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My Third Book: School Choice: The End of Public Education?

The summer of 2015, I wrote my third book, this one on school choice (charters and vouchers), entitled, School Choice: The End of Public Education?. It was published by TC Press on July 08, 2016.

school choice cover


Proponents of market-driven education reform view vouchers and charters as superior to local-board-run, community-based public schools. However, the author of this timely volume argues that there is no clear research supporting this view. In fact, she claims there is increasing evidence of charter mismanagement–with public funding all-too-often being squandered while public schools are being closed or consolidated. Tracing the origins of vouchers and charters in the United States, this book examines the push to ”globally compete” with education systems in countries such as China and Finland. It documents issues important to the school choice debate, including the impoverishment of public schools to support privatized schools, the abandonment of long-held principles of public education, questionable disciplinary practices, and community disruption.School Choice: The End of Public Education? is essential reading for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the past and future of public education in America.

About the Author:


Mercedes K. Schneider, PhD, is a career teacher. A native of southern Louisiana and a product of the St. Bernard Parish Public Schools, Schneider holds degrees in secondary education, English and German (BS, Louisiana State, 1991), guidance and counseling (MEd, West Georgia, 1998), and applied statistics and research methods (PhD, Northern Colorado, 2002). In 2015–16, she completed her 21st year of full-time teaching and has taught from grade 7 to graduate school in several states (Louisiana, Georgia, Colorado, and Indiana). After 14 years away, Schneider returned to Louisiana in 2007 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and is in her 9th full-time year of teaching sophomore English in a southern Louisiana traditional public high school. School Choice: The End of Public Education? is Schneider’s third book. Her second, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?, examines the history, development, and promotion of the Common Core State Standards. Her first, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education, details individuals and organizations exploiting public education in the name of “reform.”

Book Features:

* Provides a comprehensive historical account of the origins of vouchers and charters.
* Includes accounts of intriguing historical experiences.
* Examines the defunding of neighborhood public schools in favor of often-under-regulated charters.
* Reveals charter school ”churn” that often follows the closing of a mismanaged charter.
* Provides a cogent counternarrative to the claim that charters are necessary for America to compete globally.

Table of Contents in Brief (For a more detailed table of contents, click here):

Foreword Karen GJ Lewis




1. The Pressure to Compete Globally

2. The Messy Beauty of American Public Education

3. School Choice as a Means to Preserve Racial Desegregation

4. Milton Friedman and His Unrealistic School Choice

5. The Origin of the Charter School

6. Who Wants Charters?

7. The Charter Take-Away from the Neighborhood Public School

8. For-Profit Charters (and Associated For-Profit Education Business Opportunities)

9. No Excuse Charters, Broken Windows, and Micromanaged Behavior

10. Gulen Charters

11. Some Final Thoughts on School Choice


To read an excerpt (taken from chapter 10, Gulen Charters), click here.

To read California teacher, Thomas Ultican’s, review, click here.


school choice cover

School Choice: The End of Public Education? is available from TC Press and on