DNA Test: The Ancestry of Charter Schools

Did you hear the one about how charter schools were the brainchild of Albert Shanker, the legendary teachers union head? Writer Rachel Cohen did, but when she began tracing the tale back to its origins, she found that the real *father* of charter schools looks a lot like their biggest fans today: market-oriented reformers who aren’t crazy about public institutions or labor unions. As for claims that the charter school vision has been *hijacked* from Shanker’s original vision, well, that’s a myth too. Charter schools have turned out very similar to how their *dads* first conceived of them back in the frenzy of government deregulation that began in the 1970’s and has never stopped. It’s Have You Heard #18!

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.