‘Learning in Public’ Reimagines What Makes a School Good

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An aerial view of the empty schoolyard at Tenderloin Elementary School on March 18, 2020 in San Francisco, California. Bay Area schools are set to return to in-person classes in mid-August. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Journalist Courtney Martin thought long and hard about where to send her budding kindergartener to school, deciding between private school or the neighborhood public school designated as “failing” by its test scores. The Oakland-based writer chronicles the experience in her new book, “Learning in Public: Lessons for a Racially Divided America From My Daughter’s School.” In choosing to send her white child to a majority-Black school, Martin comes to better understand the racial segregation still present within U.S. schools, and she analyzes why so many self-described progressive white parents still favor private schools. Martin joins us to share her thoughts on why supporting public education benefits us all.


Courtney Martin, journalist; author, "Learning in Public: Lessons for a Racially Divided America"