Life A la Carte: School Choice, Segregation and Gentrification in an Unequal City

In episode #44, sociologist Carla Shedd steps into the Have You Heard studio to talk about the complex interplay between school choice, segregation and gentrification in the unequal city she calls home: New York. You may remember Shedd from a previous appearance on this page. I interviewed her a few years back about her book Unequal City about Chicago. And if you’re a fan of Have You Heard and want to help us keep the podcast going, we’ve got a Patreon page now where you can do just that!

Teaching Machines: The Dream of Automating the Teaching Profession Goes Way Back

In episode #43 of Have You Heard, Jennifer and Jack talk to Audrey Watters, expert on all things #edtech, about the age-old quest to automate teaching. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll find yourself reaching for that George Santayana quote about those who don’t know history’s mistakes… Complete transcript is here. And if you’re a fan of Have You Heard and want to help us keep the podcast going, we’ve got a Patreon page now where you can do just that!

Wisconsin Wakes Up

Nearly a decade has passed since Scott Walker took on teachers and other public employees in America’s Dairy Land, virtually eliminating their right to engage in collective bargaining. So what’s the state of the state today? The Have You Heard mobile heads to the Heartland and discovers that the conversation in Wisconsin sounds a lot like what’s happening in states from West Virginia to North Carolina. Public education and the question of how to fund it has emerged as a potent political issue and is driving what could be a big shift in the state’s political makeup. Transcript of the episode available here.

If you’re a fan of Have You Heard, consider supporting the podcast on Patreon. Your support will help us do more on-the-ground reporting (Arizona here we come!). And a small donation gets you extra stuff – like this episode’s extended interview with Randy Bryce, aka Iron Stache, who is running to “repeal and replace” Paul Ryan.

Getting Fundamental: Do Americans Have a Right to Public Education?

What does the 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, have to do with the teacher walkouts that are sweeping across the land today? Everything, explains law professor Derek Black in the latest episode of Have You Heard. Short version of the history: all 50 states have language enshrining their responsibilities to provide public education to their citizens. The deep spending cuts, and the expansion of charter schools and private school vouchers, represent an effort to hack away at the states’ obligations. If you’re wondering why so many protesters in Arizona, Colorado and [insert name of next state here] have been citing their state constitutions, well, here’s your answer!

 

Takeover! What’s Behind the State Takeover of School Districts?

Have You Heard looks at what’s behind state takeovers of school districts. As guest Domingo Morel explains, laws authorizing states to take over urban districts appeared as a direct response to Black power at the municipal level. Today, while takeovers come shrouded in the discourse of “achievement,” the conservative logic behind them is unchanged: improving schools requires weakening the political power of the communities they are in. Full transcript coming of the episode can be accessed here.

And if you like what you’re hearing on Have You Heard, you can now support us on Patreon.

Further reading (and thanks to our guest Domingo Morel for putting this list of recommendations

Carr, Sarah. 2014. Hope Against Hope: Three Schools, One City, and the Struggle to Educate America’s Children. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Press

Chambers, Stefanie. 2006. Mayors and Schools: Minority Voices and Democratic Tensions in Urban Education. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Fung, Archon. 2004. Empowered Participation: Reinventing Urban Democracy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Henig, Jeffrey, Richard Hula, Marion Orr and Desiree Pedescleaux. 2001. The Color of School Reform: Race, Politics, and the Challenge of Urban Education. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Hochschild, Jennifer L. and Nathan Scovronick.  2004.  The American Dream and Public Schools. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Reckhow, Sarah. 2013. Follow the Money: How Foundation Dollars Change Public School Politics. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Russakoff, Dale. 2015. The Prize: Who’s In Charge of America’s Schools? New York: NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Shedd, Carla. 2015. Unequal City: Race, Schools, and Perceptions of Injustice. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.

Steffes, Tracy. 2012. School, Society, and State: A New Education to Govern Modern America. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.