The Battle for Public Education…Flashpoints Radio KPFA

“THE BATTLE FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY” 

Produced for Flashpoints on Pacifica Radio by Ken Yale,
Executive Producer of Flashpoints: Dennis Bernstein
Technical Director: Mike Biggz
  

Flashpoints Radio: “The Battle For Public Education In The 21st Century”
This dynamic 15-part series examines the past, present and future of public education, from the approach of Native Americans prior to the arrival of European invaders to the battles of the past two decades to shape U.S. education in this century. The series is organized around four guiding questions:

  • How can we understand the history of the public education system in the U.S. through a social justice lens?
  • What is the current corporate agenda for education and who directs it?
  • How has the corporate education agenda impacted students, educators, schools and communities, and how are these impacts differentiated based on power and privilege?
  • What would a socially just educational system look like, and who is working to build it.

The series was broadcast by Flashpoints, an award-winning, nationally syndicated news magazine on Pacifica Radio.  

*Click the title of each episode to hear the full broadcast of that show. To hear the individual interviews, click on the name of each guest to hear their specific interview.

Title* Content Guests & Role*
Part 1-3/18/15

Education Before The Colonizers

This segment of the program explores the indigenous worldview & learning processes before the arrival of European colonizers to North America. Leroy Little Bear: Former Director of American Indian Program at Harvard University. Professor Emeritus and former Chair of Native Studies, University of Lethbridge, Canada, Legal and constitutional advisor to Assembly of First Nations.

 

Part 2: 3/25/15

Inequity By Design

Contrasts indigenous & Eurocentric education.   Surveys the history of public education in the U.S. from the first arrival of Europeans through the early 1900’s. Highlights who has been included & excluded, and how the system was designed to sort & differentiate students. Rose Von Thater-Braan: Co-founder & Director, Native American Academy.   Former Director of Education at U.C. Berkeley’s Center for Particle Astrophysics

Kevin Kumashiro: Dean of USF School of Education, Former President of National Association for Multicultural Education, Founding Director for the Center for Anti-Oppressive Education.

George Galvis: Executive Director & Co-founder, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice

Part 3: 4/1/15

Education For Whom? Education For What?

 

Addresses the role of gender & sexual orientation in the early history of U.S. education. Surveys the struggles to transform education in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s by civil rights, feminist and liberation movements around the country. Kevin Kumashiro: Dean of USF School of Education, Former President of National Association for Multicultural Education, Founding Director for the Center for Anti-Oppressive Education.

Fannie Rushing:SNCC Field Secretary and Freedom School teacher, 1962-1966. Currently History Professor, Benedictine University, Lisle, IL

Kadijah Means: Black Student Union President at Berkeley High School

Part 4: 4/8/15

Pay No Attention To That Man Behind The Curtain

Provides an overview of the key elements of the current corporate education agenda. Identifies its roots in the conservative movement of the 1980’s & 90’s. Articulates the dominant narratives about the failures of public education. Highlights major funders & promoters of corporatized education & how they profit. Diane Ravitch: New York University professor, educational researcher, historian. Former education official in the George H.W. Bush & Clinton administrations.

Kevin Kumashiro: Dean of USF School of Education, Founding Director for the Center for Anti-Oppressive Education, Former President of National Association for Multicultural Education,

Part 5: 4/15/15

Criminalizing Our Children

Explores the impact of the corporate education agenda on students. Focuses on how the corporate education agenda incentivizes harsh student discipline policies, pushing students out of school and fueling school-to-confinement pipelines. Highlights the disproportionately negative impact on low income students of color. David Muhammad: Director, National Justice Programs, National Council on Crime & Delinqency

Monique Morris: Social justice scholar, college professor, author, and the co-founder of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute.

George Galvis: Executive Director & Co-founder, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice

Donte Clark and Molly Raynor, co-founders of RAW Talent, a spoken word and performing arts group from the RYSE Center in Richmond, California.

