Progressive Education Fellows

Introducing our “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

Peter has been a classroom secondary English teacher for over thirty-five years. He lives and works in a small town in Northwest Pennsylvania, and blogs at Curmudgucation.




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

Sarah is a Minneapolis-based writer and former English instructor. She is the winner of a 2014 Nation Institute Investigate Fund grant, and blogs about education at




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,, The Hill, GOOD Magazine, Education Week, The American Prospect, and The Answer Sheet at The Washington Post, among others. 



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. 










The new head of the Environmental Protection has a history of suing the agency for trying to do its job.

The reach of this story extends from the lowliest working stiff to the highest court in the land.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

Public School Shakedown

Progressive Media Project