Amy Halpern-Laff

Transcription of the episode “Systemic racism in special education: Parent participation legitimizes inequities”

Jon M: [00:00:15] I’m Jon Moscow.  Amy H-L: [00:00:16] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Today, we continue our conversation with Dr. LaToya Baldwin Clark, assistant professor at UCLA School of Law, where she writes about race, parenting, and educational stratification. Dr. Baldwin Clark earned a BS in economics from the Wharton School,…

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Systemic racism in special education: Parent participation legitimizes inequities

We continue our conversation with LaToya Baldwin Clark of UCLA School of Law. Dr. Baldwin Clark explains how the special education system advantages White middle class families. Poor families and families of color tend to lack cultural capital to navigate the system and advocate effectively for their children. While resources flow to White children with special needs, Black children tend to be stigmatized and placed…

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Transcription of the episode “Supporting English Learners: pandemic and post-pandemic solutions”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Julie Sugarman. Dr. Sugarman is Senior Policy Analyst for pre-K through 12 Education at the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, where she focuses on issues related to immigrant and…

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Supporting English Learners: pandemic and post-pandemic solutions

We speak with Dr. Julie Sugarman of the Migration Policy Institute about meeting the needs of English Learners. We discuss the meaning and implications of ELs “falling behind” during virtual instruction and difficulties administering upcoming English language proficiency tests. Dr. Sugarman talks about a model for incorporating ELs into planning. She also talks about what is lost (and gained) through technology, given the importance of personal relationships to teaching and learning.

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Dodging responsibility for our children: Reducing learning to test scores

We speak with Samuel E. Abrams of Teachers College, Columbia University. The root problems in K12 education — including poverty-related stress and underpaid and underprepared teachers — are pervasive and expensive to fix. So instead, the U.S. has  adopted a “commercial mindset,” measuring success through standardized test scores and increasingly outsourcing school management to for-profit and nonprofit corporations. Dr. Abrams explains what we can…

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Transcript of the episode “Dodging responsibility for our children: Reducing learning to test scores”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m  Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Samuel E. Abrams, Director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Abrams is the author of “Education and the Commercial Mindset” and is…

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Transcription of the episode “Abolitionist education: Creating liberatory spaces (Part Two)”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy-Halpern-Laff Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. This is the second of a two-part interview with Dr. Edwin Mayorga, Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Studies and the Program in Latin American and Latino Studies at Swarthmore College. Dr. Mayorga is founder and co-researcher of…

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Abolitionist education: Creating liberatory spaces (Part Two)

We continue our conversation with Dr. Edwin Mayorga of Swarthmore College. We discuss the corporatization of schools that reduces students to their test scores. Dr. Mayorga encourages educators to center joy and healing. Schools should be liberatory rather than places that are too often focused on punishment and surveillance. Schools, as “localized nodes of political power,” should adopt democratic processes that cultivate voice, participation, and collaboration. As an organizer, he encourages coalitions of people resisting different aspects of racial capitalism, including those fighting destruction of the planet and exploitation of other species.

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BIPOC and undocumented: A trauma-filled intersection

Dr. Christiana Best, who spent thirty years in the New York City child welfare system before becoming a full-time academic, discusses her personal experience of being left behind in Granada while her mother settled in the US. Dr. Best, now an assistant professor of social work at St. Joseph’s, delves into the difficulties of providing holistic support to immigrant children and families, who are (justifiably) hesitant to trust government agencies.

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Transcription of the episode “Empowering school counselors to support struggling students”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff Jon M: [00:00:17] I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Mandy Savitz- Romer. Dr. Savitz-Romer is Nancy Pforzheimer Aronson Senior Lecturer of Human Development and Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education and director of the School of Education’s Prevention, Science and Practice master’s…

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Empowering school counselors to support struggling students

Dr. Mandy Savitz-Romer of Harvard Graduate School of Education sees counselors as schools’ academic conscience, the hub for providing holistic support to students. To be effective, they need a seat at the leadership table. Respondents in Savitz-Romer’s 1000-counselor survey described obstacles and successes in serving students during the pandemic.

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Transcription of the episode “Students leading change: Inclusiveness at an elite school”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guests today, Stacey Cervellin Thorp, Maima Moffett-Warden, and Abigail Rivera, are from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York City, a public high school with very competitive admission standards. …

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Students leading change: Inclusiveness at an elite school

Stacey Cervellino Thorp and Naima Moffett-Warden teach drama at Manhattan’s famed LaGuardia High School, and Abigail Rivera is a senior in the drama studio. Although all LaGuardia students are extraordinarily talented, their families, neighborhoods, and middle schools have vastly different resources. Students and faculty, led by students of color, have won changes and are demanding more steps to make the school more accessible and the curriculum more culturally responsive.

