The War Report on Public Education, August 2, 2015

The War Report on Public Education
  
Show Headline: 
The War Report on Public Education
Show Sub Headline: 
Guests, Dr Mark Naison, Nancy E Bailey, Dr Ruth Powers, Aggie Kurzyna and Jamaal Bowman

The War Report on Public Education with Dr James Miller

Guests, Dr Mark Naison, Nancy E Bailey, Dr Ruth Powers, Aggie Kurzyna and Jamaal Bowman 

Headlined, The War Report on Public Education, August 2, 2015

Broadcast Date: 
August 2, 2015

Community Schools: An Empowering Idea for Low and Moderate Income Communities or a Trojan Horse for Corporate School Reform?

Please join host Dr. James Avington Miller Jr. on The War Report on Public Education radio show as he leads a very timely discussion on Community Schools.

Joining Dr. Miller will be a panel of distinguished expert educators: Dr. Mark Naison, Dr. Nancy Bailey, Jamaal Bowman, and Dr. Ruth Powers. Also joining us on the show will be parent-activist Aggie Kurzyna who will be discussing her run for a local Board of Education position in New Britain Connecticut.

Things we will be discussing include:
- What community schools are and are not.
- The history of community schools.
- What they were meant to be and what they have become?
- Who supports them and why?
- What they can and should be - a vision of hope.
- Why do the corporate-elite want their hands on them?

Check out Nancy's blog post on Community Schools - https://nancyebailey.com/2015/07/22/how-real-community-schools-differ-from-charters-who-adopt-that-label/

Check out Mark's blog - http://withabrooklynaccent.blogspot.com/

Guest, Aggie Kurzyna

Guest Name: 
Aggie Kurzyna
Aggie Kurzyna
Guest Category: 
Guest Occupation: 
Parent, Education Activist, Possible Candidate for New Britian CT BOE
Guest Biography: 

My name is Aggie Kurzyna and I am running for the New Britain Board of Education. I am a parent, a grandparent and a lifelong New Britain resident who cares deeply about my community. I am taking the leap to run for a seat on the BOE as I have found education advocacy is my life’s purpose and passion.

For too many years, New Britain parents have struggled with trusting the New Britain school district.  My mission once on the board of education will be to rebuild the trust between parents, students and the school district. Clearly, if families and schools are to form partnerships that work, there must first be a foundation of mutual trust, confidence, and respect.

Students will need more than just good teachers and smaller class sizes to meet the challenges of tomorrow. For students to get the most out of school, we need to promote a partnership between parents, community leaders, and schools. Only through partnerships can our schools keep improving and stay on the right track. In my opinion, the biggest single dilemma in local education today is making significant decisions about schools without genuinely accepting input from parents and community members. This demoralizes and discourages those who are most actively involved in our city’s schools.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am a first generation Polish American, born and raised in New Britain. My parents emigrated here in 1973. My significant other, Gerry Benitez, is Puerto Rican, which makes our children Polorican. Gerry and I have been together for 15 years.

I was a high school dropout who worked diligently to get my GED and college degree and have established an 18 year career in Project Management. In addition to my job as a Project Manager, I also chair a mentoring program at my place of employment. Now in its 30th year, the program provides an opportunity for students in grades 3-8 from the Fred D.Wish Elementary School in Hartford to spend time with a caring adult in the business community.

I am a parent and a woman with a diverse background that has been through many life experiences which have brought me to where I am today. I am a passionate, caring person who wants to work with other compassionate and focused people to bring about meaningful and sustainable changes to this community. The amount of heart I possess for this work is clearly displayed in the amount of research, time, and energy I give to the many issues that must be addressed.

For over five years I have dedicated nearly all my free time to advocating for an equitable and quality education for ALL children. I've worked hard with many other passionate people to bring concerns to light and look for solutions.

Guest, Dr Mark Naison

Guest Name: 
Dr Mark Naison
Dr Mark Naison
Guest Category: 
Guest Occupation: 
Professor, Political Activist, Author
Guest Biography: 

Dr. Mark Naison is professor of African American studies and history at Fordham University. He is author of many books and articles including 'Communists in Harlem During the Depression', 'White Boy: A Memoir' and his newest book 'Badass Teachers Unite! Reflections on Education History and Youth Activism'. The founder of the Bronx African American History project, Naison has emerged in the last five years as a passionate defender of America's public school teachers and students, founding groups like Dump Duncan, the Teachers Talk Back Project, and most recently, the Badass Teachers Association.. He was a former political activist who was a member of CORE and SDS in the 1960s. He is a graduate of Columbia University and holds a Ph. D. in American History.

