A conservative, bipartisan consensus dominates the discussion about what’s wrong with our schools and how to fix them. It offers “solutions” that scapegoat teachers, vilify unions, and impose a market mentality. But in each case, students lose. This book, written by teacher-activists, speaks back to that elite consensus and offers an alternative vision of learning for liberation.
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About the Author
Sarah Knopp is a public high school teacher in Los Angeles. She has been teaching economics and government for eleven years. A frequent contributor to the International Socialist Review, Knopp also has written for Rethinking Schools, CounterPunch, and United Teacher. She is an activist with United Teachers Los Angeles, a union co-chair at her school, and a dedicated participant in the movements for public education, immigrants rights, and social equality.
Jeff Bale is assistant professor of second language education at Michigan State University. He teaches and writes about the history and politics of language education in US schools, and about language policies targeting immigrant youth in Germany. His work has appeared in International Socialist Review, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics and Tertium Comparationis. In addition, Bale taught English learners and German in urban public schools for a decade. In District of Columbia Public Schools, he was a building representative for the Washington Teachers' Union. While teaching in Tempe, Arizona, Bale was active in school-based and community organizations challenging anti-bilingual education policies in that state.
Table of Contents
Foreword Adam Sanchez Interviews Bill Bigelow ix
Preface A Defense of Public Education and an Action Plan for Change Sarah Knopp Jeff Bale 1
1 Schools, Marxism, and Liberation Sarah Knopp 9
2 The Struggle for Black Education Brian Jones 41
Focus on: The Indian Boarding Schools Michele Bollinger 70
3 Linguistic Justice at School Jeff Bale 77
4 Obama's Neoliberal Agenda for Public Education Gillian Russom 109
Focus on: Students, Parents, and Teachers Nationwide Protest Gutting of Public Education Rose Aguilar 135
5 Teachers' Unions and Social Justice Jesse Hagopian John T. Green 141
Focus on: The Madison Protests Dan Trocolli Sarah Knopp 176
Focus on: Teachers' Struggle in Oaxaca, Mexico Jessie Muldoon 182
6 Pedagogy and Revolution: Reading Freire in Context Adrienne Johnstone Elizabeth Terzakis 187
Focus on: The Freedom Schools Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor 211
7 Literacy and Revolution Megan Behrent 217
About the Authors 285