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Transcript of the episode “Education denied: What should reparations look like?”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:17] And  I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Daarel Burnette II, staff writer at Education Week, where he covers school funding and finance. Previously, Mr. Burnette served as a bureau chief at Chalkbeat Tennessee, a start up news organization based in…

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Education denied: What should reparations look like?

Daarel Burnette II of Education Week delves into the history of Black communities demanding education and school boards conspiring to deprive them of opportunities and resources. We zoom in on Virginia’s reparations to Black citizens, now in their 60’s, who were excluded from schools when Prince Edward County shut its schools to avoid integration. Mr. Burnette, a “military brat,” theorizes about why children of Black military families do so much better academically than their civilian peers.

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Practicing ethics: Case studies

We speak with Meira Levinson, Professor of Education at Harvard, about her website justiceinschools.org and books of “hard cases,” designed to help educators and youth workers think about the ethical implications of their decisions. Often, there are no perfect solutions, and  these decisions can have far-reaching consequences in children’s lives. A former teacher herself, Meira would like teachers to be able to consult with specially trained school ethicists.

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Transcription of the episode “Practicing ethics: Case studies”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi, I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:17] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Meira Levinson. Dr. Levinson is Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her most recent book is “Democratic Discourse: Cases and Commentaries in Educational Ethics” with Jacob Fay. She’s the…

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Transcription of the episode “Anti-racism: Lessons for the classroom and faculty lounge”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:16] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Mica Pollock. Dr. Pollock is Professor of Educational Studies and Director of the Center for Research on Educational Equity Assessment and Teaching Excellence, CREATE,  at the University of California, San Diego. Her most…

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Anti-racism: Lessons for the classroom and faculty lounge

We speak with Mica Pollock about US vs Hate and Schooltalk. Student anti-racism messaging in any medium can catalyze youth activism. Comments embedded in teachers’ everyday communication can impact students’ lifetime trajectories.

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Transcription of the episode “Busting out of the classroom: Connecting local history to everyday life”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:17] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guests today are David Edelman and Raul Baez. David is a social studies teacher and instructional coach at Union Square Academy for Health Sciences in New York City. His website is cagebustingclassrooms.com. Raul is a rising…

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Busting out of the classroom: Connecting local history to everyday life

Social studies teacher David Edelman and student Raúl Baez speak about their class’s “Virtual Walking Tour of Slavery in New York City” and other projects in which students become teachers. David’s goal is to instill curiosity and encourage students to connect history to their lived experiences. He shares suggestions for virtual teaching and teacher collaboration.

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Transcription of the episode “Audit culture: The dehumanization of education

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] Hi, I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is William Stroud. He was the founding principal in two New York City public schools, the Urban Peace Academy in East Harlem and the Baccalaureate School for Global Education in Queens. He Is currently…

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Audit culture: The dehumanization of education

World renowned educational consultant Bill Stroud talks about schooling within our capitalist culture and the impact that on-line learning will have on teachers’ autonomy and teacher-student relationships. He discusses similarities and differences among classrooms in different countries, the potential impact of the Movement for Black Lives on schools, and what envisioning a different system of schools would look like.

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Transcription of the episode “Supporting student civic activism: Social studies on steroids”

Jon M: [00:00:00] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:15] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. We have an exciting two part episode, which we’ll start today and continue next week. Our guests are Dr. Alan Singer, a former New York City high school teacher and now  teacher educator at Hofstra University, Dr….

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Supporting student civic activism: Social studies on steroids – Part 1

Dr. Alan Singer, Dr. Pablo Muriel, and Gates Millennium Scholar Dennis Belen-Morales, three generations of teachers, describe how they center student activism in their project-based social studies and history classes while giving students the tools to pass the NYS Regents exams. Dr. Singer was Dr. Muriel’s high school teacher, and Dr. Muriel was Mr. Belen-Morales’ teacher in turn. Now all three are at Hofstra University. Part 1 of a two-part series that contains lots of specific strategies for teachers and passion for civics education.

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Transcript of the episode “(UPDATE) Civics education: A Constitutional right?”

Jon M: 00:00 Last September,we spoke with Dr. Mark Santow , who was then suing the state of Rhode Island in federal court for failing to provide an adequate education, including civics, for certain Rhode Island students, especially Black and Brown students and low income students. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and the…

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*UPDATE* Civics education: A Constitutional right?

