Committed To Fighting For Equity and Access in Public Education

Featuring interviews, testimony and analysis on issues facing public education in the U.S. through voices of teachers, parents, students, community members, education activists and education scholars. Education Radio is committed to exposing the profit driven interests fueling current education policies while addressing issues of true equity and access in public education.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Exposing the Mythology of Education Reform

In this week's program we take some time to explore the dominant narrative shaping so-called liberal education reform - how did this narrative evolve, what kinds of messages are being communicated, how does the on-the-ground experience of many teachers and students expose contradictions, and what does it look like to uncover a counter narrative?

Sut Jhally
We hear from media scholar Sut Jhally, as well as teachers Julie
Cavanagh, Alev Dervish & Brian Jones and parent & community member Lisa Donlan: four of the filmmakers of the Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman, a critical response to the heavily publicized and corporate backed 2010 film Waiting for Superman, a movie that further propagandizes ongoing education reform efforts that are influencing public perceptions and education policy in the U.S. The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman is just one example of grassroots efforts to deconstruct the myths that are upheld in the dominant discourse in the U.S. around public education.

Follow the links below to download this show as a podcast:
Education Radio Program #5 on Internet Archive
Education Radio Program #5 on Audioport

Follow the links to find out more about the Grassroots Education Movement and about The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman.

For further reading on education reform, see Education Radio Producer Tim Scott's paper: A Nation at Risk to Win the Future: The State of Public Education in the U.S.


  1. Thank you; great work. Suggestions/questions: It would be better to have your audio available as a podcast (even if not stream-able) to which one could subscribe. At the very least an RSS feed would help fit it into people's already full media plates. Also -- we need more information about you, the producers! Where, who, why, how, funded by whom, when....?

  2. Hi Nicole,
    Thank you for contacting us and letting us know about your concerns. You pointed out that we should podcast, which we have set up through the Audioport link above, but it seems it had temporarily malfunctioned. We just corrected it, so please do try the Audioport link above again.

    Education Radio features interviews, testimony and analysis on issues facing public education in the U.S. through voices of students, teachers, parents, community members, education activists and education scholars. We are committed to addressing issues of equity and access in education and to reframing the dominant narrative of education reform.

    Chris Herland is a parent and high school English teacher in Amherst, Massachusetts.

    Barbara Madeloni is an educator and activist who currently teaches in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. As an educator, Barbara is focused on issues of social justice, the neo-liberal assault on our democracy, and the possibilities for human freedom.

    Hannah Mills is a graduate student at Smith College School for Social Work in Northampton, Massachussetts. She is interested in education equality, particularly among the LGBTQ community.

    Deborah Keisch Polin is a parent, education activist and a doctoral candidate in anthropology.

    Tim Scott is an education activist originally from Utah who now resides in Western Massachusetts. He has worked as an Army infantryman, union organizer, school counselor, and adolescent and family therapist. Tim is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Social Justice Education at UMass Amherst.

    Timothy Sutton is a perpetual grad student with no plans of completing his Ph.D. in order to avoid paying back the massive loans he has accrued. He is interested in connections between critical pedagogy and media literacy and studies DIY media, and Spanish language media.

    Kate Way is a photographer and English educator with over nineteen years working at both the secondary and university levels. She is currently working towards a doctoral degree in Language, Literacy, and Culture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where her focus is on media studies and education reform.

    *We are currently an all volunteer and unfunded collective.

  3. What a wonderful program! As a Tennessean, we have been suffering under the weight of Race to the Top, a right wing legislature and weak Republican governor, a small group of the 1% who are building investment portfolios and political careers on corporate edu-reform, and a closed minded Commissioner of Education from Teach for America.

    I teach pre-service special education teachers at the University of TN, Knoxville and I am going to assign several of these podcasts in my classes so my students can be exposed to an authentic vision of public education.

  4. Thank you for your comments and including our program in your incredibly valuable work.

    Being from Tennessee, have you listened to our show Stand for Children or Stand for Profit? In this show we include information about Stand for Children's efforts to further subjugate teachers and students through their work to ensure that Tennessee "wins" Race to the Top funds.

    Best regards,

    Tim Scott