huge thanks to NetGalley and The New Press for the early access to this book. Loved getting the chance to read it and share my honest review!

Author: Jennifer Berkshire and Jack Schneider

Publication date: 2 July 2024

Number of pages: 176 pages


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