Last year we interviewed Mark Santow, one of the plaintiffs suing the State of Rhode Island under the 14th Amendment for failing to provide some students civics curricula and other components of an adequate education. After we revisit our interview, Dr. Santow updates us on the suit and reflects on the lawsuit’s particular relevance at a time of pandemic and the Mobilization for Black Lives.

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Transcription of the episode “Savage inequalities: How school funding intentionally privileges white, wealthy communities “

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi, I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:17] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff.  Welcome to Ethical Schools. Today we’ll continue to look at how inequities in our school systems impact Black lives and lives of Indigenous and other People of Color and low income whites, and what can be done  it. Today we’ll discuss…

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Savage inequalities: How school funding intentionally privileges white, wealthy communities

Zahava Stadler, Policy Director of EdBuild, explains how housing discrimination and state funding policies disadvantage Black and low-income districts. EdBuild has reported on funding schemes throughout the country, documenting a $23 billion annual funding gap between White districts and districts of color. Ms. Stadler describes how states could allocate education dollars more equitably, benefitting at least 70% of students.

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Transcription of the episode “Students demand equity and inclusion: call for admissions, curriculum, counseling changes”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi, I’m Jon Moscow.  Amy H-L: [00:00:16] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff, Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guests today are Yarmis Cruz, Eli Crenshaw-Smith, and Tony Paperno, students at Beacon High School, a public high school in Manhattan. Yarmis is a senior and will be attending Northwestern University next year. Eli grew up…

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Students demand equity and inclusion: call for admissions, curriculum, counseling changes

Manhattan’s Beacon High School students are fighting for racial equity in NYC’s highly segregated school system. Three student activists talk about their experiences in the elite public school, the student-led demonstrations and teach ins, and the Beacon Union of Unions’ comprehensive list of demands.

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Transcription of the episode “Challenging hierarchies: The role of the social justice teacher educator”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] Hi, I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Sherry Deckman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Middle and High School Education at Lehman College. CUNY. Dr.   Deckman researches how teachers are formally prepared to work with students of diverse…

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Challenging hierarchies: The role of the social justice teacher educator

Dr. Sherry Deckman speaks about creating classroom environments that challenge cultural and social hierarchies. Teachers need to be aware of the lenses through which they view the world and their students, especially lenses that center Whiteness. She discusses everyday anti-racism for educators and creating humanizing spaces for all students, as well as the isolation that teacher educators of color often feel.

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Transcription of the episode “Therapeutic crisis intervention: a consultant’s role in creating an ethical school culture”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:16] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Our guest today is Misha Thomas of the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research of the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University. Misha has been a trainer for Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for Schools since 1995. He holds a masters in divinity…

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Therapeutic crisis intervention: a consultant’s role in creating an ethical school culture

Misha Thomas, longtime consultant with Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for Schools, discusses how schools can develop trauma-informed systems for resolving behavioral conflicts and crises. He explains that schools should prioritize a culture of trust and authenticity, and establish school wide expectations that crises will be explored in context of students’ lived experiences. As an outside consultant, Misha freely shares with clients his observations on systemic issues.

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Student stories: SEL through writing and sharing lived experiences

Keith Hefner and Betsy Cohen of Youth Communication discuss their 40-year-old organization. Professional editors help students develop personal stories, which are shared with their peers. Writers experience self-reflection, readers develop empathy and gain strength from knowing others’ experiences, and teachers acquire better understanding of their students. Youth Communication also offers curricula and materials for teachers to implement.

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Transcription of the episode “Student stories: SEL through writing and sharing lived experiences”

Jon M: [00:00:15] Hi. I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: [00:00:17] And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Our guests today are Keith Hafner and Betsy Cohen of Youth Communication. Keith founded Youth Communication, a program to help teens express their lived experiences through writing, in 1980. He served as executive director for 40 years and is now senior…

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Transcription of the episode “Culturally responsive practice and SEL: Effective professional development and programs”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff.  Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow.  Our guest today is Dr Heather C. Hill, Jerome T. Murphy Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of  Education and Visiting Faculty Member at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University. Welcome, Heather.  Heather H: [00:00:31] Great to be here. Thanks, Jon and Amy,…

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Culturally responsive practice and SEL: Effective professional development and programs

Dr. Heather C. Hill of Harvard Graduate School of Education looks at the research on culturally responsive education and SEL programs. She examines components of successful professional development programs, and how they apply to SEL and CRE. Well-designed curricula give teachers a framework on which to build and perhaps self-reflect. Daily classroom practices that build trust and engagement are important. Even if the professional development is high quality and teachers embrace the strategies, principal leadership and support is critical for learned practices to continue over time.

