My block had all kinds of families—Protestant, Catholic, and unobserving; Japanese-American, Irish-American, German-American, and of course, ourselves, as new Americans from India. Our parents had all kinds of jobs—some had graduate degrees, and others had not gone to college. We were a diverse community—and yet we all came together. And of course most of us went to the local public school.
What do we want from public schools, and why do we seem to be losing faith in them? Using his personal story as an immigrant attending America’s public schools and extensive research, Neem explores the original purposes of public education in forging a nation and asks us to step back, take stock, and understand public schools past and present so we can improve their future.