He has written over a hundred articles and published three books on urban history, African-American History, and the history of sports. Naison has also appeared on The O'Reilly Factor, Chappelle's Show, and The Discovery Channel's Greatest American Competition. He has also been an outspoken critic of Teach for America.

Naison is co-founder of the Badass Teachers Association, a group dedicated to fighting the Common Core Curriculum and corporate influences on American education. His newest book is 'Badass Teachers Unite! Reflections on Education History and Youth Activism'. In this incisive collection of essays, educator and activist Mark Naison draws on years of research on Bronx history and his own experience on the front lines of the education wars to unapologetically defend teachers and students from education “reform” policies that undermine their power and creativity.

Naison shows how dominant education policy systematically hurts the very children it claims to support and instead forces them to “race to the top.” He exposes the Duncans, Rhees, and Gateses for schemes that intensify racial and economic inequality. And he refocuses the conversation on teaching and organizing strategies that should be implemented in communities everywhere.

Review

“Mark Naison has woven a series of provocative essays into a powerful book. No traditional scholarly treatise, Badass Teachers Unite! is an education manifesto for the people’s school reform movement. With clarity, verve, and passion, Naison outlines the challenges we face in transforming public schools and he forges a guide to our actions. This book is must reading for anyone concerned about the plight of public schools in the USA today.”
—Henry Louis Taylor Jr., director, UB Center for Urban Studies, University at Buffalo

“Mark Naison is a badass—and it took one to write this rousing pronouncement to the militancy emerging among today’s schoolteachers. There was an era when educators were feared by the corporate establishment. As Time magazine wrote in 1963, ‘The U.S. teacher used to be afraid to smoke, chew, cuss or ask for a raise. Now he denounces crowded classrooms, upbraids lawmakers, and goes on strike almost as readily as a dockworker.’ Mark Naison’s Badass Teachers Unite! brings back the attitude we need to confront the corporate reform bullies and reclaim our schools.”
—Jesse Hagopian, history teacher, Garfield High School, Seattle, Washington, and associate editor for Rethinking Schools magazine
Before the Fires

Guest, Dr Ruth Powers

Guest Name: 
Dr Ruth Powers
Dr Ruth Powers
Guest Category: 
Guest Occupation: 
Associate Professor Educational Studies - College of Staten Island CUNY
Guest Biography: 

Ruth Powers Silverberg is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. Her teaching and research focus on preparing educational leaders to foster constructivist learning communities and countering the damaging effects of neoliberal education reform. She actively advocates for reclaiming schooling for the democratic project with colleagues, parents, and teachers.

Recent projects include the following:

Scholarship / Publications :
Dodge, A. &  Powers Silverberg, R. (forthcoming) Dominant Discourse, Educational Research and the Hegemony of Test Scores: If You Only Have a Hammer Every Problem Looks Like a Nail. Critical Education.

Kempf, A. and Powers Silverberg, R. (forthcoming). Academic Disobedience: Engaging
Michael Apple’s Nine Tasks of the Critical Scholar in an Age of Standardization. Chapter in School against neoliberal rule. Information Age Publishing: Charlotte, NC.

Powers Silverberg, R. (2013). From Compliance to Activism: The case of the New York
Principals. Roundtable Presentation, 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, California.

Ayers, W., Dodge, A., Nunez, I., Powers Silverberg, R.  (2013). Edu4: Social Imagination and Political Activism in Education. Session, 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, California.

Powers Silverberg, R. (2013). From Compliance to Activism: The case of the New York
Principals. Roundtable Presentation, 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, California.

Guest, Jamaal Bowman

Guest Name: 
Jamaal Bowman
jamaal bowman and kids
Guest Category: 
Guest Occupation: 
Teacher and Founding Principal of CASA Middle School in the Bronx, NYC
Guest Biography: 

Jamaal Bowman is the founding principal of Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School. In its 4th year, based on the New York City Department of Education's progress report, Cornerstone ranks in the 83rd percentile of all middle schools. Jamaal was trained to be a school leader by New Leaders for New Schools in 2008. New Leaders is a national principal recruitment and training program, which admits less than 7% of applicants. During his time with New Leaders, Jamaal's principal residency took place at Achievement First Endeavor Charter School in Brooklyn New York, and he participated in seminars and visits to exemplary middle schools in New York and throughout the country. Prior to joining New Leaders in 2008, Jamaal served as Guidance Counselor, teacher, and Dean of Students at The High School of Art and Technology at the Martin Luther King Jr. Campus for 3 years. Before working at M.L.K, Jamaal began his career as an elementary school teacher at P.S. 90 in the Bronx for five years.

