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, March 3, 2012

Racism, Class and the Attack on Public Education: A Talk by Brian Jones

In this episode we spend the hour listening to a talk by Brian Jones titled “Still Separate, Still Unequal: Racism, Class and the Attack on Public Education.” He was speaking to a group of teachers and parents in New York City this past February as part of Black History Month.

Brian Jones
Brian has worked as an elementary school teacher in Harlem and is currently a fourth grade public school teacher in Brooklyn, NYC. Brian participated with the Grassroots Education Movement, GEMNYC, to produce the documentary An Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman in 2011. This documentary was a response to the widely publicized film Waiting for Superman, produced by Participant Media, which also produced An Inconvenient Truth. Education Radio episode 5 “Exposing the Myth of Education Reform” from September of last year highlighted Jones’ work on this documentary and can still be heard on our blog.

In his talk, Brian draws connections between attacks on labor and attacks on public schools. He suggests education reformers’ emphasis on test scores, teachers and outcomes is about “excellence” (using their words), but not equity. Brian addresses the increasingly undemocratic process by which these neoliberal reforms are being implemented, and the potential power of true solidarity between parents and teachers.

You can down load mp3s of this program here:
Audioport (podcast)
Internet archive


  1. Yes, Yes, Yes. Just understanding isn't enough.

  2. Today, on Pacifica radio Los Angeles I heard you for the first time. You were expressing almost the exact opinions that I have been trying to make parents and apathetic people understand the intent and where the privatization of public education is going. Often I'm told the system is too big for that to happen, or why didn't I go into politics if I'm so interested. I feel so frustrated when people don't seem interested about the impact that privatization of public education is having already, and will have on future generations in more ways than they can imagine.

    What is the answer? I know that people need to be educated about protecting the public school system, but it takes more than that. How do we get people off their comfort zone to become activists to protect public education? Your presentation to parents and teachers together is the key beginning. Parents who want the best education for their children and teachers who not just want to protect their jobs, but care about the influence and lasting effect of a good beginning has in a child's life. How do you get parents and other people to be interested and work on this, to protect and retain public education as we know it?
    I thank you for all that you do.