On February 3, Duke University historian Nancy MacLean and I held a Zoom conversation called “Public Education in Chains,” about the nefarious conspiracy to undermine and privatize our public schools. The discussion was sponsored by Public Funds Public Schools and the Network for Public Education.

Dr. MacLean is the author of many books, including the brilliant Democracy in Chains: The DeepHistory of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.

We discussed the historical origins of the movement, calling out the privatizers as a combination of libertarians, anti-government ideologues, the radical right, segregationists, and rightwing evangelicals, funded by billionaires who hate taxes, public institutions, and unions. Their movement threatens not only public schools but our democracy.