In March of 2013, thirty five Atlanta educators, all of them Black, were charged with racketeering and conspiracy for allegedly changing student answers on standardized tests from wrong to right. The teachers were accused of the worst-possible wrongdoing against their students. But behind the longest criminal trial in Georgia history is an untold story – of school privatization and deprivation, of urban renewal and gentrification, and the criminalization, of Black Atlantans and their educators. Shani Robinson, the youngest teacher to be tried and convicted, joins Have You Heard to discuss her new book None of the Above: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Public Schools Cheating Scandal, Corporate Greed, and the Criminalization of Educators, written with Anna Simonton.
The portfolio model of school district management—it sounds technocratic, even a little bit weedy and yet it’s arguably one of the hottest button topics in our great education debate today. You may have heard the ‘p’ word mentioned in the context of recent teachers strikes in LA and Denver, and if you haven’t, well, you’ll likely be hearing it soon. That’s because there’s big money lining up to bring the portfolio model to a school district near you. A new organization backed by two billionaires—that would be Reed Hastings of Netflix fame and hedge funder John Arnold—will be pushing aggressively and expensively to expand the portfolio model across the country. But what is it exactly? In the latest episode of Have You Heard, Jennifer and Jack are joined by Katrina Bulkley, author of Between Public and Private: Politics, Governance and the New Portfolio Models for Urban Education Reform. Bulkley walks us through the central tenets of portfolio-ism and also sheds some lights on why districts that have embraced the portfolio push seem to be, well, on fire.
In the latest episode of Have You Heard, Jack and Jennifer are joined by Joshua Hunt, author of University of Nike: How Corporate Cash Bought American Higher Education – which is even better than it sounds! Hunt describes what happened when tax-cutting fever struck Oregon in the 1990’s, and the University of Oregon turned to the deep pockets of its most prominent alumnus: Phil Knight, CEO of Nike. Let’s just say that Knight’s gifts came with plenty of, well, shoestrings attached…
In the latest episode of Have You Heard, Jack and Jennifer discuss some lesser-talked-about aspects of the recent strike by Los Angeles teachers, and what the strike means for the future of education reform. Will the teachers succeed in forcing, not just a temporary moratorium on charter schools in the second largest school district, but a different way of thinking about urban schools? And we meet a Denver teacher for a taste of the likely next #redfored hotspot.
In the latest episode of Have You Heard, Jack and Jennifer dig into five—make that six—education news stories that deserved more attention in 2018. From Betsy DeVos’ surprising (to some) longevity to the GOP’s realignment as the *anti-college* party, these are some of the stories that we’ll be hearing more about in 2019. Complete transcript of the episode available here. And if you’re a fan of the high-quality content that Have You Heard serves up, consider becoming a supporter on Patreon.