Part 6: 4/22/15

Corporatizing Every Level

Connects the parallel strategies & impact of the corporate education agenda on K-12 public schools & higher education. Profiles the attempt to close City College of San Francisco as a case study. Allan Fisher: ESL Instructor at City College of San Francisco. Former president of the American Federation of Teachers Local 2121. Leader in Save CCSF Coalition.

Bill Ayers: Professor of Education & Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (retired). Founder of both the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Youth and Society

Rick Ayers: Professor in Teacher Education at the University of San Francisco. Founder of the Communication Arts & Sciences School at Berkeley High School

Pasi Sahlberg: Visiting professor at Harvard ‘s Graduate School of Education and former Director General in Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture

Part 7: 4/29/15

Shifting Paradigms, Part I:

Standardized To Student-Centered

Addresses a key pillar of the corporate education agenda: standardization through Common Core standards and high-stakes testing. Presents contrasting paradigms for social justice education. Profiles a student-centered, inquiry-based classroom that models teaching and learning not typically assessed in standardized testing. Joel Westheimer: Professor of Education & Democracy at the University of Ottawa, Canada, and an education columnist or Canadian Public Radio.

Chela Delgado, 12th grade Government & Economics teacher, and her students at Coliseum College Prep Academy, Oakland Unified School District

Jesse Hagopian: History teacher and leader of standardized testing boycott at Garfield High School in Seattle.   Associate Editor of Rethinking Schools Magazine and author. Founding member of Social Equality Educators.

Part 8: 5/6/15

Shifting Paradigms, Part 2:

Eurocentrism To Cultural Empowerment

What does a classroom look like when teachers have deep respect for the diverse cultures of students and their families? Explores how teachers of all backgrounds can increase their cultural proficiency Chela Delgado, 12th grade Government & Economics teacher at Coliseum College Prep Academy, Oakland Unified School District

Shawn Ginwright: Associate Professor of Education in the Africana Studies Dept. & Senior Research Associate for Cesar Chavez Institute for Public Policy, SF State University

Rachelle Rogers-Ard: Educator & administrator with over 20 years of experience teaching, facilitating professional development and managing educational systems. She is currently the manager of “Teach Tomorrow in Oakland”, a program that recruits diverse teachers for the Oakland Unified School District.

Miguel Lopez: Associate Professor of Multicultural and Social Justice Education at California State University, Monterey Bay

Molly Raynor and Donte Clark, co-founders of RAW Talent, a spoken word and performing arts group from the RYSE Center in Richmond, California

Part 9: 5/13/15

Shifting Paradigms, Part 3:

Obedience To Liberation

 

The third of three programs on the purposes and paradigms of social justice education, with a focus on education for liberation and social change. Features conversations with K-12 students & teachers and university professors, and a look inside a social justice classroom in Oakland. Bill Ayers: Professor of Education & Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (retired). Founder of both the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Youth and Society

Rick Ayers: Professor in Teacher Education at the University of San Francisco. Founder of the Communication Arts & Sciences School at Berkeley High School

Patrick Camangian: Associate Professor in the Teacher Education Department at the University of San Francisco, and has been a high school English teacher since 1999

Sharim Hannegan-Martinez, English teacher at Castlemont High School, Oakland Unified School District.

Stephanie Vega, Susanna Lopez, Jeremy Brooks, students at Castlemont High School, Oakland Unified School District.

