This timely volume explores the present-day implications of the traditional American belief in public education as a vehicle for extending democratic politics. In light of the current debates about public schools, are they still the key to upward mobility? Can they still serve to create a civic consciousness? Elizabeth A. Kelly defends the role of public education against its critics and throws light on such issues as privatization, voucher systems, the role of public intellectuals, critical literacy, and educational reform. She unabashedly offers a renewed vision of public schooling as the locus of public knowledge and political democracy, a vision that will appeal to those who are not prepared to abandon the ideals of either democracy or public education. Generously conceived, clearly argued, and gracefully written, Education, Democracy, and Public Knowledge is important reading not just for students of democracy and of education but for all those concerned with the future of American education.