Freeing America’s K–12 Education System


198 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Paperback, ebook: PDF, Mobipocket, ebook: EPUB

Paperback, $21.95 (US $21.95) (CA $29.95)

Publication Date: January 2021

ISBN 9780817924454


eBook Editions Available

Will it work on my eReader?
Price: $21.95


Clint Bolick and Kate J. Hardiman begin with a thought experiment: how would we structure a 21st-century K–12 school system if we were starting from scratch, attending to contemporary parental needs and harnessing the power of technology? Maintaining that the status quo is unacceptable, they take a forward-thinking look at how choice, competition, deregulation, and decentralization can create disruptive innovation and reform education for all students.The US Supreme Court proclaimed 65 years ago in Brown v. Board of Education that our schools must provide equal educational opportunities, but as Bolick and Hardiman argue we have yet to make good on that promise. School systems are bound to antiquated structures, outdated technology, and bureaucratic systems that work for adults, not children. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how ossified the traditional public school system has become. Today’s ruptures in traditional learning create opportunity for reinvention. Unshackled explains that technology can redefine the ways students learn in and out of the classroom and highlights the benefits of expanding educational freedom so that families are able to choose an education that fits their child’s needs.


"A path forward to a transformed system that would unlock opportunity and lifelong success for every child." —Governor Jeb Bush, chair, Foundation for Excellence in Education

 "The authors make a convincing and data-driven case to fund students directly instead of school systems." —Corey DeAngelis, director of school choice, Reason Foundation

"This book is, I hope, just the first step in a long-standing and profound collaboration." —Derrell Bradford, executive vice president, 50CAN

Author Biography

Clint Bolick is a justice on the Arizona Supreme Court and a research fellow with the Hoover Institution. As cofounder of the Institute for Justice, Bolick defended school choice programs against legal challenges across the nation, culminating in the milestone US Supreme Court victory in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris. A prolific author, Bolick has written, most recently, Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution (coauthored with Jeb Bush) and David’s Hammer: The Case for an Activist Judiciary. Bolick teaches constitutional law as an adjunct professor at the Arizona State University and University of Arizona schools of law. Throughout his career, he has championed educational opportunities, especially for children who lack them. He is a husband, father of four, and grandfather of two. Kate J. Hardiman works as a legal fellow at a law firm in Washington, DC, and is concurrently obtaining her JD from Georgetown Law School. Previously, Hardiman taught at a Catholic high school in Chicago through Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education MEd program. She is a regular contributor to the Washington Examiner opinion page on education issues and has been published in The Hill, RealClearBooks, Education Post, The College Fix, and Minding the Campus. She is a 2019 Claremont Institute Publius Fellow and a 2020 Alliance Defending Freedom Blackstone Fellow. Hardiman believes that school choice policies improve the lives of children and strengthen our nation. She plans to pursue a career in education law and policy.