Back in 1963, as the Civil Rights Act awaited its fate, President Kennedy observed: “Simple justice requires that public funds, to which all tax-payers of all races contribute, not be spent in any fashion which encourages, entrenches, subsidizes, or results in…discrimination.” From our vantage over fifty years later, the sentiment perhaps strikes us as reasonable if not earthshakingly new or original. Yet forces swirling around America’s public schools today continue to imperil them.

Joining Peter from her office in Ithaca, New York, to discuss privatization and the re-segregation of public education, is Professor Noliwe Rooks. Dr. Rooks is the director of American studies and associate professor of Africana studies at Cornell University. She is also the author of four books, including most recently Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education.