|About the Book|
Two cornerstones of American democracy - separation of church and state, and public schools - are under increasing attack. As this collection of essays, written by some of Americas leading educators, political figures, and advocates of religiousMoreTwo cornerstones of American democracy - separation of church and state, and public schools - are under increasing attack. As this collection of essays, written by some of Americas leading educators, political figures, and advocates of religious liberty shows, universal public education and the separation of church and state are related. The eminent contributors to this book argue that we need to defend both institutions against increasing onslaughts by the Religious Right and other self-proclaimed arbiters of societal behavior, who seek to dictate public policy and who are labeling the public schools themselves as immoral institutions. At issue here is not whether public schools need to be improved. It is assumed that improvement is necessary.Part One of this volume testifies to the need for separation of church and state, explores the intent of our nations founders on the subject, and deals with issues of separation within education. Several historical examples are given of battles between the upholders of strict separation and those who would ignore this constitutionally mandated principle.Part Two discusses the dangers of heeding the current call - under the banner of school choice - to ingore the principle of separation by allowing public tuition subsidies of private schools, the great majority of which are parochial. This drive to underwrite school tuition via vouchers, tax credits, or tuition tax deductions would create not only a dangerous entanglement of government with religion but could lead to the eventual demise of Americas public schools.Contributors to this important collection are Robert Alley, Ann Bastian, Charles Bergstrom, Robert Bullough, Michael Casserly, Edd Doerr, Arnold Fege, Florence Fast, Donald Frey, Colin Greer, Herbert Grover, T. Jeremy Gunn, Bill Honig, Shirley McBay, Al Menendez, Michael Oleska, Sam Rabinove, William Rioux, William Schulz, Eugenie Scott, August Steinhilber, John Swomley, Oliver Thomas, Julie Underwood, and James Wood.