The crisis in American education, on the one hand, announces the bankruptcy of progressive education and, on the other hand, presents a problem of immense difficulty because it has arisen under the conditions and in response to the demands of a mass society. The common school is charged with the task of preparing children and youth for their dual responsibilities to the social order: citizenship and—perhaps its primary task—labor. Fiscal exigency and a changing mission have combined to leave public education in the United States in a chronic state of crisis. Pierre Bourdieu argues that schools reproduce class relations by reinforcing rather than reducing class-based differential access to social and cultural capital, key markers of class affiliation and mobility. The working-class intellectual as a social type precedes and parallels the emergence of universal public education. Skepticism about schooling still abounds even as they graduate high school and enroll in postsecondary schools in record numbers.