It’s odd to see the statue still standing there outside the Massachusetts State House, blithely repeating the myth that Horace Mann was the “Father of the American Public School System.” It’s even stranger to see that myth reprinted by journalists and scholars who should know better. Historians such as Carl Kaestle, William J. Reese, Kabria … More Common Sense Schools: The Origins of American Public Education
Palgrave Macmillan, 2010 Among historians, the Scopes Trial of 1925 hogs all the attention. In my first book, I wondered what else conservative evangelical Protestants wanted out of American education. The answers I found surprised me. This book was the result of my dissertation research at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, guided by educational historian … More Fundamentalism and Education in the Scopes Era: God, Darwin, and the Roots of America’s Culture Wars
University of Chicago Press, 2016 What do we want out of America’s schoolchildren? . . . out of America’s creationists? In Teaching Evolution in a Creation Nation, my co-author Harvey Siegel and I tackle these difficult questions head-on. Harvey and I review the historical and philosophical involved in America’s long culture-war battle over evolution and … More Teaching Evolution in a Creation Nation
Harvard University Press, 2015 [UPDATE: More good news! I just heard that this book has been awarded the History of Education Society’s Outstanding Book Award for 2015. Wow! I’m very grateful to HES and to the selection committee.] What have conservatives wanted out of America’s schools? What has it meant to be “conservative” about American … More The Other School Reformers: Conservative Activism in American Education
Oxford University Press, 2018 If you want to run for President as a Republican these days, there seems to be a new requirement. In addition to shaking hands, kissing babies, and eating barbecue, every GOP hopeful since Reagan has added a stop at a conservative evangelical college. Why? What do these schools mean in the … More Fundamentalist U: Keeping the Faith in American Higher Education
Who are America’s creationists? What do they want? Why do they think Jesus rode around on a dinosaur? In my new book, I argue that common misconceptions about creationism have led us into a full century of hapless and unnecessary culture-war histrionics about evolution education and creationism. In fact, tough as it might be to … More Creationism USA: Bridging the Impasse on Teaching Evolution
The story begins about 200 years before Mark Zuckerberg went on Oprah with Cory Booker. You may remember Zuckerberg’s story, as told so powerfully in 2015 by Dale Russakoff in The Prize. Zuckerberg met Cory Booker at a conference in 2010. At the time, Booker was mayor of Newark, and the two of them hatched … More Mr. Lancaster’s System: A Failed Reform and the Birth of American Public Schools, 1800-1840
Yahoo! I’ve just heard that my Other School Reformers has been selected for the History of Education Society’s Outstanding Book Award for 2015. Wowzers. I’ll be joining some of my history heroes and some of my favorite books as winners of this prize. For example: 2014, William Reese, Testing Wars in the Public Schools: … More Out Standing in the Field!
Okay, cheapskates…for those of you who are still wondering if you should shell out twenty bucks for our new book, here’s a way for you to try before you buy. Professor Amy Lark of Michigan Technological University has offered a review in the pages of American Biology Teacher. You need a subscription to read the … More ….but Is It Any Good?
Good news, sports fans: I’ve signed a publishing contract for my upcoming book. I’m delighted to announce that Fundamentalist U: Keeping the Faith in American Higher Education will be published by Oxford University Press. It will join other terrific Oxford titles such as Dan Williams’ Defenders of the Unborn and God’s Own Party, as well … More The Ink Is Dry!