The History of Public Education with Derek W. Black

Professor Derek W. Black discusses his new book, Schoolhouse Burning: Public Education and the Assault on American Democracy. We begin with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson’s personal interest in founding a national public education system; the desire for immediate education by emancipated slaves; the pushback throughout history and today to funding and maintaining national public education.

Derek Black is a Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina School of Law and the Ernest F. Hollings Chair in Constitutional Law. He is one of the nation’s foremost experts in education law and policy.

He offers expert witness testimony in school funding, voucher, and federal policy litigation and his research is routinely cited in the federal courts, including before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is also a regular commentator and op-ed contributor in outlets like USA Today, New York Times, Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, among others. He appears on radio and television, including National Public Radio stations and affiliates across the nation, PBS, cable television networks, and CSPAN.

He began his career in teaching at Howard University School of Law, where he founded and directed the Education Rights Center. Prior to teaching, he litigated education cases at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.