More about CASA Middle School:

The mission of C.A.S.A. Middle School is to provide an aesthetic learning environment that graduates self-aware, hard working, and socially responsible, 21st  century learners.

Our staff believes that all children can achieve at high levels academically, as long as we create a nurturing, academically challenging environment. Education is the key to community change and empowerment, and we make no excuses as we work hard, smart, and collaboratively, to accomplish this mission.

Our student and staff culture is rooted in love, support, being responsible, and improving what we do each and every day. We have counseling and mediation services for students, and follow a progressive discipline model to support students behaviorally. We have a community circle meeting every Friday in which we reinforce our positive school culture through inspirational videos and speeches, public apologies, and student-to-student and staff-to-student shout outs.

Our curriculum is rooted in the common core standards and our pedagogy focuses on improving the creative, critical, collaborative, and higher-order thinking skills of students.  Our units follow the principles of understanding by design and culminate with cornerstone tasks. The content of our instruction is rooted in real-world scenarios and core academic knowledge, as well as essential 21st century skills in reading and mathematics. Students work both collaboratively and independently as they navigate through the mastering of standards.

We also implement a Data Driven Instruction model in which students take practice state assessments every 6-8 weeks, where teachers and administrators deeply analyze the data and make instructional plans for the next 6-8 week period. We also implement a data driven model daily by strategically checking for understanding during each lesson and/or analyzing exit ticket data.

As we continue to work toward meeting our 21st century mission and prepare our students for local, national, and international benchmarks, we will begin to incorporate more project based learning, increase our use of computers and technology, and be creative in increasing critical and higher order thinking opportunities. Our teacher-activists will continue to work relentlessly to educate, uplift, and empower our community!

Guest, Nancy E Bailey

Guest Name: 
Nancy E Bailey
Nancy E Bailey
Guest Category: 
Guest Occupation: 
Author, education activist and a former special education teacher
Guest Biography: 

I taught special education for many years. I left teaching due to the current reforms that are taking over the nation’s classrooms. I am now committed to writing about the profession that I hold dear and the public schools that are critically important to the future of America and its children.

Along with my book, Misguided Education Reform: Debating the Impact on Students, I have been published in Phi Delta Kappan and Education Week. I am an activist on the issue of safe school facilities. In 2012, I was invited to speak about school building safety at the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s annual meeting in Memphis, Tennessee.

I have a B.S. degree in special education from Central Michigan University, a M.Ed in special education from the University of North Florida, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Florida State University. I earned credentials in teaching students with emotional disabilities, learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, and school administration. I also obtained post-doc credentials in teaching gifted and talented from the University of South Florida. My student teaching involved working under wonderfully talented veteran teachers who I still hold in high regard.

Nancy E Bailey

The War Report on Public Education

The War Report on Public Education with Dr James Avington Miller Jr
Show Host: 
Dr. James Avington Miller Jr.

The format of THE WAR REPORT ON PUBLIC EDUCATION explores one of the most important events in our life time - the total takeover of our educational system by corporate interests. This show is about the 'corporate' war on public education and the rising public resistance movement to the war. Dr. James Avington Miller, Jr. invites guests from all over who join the rising public resistance movement against the corporate greed taking on our public school system. He is interested in growing a grass-roots movement here in the United States and in Europe against the 'corporate interests' that are limiting both teachers and students everywhere.

This October 2015 he is taking his show on the road as he embarks on a very special project. His long awaited project ‘The People’s Story' is an effort to reach out to those individuals whose voices are not being heard in educational arenas everywhere. He will be interviewing, filming and collecting stories from parents, teachers, students and community members in the rural and urban areas of the Eastern United States to include Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Washington D.C. Many lives are being impacted and harmed by the ongoing corporate war on public education that exists today. The consequence of the rapid privatization of our schools is inhumane and devastating to our teachers, schools and most importantly, our children.

His primary mission is to create a documentary/television series for PBS and the Arts & Entertainment Channel that will expose the human cost of man’s inhumanity to man. The objective is to document people’s stories from each state and create a one hour TV Episode for that state evolving into a 30-35 part series. Dr. Miller expects to have the first TV show ready by next summer. This will propel the ‘corporate war on public education’ front and center as a local, state and national campaign issue. Determined to awaken the world on a national level by providing a series of programs that will lead to understanding the whole picture – he hopes to demand an end to the Corporate Elite and their destruction of public education.

Dr. Miller is seeking funding for ‘The People’s Story’ project from friends, family and the public to cover the expenses that this will entail. If you care about the future of education, please support this most important project and be part of history in the making. This has been and will continue to be Dr. Miller's dream to complete and certainly his life's legacy.