Where Have All the Black Teachers Gone?

A big new study finds having just one Black teacher makes it far more likely that Black students will remain in school. But there’s a problem. The percentage of Black teachers, particularly in urban areas, has been sinking like a stone. Co-host Jack Schneider climbs into the *time machine* (twice!) to give us an historical perspective. Special guest Terrenda White explains the role that education reform has played in reducing the number of Black teachers, and why recruiting Black students to be future teachers is such a challenge when school can feel a lot like jail. It’s Have You Heard #17! Full transcript available here.

Truth in Edvertising

Is $1,000 per student kind of a lot to be spending on marketing? That’s how much Success Academy spends, putting the charter network on par with a typical large corporation. In the latest episode of Have You Heard, Jack Schneider and I wade into the murky business of education marketing or *edvertising.* Fast growing and completely unregulated, edvertising is one byproduct of an education marketplace. We talk to researcher Sarah Butler Jessen about what happens when public schools must now compete against charter schools with lavish marketing budgets. And what happens to public education when schools define themselves as *brands.* We’ll be right back, after this commercial break! And if you want a complete transcript of the episode, we can help with that too. 

Rate My Teacher

In the latest episode of Have You Heard, Jack Schneider and I have a spirited back-and-forth with none other than Michelle Rhee. Jack asks her if she’s ready to admit that evaluating teachers on the basis of their student test scores has been a bad idea. I channel Gary Rubinstein and ask Rhee if the teaching profession has suffered as a result of the policies she and her advocacy group, Students First, pushed across the country. And we talk about what’s next for education reform in the time of Trump. So what does Rhee have to say to our questions? Well, you’ll have to listen to find out! Or you can skip ahead and read the transcript.

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You’re Fired!

The idea that schools can be fixed by firing teachers has become a fixation. In this episode of Have You Heard, Jack Schneider and I discuss the origins of the idea, which he has helpfully distilled here in this amazing graphic. We hear from three Boston teachers whose schools are about to be turned upside down, the lives of their immigrant students made even more chaotic in these unsettled times. As scholar Tina Trujillo explains, the turn-and-churn model of school reform reflects a larger erosion of the idea that public education is public good. Be sure to listen to the very end of the episode (or skip down to the bottom of the transcript below), where we announce our guest for episode #3. Fine, I’ll give you a hint. She was in the running to be Secretary of Education… If you have a question you want us to ask her, flag us on Twitter at @BisforBerkshire or @edu_historian, or leave a comment here. And if you missed episode #1 of this season, Vouchers: a Love Story, you can catch it on Soundcloud, or iTunes.

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Vouchers: a Love Story

Have You Heard kicks off season 2 with a look at all things voucher-y. Jack Schneider and I talk about the history of school vouchers, the movement’s strange bedfellows, and why the public has remained remarkably skeptical towards vouchers. We mix it up with school choice superfan Travis Pillow over who is really using vouchers in states like Indiana, Maryland and Wisconsin. And I use an, um, unusual descriptor to describe the results of Louisiana’s voucher program. Let me know what you think!