America Is More of a Club Than a Family

Our Ability to Opt in—or Out—Defines Our National Character

America Is More of a Club Than a Family

Over the course of the last 15 years or so, there’s been an explosion in the number of charter schools around the country. According to the latest figures (from 2012), some 2.1 million students are enrolled in schools run by private groups awarded public money. The schools bear optimistic names like “YES Prep North Central” (in Houston) and “Animo Leadership High” (in Inglewood, California). Beyond the specific concerns about education, the charter school movement is powered by a particularly American worldview, one rooted in the ethos of the dissident Protestant …

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