Part 10: 5/20/15

Breaking Through The Poverty Of Imagination, Part I

 

What does it actually look like, sound like and feel like when a whole school is grounded in social justice education?   This program helps us break the poverty of imagination by profiling the dynamic approach of June Jordan School For Equity, a San Francisco public high school. Dr. Darrick Smith: Assistant Professor in Leadership Studies at the University of San Francisco. Former Co-Director at June Jordan School For Equity

Jessica Huang and Matt Alexander: current Co-Directors at June Jordan School For Equity

Brandon Melendez, Fabiola Sermeno, Jamarc Allen-Henderson, Nikki Whittaker and Renz Andrew Ignacio: students at June Jordan School For Equity

Giulio Sorro, teacher at June Jordan School For Equity, and his advisory students

Part 11: 5/27/15

Breaking Through The Poverty Of Imagination, Part 2

 

What does it actually look like, sound like and feel like when a whole school is grounded in social justice education?   This program helps us break the poverty of imagination by profiling the unique approach of MetWest High School, an Oakland public school. Includes a deeper look at restorative justice. Alex Mejia: English & History teacher and internship coordinator at MetWest High School in Oakland Unified School District

Nelzy Gonzalez, Elizabeth Zaragoza, Kayla Keith, and Laura Martinez: MetWest students

Terri Keith: MetWest parent volunteer and 30-year classroom teacher, mostly in New York City

George Galvis: Executive Director & Co-founder, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, Oakland.

Part 12: 6/2/15

Another Education Is Possible

 

We continue to explore alternative educational approaches, focusing on models outside the U.S. public education system. Featured are the public education system in Finland, internationally recognized as one of the highest achieving and most equitable in the world, and contemporary indigenous learning lodges, which are being developed across North America by the Native American Academy. Pasi Sahlberg: Visiting professor at Harvard ‘s Graduate School of Education and former Director General in Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture

Rose Von Thater-Braan: Co-founder & Director, Native American Academy.   Former Director of Education at U.C. Berkeley’s Center for Particle Astrophysics

 

Part 13: 6/10/15

The Power of Our History

This program highlights the importance of providing young people with authentic and empowering history curriculum.   The struggle for Mexican-American studies in Tucson is profiled, along with the Tierra Amarilla Youth Brigades in New Mexico, where urban Chicano youth come from around the country for intensive study of their history and culture. Norma Gonzalez: 3rd Grade teacher at Manzo Elementary school in Tucson Unified School District. Leader in struggle to maintain the Mexican-American Studies Department in Tucson public schools.

Donte Clark, co-founder of RAW Talent, a spoken word and performing arts group from the RYSE Center in Richmond, California

Ricardo Romero, Co-founder and teacher of the Tierra Amarilla Youth Brigades in New Mexico, Project Coordinator for Al Frente de Lucha in Greeley Colorado, and a community organizer for over 50 years.

Part 14: 6/17/15

Connections

Surveys some of the blossoming organizations, networks and movements around the country organizing for a more socially just U.S. public education system. This program features the Chicago Teachers Union’s battle against the neoliberal policies of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Leaders are interviewed from Facing History & Ourselves, Teachers For Social Justice and the Education For Liberation Network. Milton Reynolds: Senior Program Associate, Facing History and Ourselves. Teacher, counselor, facilitator.

Jeremiah Jeffries: First grade teacher at Redding Elementary, San Francisco. Leader in Teachers For Social Justice.   Adjunct professor at University of San Francisco

Jesse Sharkey: Vice President, Chicago Teachers Union, 3rd largest local in the country

Patrick Camangian: Organizer for the Education For Liberation Network, Associate Professor in the Teacher Education Department at the University of San Francisco

Part 15: 6/24/15 The Future: Hopes & Concerns What most concerns you about the future of public education in the U.S., and what makes you most hopeful? We conclude with a collage of responses to this question from many of the interviewees in this series. In order of appearance: Chela Delgado, Darrick Smith, Monique Morris, Kevin Kumashiro, Milton Reynolds, Diane Ravitch, Leroy Little Bear, Molly Raynor, Donte Clark, Fannie Rushing, Alex Mejia, Jessica Huang, Bill Ayers, Rick Ayers, Rose Von Thater-Braan, Jesse Sharkey, Rachelle Rogers-Ard, Jesse Hagopian, Norma Gonzalez, Jeremiah Jeffries
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