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.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Audit Culture, Teacher Evaluation and the Pillaging of Public Education

In this weeks' program we look at the attempt by education reformers to impose value added measures on teacher evaluation as an example of how neoliberal forces have used the economic crisis to blackmail schools into practices that do not serve teaching and learning, but do serve the corporate profiteers as they work to privatize public education and limit the goals of education to vocational training for corporate hegemony. These processes constrict possibilities for educational experiences that are critical, relational and transformative. We see that in naming these processes and taking risks both individually and collectively we can begin to speak back to and overcome these forces.

In this program we speak with Sean Feeney, principal from Long Island New York, about the stance he and other principals have taken against the imposition of value added measures in the new Annual Professional Performance Review in New York State. We also speak with Celia Oyler, professor of education at Teachers College Columbia University, and Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, about the impact of value added measures on teacher education and the corporate powers behind these measures.

You can sign on to support Sean Feeney and the New York principals at

You can download mp3's of this program here:
Program 18: Pacifica Audioport (podcast)
Program 18: Internet Archive

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fighting tuition hikes and mobilizing for free public higher education

In this edition of Education Radio, we report on world-wide student  resistance to the attacks on public higher education, along with the story of neoliberalism as it threatens the future of public higher education in  the U.S.  Emerging from the Occupy movement, advocates calling for a  student debt strike that includes the vision of free college tuition  will present their case.

The first part of the show, features reports from Puerto Rico, the UK,  and Chile, where sustained, mass mobilizations of youth have sought to  halt enormous tuition hikes.

We next hear from labor activist and UMass academic Max Page, co-author  The Future of Higher Education, who deconstructs the mechanics of a  corporate-governance, privatization mentality that is squeezing the  quality of and access to public higher education.

For the last part of the hour, speakers from Zuccotti Park, including  Anya Kamentz, Pamela Brown, and Andrew Ross, link the Occupy movement to  the crisis of growing student debt in the U.S.  Each outlines the  reasons for a national debt strike for college loan forgiveness and free public education.

A good part of the material for this show is collected from YouTube. Using simple free capture software, in this case MacTubes, short videos  were downloaded.  These video mp4 files were then converted to an audio  file (WAVE) using free audio conversion software called Switch. It's an  amazing resource that allows access to direct information about  resistance movements that we would never see through mainstream  corporate media.

You can download mp3's of this program here:
Program 17: Audioport (podcast) 
Program 17: Internet Archive

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Teachers Fight Back with Courage, Solidarity and Organizing

In this weeks show, we bring you interviews with four activists educators who are working within their communities and unions, local and national, to actively speak back to and resist the neoliberal structures and paradigms being imposed on us. Their stories remind us of the necessity and power of organizing and of finding courage in solidarity.

The assault on public education is multi-faceted and strategic. Here on Education Radio we have explored the ways that politicians, corporations and individual financiers manipulate the discourse, bully educators, intensify the disempowerment of low-income communities, and purchase access with the goals of privatizing education and feeding their profits from the public trough. The forces of neoliberalism, which aim to privatize and commodify every aspect of our lives, are powerful and organized.  For those of us who see education as a place for the building of a democratic and just society, for transformation and human freedom, understanding the magnitude of the struggle can be overwhelming. But there are numerous spaces of resistance and groups coming together to speak back to the dominant discourse and claim a new way of knowing ourselves as teachers, educators, union members, students, parents and community members.

We begin by speaking with Shaun Johnson, assistant professor of education at Towson University, blogger at The Chalk Face, and organizer of Opt Out of the State Test, a grassroots organization that encourages and supports parents and teachers to refuse to participate in standardized testing.

Karen Lewis
We then speak with Karen Lewis, the president of the Chicago Teachers Union and former classroom teacher, about how she and other Chicago Public School teachers formed the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE) to take over union leadership to ensure that the Chicago Teachers Union represented the best interest of teachers, students and low income communities in the fight against corporate education reform.

Yvette Felarca
We also talk with Yvette Felarca, an English and history teacher at Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkley, CA. She also a founding member and organizer with BAMN - Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary. We talk with Yvette about her activism within teaching as well as with BAMN.

Simone Harris
We finish by going to Santa Rosa California to speak with Simone Harris, high school English teacher, union organizer and blogger at about her union’s decision to not only endorse but to plan an action with Occupy Santa Rosa. Simone’s activism reminds us that our struggles as educators are shared struggles, against the same forces and for the same hopes, as those of our students, the poor, working people, and the planet.

You can download mp3's of this program here:
Program 16: Audioport (podcast)
Program 16: Internet Archive