Exposes deep contradictions in the polities of American educational reform Much of the debate over school choice has focused on how voucher systems and charter schools affect the quality of public education. But should American education really be subjected to market forces? What is the significance of this decision for American democracy? The great hope of the school choice movement is that the introduction of market forces will make for more efficient and responsive public educational institutions. Parents become customers, and public schools become firms that compete for these customers on the open market. But, as Scott Abernathy crucially reminds us, parents are much more than customers. They are also citizens who help shape educational policy at bake sales and budget meetings, in teacher conferences and political campaigns. Abernathy challenges the assumption that public schools will necessarily improve when subjected to market-based reforms, raising instead the alarming possibility that such changes will produce a national anti-system of isolated and disconnected schools. School Choice and the Future of American Democracy shows how school choice breaks open the boundaries of a once-closed system, allowing the parents who are most involved in their children's education to leave the public schools for private or charter institutions. Poor schools are most hurt by this drain of civic engagement. When we privatize the customer relationship in education, we risk privatizing the very foundations of our citizenship.