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High school sports: Ethical challenges and considerations

Master basketball coach Mark Jerome speaks candidly about social emotional complexities in sports culture and how his own ethical sensitivities have evolved over his decades of playing, coaching, and parenting. Mark describes enormous inequities in schools’ sports resources and discusses bullying and abusive parental behavior, as well as what he loves about basketball.

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Transcription of the episode “High school sports: Ethical challenges and considerations”

Amy H-L: [00:00:16] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff Jon M: [00:00:18] And I’m Jon Moscow. Our guest today is Mark Jerome, basketball coach at Beacon High School in New York City. Mark was executive director of the Riverside Church basketball program and is currently president of Live City Basketball and Global Professional Sports. He’s also the father of Ty…

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Text guided literacy: Literature as experience in English class

Dr. Anthony Johnston, associate professor of education at University of St. Joseph, explains text guided literacy as a framework for teaching literature. A former English teacher, Dr. Johnston resists the current emphasis on close reading. Text guided literacy encourages readers to extrapolate from the text, to take the perspective of a fictional or historical character, and to make connections between the text and their own lives. As well, empathy is a catalyst for ethical actions.

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Transcription of the episode “Text guided literacy: Literature as experience in English class”

Amy H: [00:00:16] Hi, I’m Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:17] And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Anthony Johnston. Dr. Johnston is Associate Professor of Education and Program Director for Secondary Education at the University of St. Joseph. He’s the coauthor of “Identity Focused ELA Teaching: A Curriculum Framework for Diverse Learners…

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Teaching as research: Auto-ethnography of a pioneering bilingual teacher educator

Dr. Carmen Mercado, CUNY professor emeritus, talks with us about the importance of self-study, sharing diverse perspectives in class, and reflective writing in her own development and that of her students. She shares her experiences as one of the first bilingual classroom teachers and teacher educators in NYC. Carmen’s book, “Navigating teacher education in complex and uncertain times: connecting communities of practice in a borderless world,” was published in 2019.

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Transcription of the episode “Teaching as research: Auto-ethnography of a pioneering bilingual teacher educator”

Amy H: [00:00:15] I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: [00:00:16] And I’m Jon Moscow.  Welcome to Ethical Schools. Amy H: [00:00:19] Our guest today is Dr. Carmen Mercado, a pioneer among Puerto Rican and bilingual educators in New York City. Carmen is a literacy educator whose formal preparation began in a small experimental dual language school in the Bronx…

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The “Name Game”: racialization in a suburban high school

Drs. Tony de Jesus, Anthony Johnston, and Don Siler of University of St. Joseph recount their intervention in a multiracial high school in crisis. White students had instigated a “game” of addressing Black students as the n-word. We discuss the impact of racialization in the Trump era on white students, students of color, and the school community as well as actual and potential responses by schools.

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Transcription of the episode “The ‘Name Game’: racialization in a suburban high school”

Amy H-L: 00:15 I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Jon M: 00:16 And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Amy H-L: 00:19 Our guests today, faculty members at the University of St Joseph in Hartford, Connecticut, were called upon to intervene at a suburban high school when fights broke out between white and black students. Dr. Anthony…

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The Algebra Project: Bob Moses on math literacy as a civil right – Part 2

The Algebra Project founder and president–and lead organizer of the famous 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer voting rights campaign–talks about math literacy as an organizing tool to guarantee quality public school education for all children. Bob Moses describes the Algebra Project’s strategies to connect math to students’ life experiences and everyday language. The interview is divided into two episodes.

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Transcription of the episode “Black and Latinx students, institutional racism, and the carceral continuum”

Jon M: 00:10 Hi, I’m Jon Moscow. Amy H-L: 00:16 And I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Carla Shedd, associate professor of sociology and urban education at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Carla is the author of “Unequal City: Race, Schools and Perceptions of Injustice,” which was recently included in…

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Black and Latinx students, institutional racism, and the carceral continuum

Dr. Carla Shedd, associate professor of sociology and urban education at The Graduate Center, CUNY, studies the interactions with institutions of low-income Black and Latinx students and how institutional racism impacts children from even before birth. Children who attend integrated schools have sharper awareness of inequities than their counterparts in segregated schools and communities. The “carceral continuum” is more comprehensive than the “school to prison pipeline” and comprises all encounters with institutions. Carla also talks about professionals’ ethical responsibilities and responses and how to create safe spaces.

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