A couple thousand rabble rousers and nerdy savants from across the republic will let loose this weekend.
Introducing the 2015 “Progressive Education Fellows,” an online gathering of prominent advocates, activists, thinkers, and writers in the progressive education movement.
The Fellows come together at a critical time for public education in the United States. Not since the Civil-Rights-era battles over school desegregation has the debate about public education been so intense and polarized. The Fellows come from every region of the country, and from diverse backgrounds with a wide range of expertise. They are teachers, administrators, journalists, parent activists, and leaders of the movement to defend public schools. You can find their writing here at The Progressive website, and also follow them on Twitter. Read what Lead Fellow Jeff Bryant has to say on why we need the Fellows project.
Jeff Bryant, Lead Fellow and Southeast Regional Fellow
Jeff is director of the Education Opportunity Network and associate fellow at Campaign for America's Future. He owns a marketing and communications consultancy in Chapel Hill, NC, and has written extensively about public education policy. Follow Jeff on Twitter at @jeffbcdm.
Xian Franzinger Barrett, Chicago Fellow
Xian is a founding member of the Caucus of Rank and File Educators and former political director of the Chicago Teachers Union. He previously taught Law, History, and Japanese Language and Cultures in the Chicago Public Schools, and received numerous teaching awards, including being selected as a 2009-2010 U.S. Department of Education Classroom Teaching Ambassador Fellow. Xian founded a citywide youth-led social justice organization and believes that if you ask students what they are passionate about and work with that—their learning will belong to them.
Jennifer Berkshire, Northeast Regional Fellow
Jennifer is a freelance journalist who writes about the intersections of race, education reform and the remaking of the urban landscape. She is the creator and editor of EduShyster, where she chronicles the end of public education with a wry eye. Follow her on twitter.
Ashana Bigard, Southcentral Regional Fellow
Ashana is a life long resident of New Orleans, mother of three, social justice organizer, and advocate for children and families in Louisiana. She currently advocates with the Education Justice Project of New Orleans, and the United Students of New Orleans. Ashana also organizes with the Woman’s Health & Justice Initiative and for expended housing affordability opportunities for low-income families.
Peter Greene, Midwest Regional Fellow
Jesse Hagopian, Seattle Fellow
Jesse teaches history and is the co-adviser to the Black Student Union at Garfield High School–the site of the historic boycott of the MAP test in 2013. Jesse is the editor of, More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing, a founding member of Social Equality Educators (SEE), a recipient of the 2012 Abe Keller Foundation award for “excellence and innovation in peace education,” won the 2013 “Secondary School Teacher of Year” award, and the Special Achievement “Courageous Leadership” award from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences.
Sarah Lahm, Northcentral Regional Fellow
Cynthia Liu, Los Angeles Fellow
Cynthia launched her people-powered, national public education news and civic engagement platform, K-12 News Network, in 2011 with a grant from the Ford Foundation. Most recently, K12NN organized citizen media makers to watchdog former Superintendent of Los Angeles Unified John Deasy’s iPad deal, leading to his resignation and ongoing investigations of his apparent bid-rigging. K12NN is a model for community engagement Cynthia hopes will spread across the country.
Sabrina Stevens, Midatlantic Regional Fellow
Sabrina is a mother, writer, education advocate, and former teacher based in Washington, DC. She is a founding member of EduColor, a collective that works to elevate the voices of people of color in the education policy dialogue. Her insight on various educational and progressive issues has been featured in various media outlets, including MSNBC, TIME.com, The Hill, GOOD Magazine, Education Week, The American Prospect, and The Answer Sheet at The Washington Post, among others. email@example.com
Dora Taylor, Northwest Regional Fellow
Dora established the blog Seattle Education in response to the growing visibility of the corporate and billionaire financed influence on public education. Along with being a mother and advocate for public education, she is a Founding Member and the first President of Parents Across America, and has co-authored two books, Digital Networking for School Reform and Left Behind in the Race to the Top: Realities of Education Reform
Julian Vasquez Heilig, Westcoast Regional Fellow
Julian is currently a Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California State University Sacramento. He blogs about education and social justice at Cloaking Inequity.
Jose Vilson, New York City Fellow
José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist in New York City, NY. He is the author of This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, and has spoken about education, math, and race for The New York Times, Education Week, The Guardian, Al Jazeera America, Huffington Post, Edutopia, GOOD, and El Diario / La Prensa, NY.