Press Releases

May 11, 2017

Booing DeVos is a Trumpian Response that Doesn’t Advance Needed Conversations, Says Penn GSE Education Historian

May 11, 2017
Media Contact: 

Jeff Frantz (215)-898-3269/

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Dr. Jonathan Zimmerman
 To me, this is a Trumpian reply to Trump's Secretary of Education. As president, he has flouted norms of civic exchange and democracy at every turn. Now his enemies are imitating him. As educators, we need to allow our students to critique Trump (and his cabinet, and his ideas) and to agree or disagree with them as the students see fit. But we cannot — and must not — allow them to echo Trump's behavior. And that's what I see happening here.”

 - Education historian Jonathan Zimmerman


  • Zimmerman is one of the foremost education historians working today.
  • His two most recent books are The Case for Contention: Teaching Controversial Issues in American Schools and Campus Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know.
  • His research tracks how political and social movements come to shape education, in areas including sex education, alcohol, and free speech.
  • Zimmerman has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the New York Review of Books, and the Atlantic.