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October 20, 2021 One Section, One Book

Schoolhouse Burning: A Conversation with Author Derek W. Black

During the spectacular launch of “One Section, One Book,” the Section’s inaugural book club, we will be reading and discussing Schoolhouse Burning: Public Education and the Assault on American Democracy. Watch below to hear from the author, Derek W. Black, as he discusses the book’s message.

If you'd like to participate in the CRSJ "One Section, One Book," Initiative, please review the instructions here.


  • Derek W. Black, Author, Schoolhouse Burning: Public Education and the Assault on American Democracy; Professor of Law and Ernest F. Hollings Chair in Constitutional Law, University of South Carolina School of Law

Co-Sponsors: ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice, ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the ProfessionABA Council for Diversity in the Educational PipelineABA Law Student DivisionABA Young Lawyers Division


About the Book | Schoolhouse Burning: Public Education and the Assault on American Democracy Buy HERE

We are in the midst of a full-scale attack on our nation’s commitment to public education. From funding, to vouchers, to charter schools, public education policy has become a political football, rather than a means of fulfilling the most basic obligation of government to its citizens.

This assault threatens not just public education, but democracy itself. Black offers both an illuminating history of our nation’s establishment of a constitutional right to education, and a trenchant analysis of how such a right is being undermined today. He looks at education history with a wide view, describing both periods when our democracy has been strengthened-when the commitment to public education has been strongest-and weakened, when such a commitment has been lacking. And today, such a commitment is sorely lacking.

Schoolhouse Burning shows what is at stake: not just the right to public education as guaranteed by the constitution, but an erosion of democratic norms.

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