The Education Debate dissects the essential issues that confront education policymakers and practitioners today. In an era when controversies over schools’ role in educating the next generation have become hot-button political issues, disputation is the order of the day, and the book charts a research-driven course through these topics. It starts by analyzing broad themes about the purposes of education, then narrows the lens, moving from big ideas to classrooms and corridors. The stage is set with an overview of the pre-K–12 system. Racial and socioeconomic integration, school finance reform, and greater student choice—each has been promoted as the royal road to equal opportunity. Policy choices reflect these differences. Which strategy—community schools, finance equalization, charter schools, or vouchers—holds the greatest promise? What are the roles of the key players, from classroom teachers and administrators to billionaire philanthropists? Life inside the schools presents challenges to teachers and learners alike, never more so than during a time when students have become increasingly diverse. It’s essential to understand how various groups—those with special needs, English Language Learners, Native American students, and LGBT youth—experience the schools. Covid-19 has been a stress test for K–12 education, exposing and exacerbating inequities in the system. While the immediate threat of the pandemic has receded, its impact on every aspect of education will persist for decades. From racial reckoning to transgender students, education is a headline-making topic. The Education Debate offers readers a solid starting point in these pivotal issues.