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84: In Defense of Public Education w/ Dr. Jennifer Berkshire & Dr. Jack Schneider

Ep. 84

Transcripts can be found via our website, humanrestorationproject.org.


Today we are joined by Dr. Jennifer Berkshire and Dr. Jack Schneider. Dr. Berkshire is a journalist and educator who focuses on podcasting and labor organizing at Boston College and Umass Amherst respectively, and Dr. Schneider is an education historian focused on reform and school accountability. Jennifer and Jack co-host the wonderful Have You Heard Podcast, which is focused on hot button issues in educational policy and current events, and both Chris and I highly recommend checking it out if you aren’t listening already. 


Our discussion today is going to cover a lot of ground but center on education reform, innovation, labor rights, unions, and change. There’s an odd dichotomy between progressive education and the assault on public education: a cognitive dissonance between the necessity for systemic reform while ensuring a free and accessible public education for the future and recognizing the need for organized labor as a path to a strong working class, that teacher unions are among the largest and most powerful in the country. Yet, there is a narrative - real or not - that unions are resistant to the change that many progressive educators want, and more recently, the notion that they have become the major roadblock to school reopenings in 2020.


GUESTS

Dr. Jennifer Berkshire, journalist and educator focused on podcasting and labor organizing at Boston College & UMass Amherst

Dr. Jack Schneider, education historian centered on reform and school accountability


RESOURCES


FURTHER LISTENING


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Today’s guest is Deborah Meier, who really needs no introduction for advocates of progressive education. Meier is the founder of the modern small schools movement, that aims to reorganize larger schools into smaller, democratic ones. She was founder and director of Central Park East, a Dewey-inspired progressive school in East Harlem, New York City. She also opened Central Park East II, River East, and the Central Park East Secondary School the same neighborhood. This led her to establish a network of similarly minded schools in New York City, and eventually founding Mission Hill School in Boston.Meier is an advocate of democratic, progressive, public schools who has served on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, National Academy of Education, The Nation, Dissent, and more. She is a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, as well as the author of multiple books including the recently co-authored These Schools Belong to You and Me: Why We Can’t Afford to Abandon our Public Schools. Meier is a huge inspiration to us at Human Restoration Project and we frequently draw on her work in our materials and advocacy.In this podcast, Meier and I talk about building a coalition of schools, educators, families, and community members to build and protect a progressive public education, discussing the importance of building a public education system that strengthens and models a democracy.GUESTSDeborah Meier, founding director of Central Park East and Mission Hill School, as well as various progressive democratic public schools, and author of various works including co-authoring These Schools Belong to You and Me: Why We Can’t Afford to Abandon our Public SchoolsRESOURCESDeborah Meier's websiteThese Schools Belong to You and Me: Why We Can’t Afford to Abandon our Public SchoolsThe Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in HarlemSUPPORT THE MOVEMENT TO END GUN VIOLENCEMarch for Our Lives 2022 National Rally (June 11th, 2022)Donate: March for Our LivesDonate: EverytownDonate: Moms Demand ActionDonate: Sandy Hook PromiseDonate: GoFundMe - Uvalde, TexasDonate: GoFundMe - Buffalo, New York
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111: Building the Modern Progressive Education Movement w/ David Buck

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