At NeW, we believe in supporting strong women during their education, but also beyond in the workplace and as community leaders. Meet NeW Professional Network member, Kate Hardiman, author of the new book Unshackled: Freeing America’s K-12 Education System, which will be published on January 1, 2021.

What motivated you to write this book? 
My work researching school choice for my senior thesis at the University of Notre Dame and teaching in an urban Catholic school in Chicago motivated me to write this book. My students were the beneficiaries of school choice, but there are so many others in Chicago (and across the nation) who cannot access schools outside of their zip code. I fervently hope that future education policy will be structured to put students – rather than adults and politics – first.

What did you find most interesting about the process of writing and publishing your book?
Working with my co-author, Clint Bolick! It was an immense honor to write with someone who has been devoted to education both as a former teacher and litigator. It was fascinating to see how he thought we should approach the book as a blank slate and to witness another established author’s writing process.

What do you hope readers will get out of your book?
Unshackled is written for parents, not policy wonks. We hope that it helps every American understand why the status quo is unacceptable and that the public school system must be re-conceptualized for the future. We also hope it broadens peoples’ perspectives about the variety of school choice and other reforms that states could embrace to give children more flexible, personalized learning experiences.

How has NeW impacted you?
I feel blessed to be part of NeW’s amazing network of conservative women. NeW has inspired me and countless others to be leaders by equipping us with strong arguments and empowering us with access to like-minded peers.

What advice do you have for young conservative women?
Strive to unpack and understand the best arguments of those who disagree with your policy preferences. Doing so will help you think through how to respond factually, persuasively, and charitably in a discussion.

Want to get involved in the NeW Professional Network? Become a young professional member or join a Professional Network chapter near you.