ABSTRACT

It has been argued recently that disestablishment can work for American public schools in much the same way and for the same reasons that it has worked for religion (McConnell, 2002). According to this argument, the ‘liberal-progressive hegemony’ in public education denies religious citizens schooling at public expense and restricts religious schooling to those families with the necessary financial resources. For Michael McConnell disestablishing the education system, by using vouchers to end the state monopoly of providing public schooling, so that communities, including religious communities, can use public money to support their own schools, would have several benefits. It would improve schools through competition, resolve the ‘culture wars’ around specific curriculum areas, and educate children for democratic citizenship at least as successfully as the common school.