Friday, September 22, 2006

Pedro Noguera's latest on the Race/Class Opportunity Gap; Berkeley High's Rick Ayers and social justice teaching

8 Berkeley High School students visited my Asians in America class this afternoon at SF State as part of a project coordinated by my colleagues Antwi Akom of Africanna Studies and Mathew Shenoda of Ethnic Studies. The students told me and my class about their struggles to get through the school system and their hopes of going to college.
They made me think about one of my colleagues NYU Professor Pedro Noguera, a former Berkeley School Board Member and his ongoing work to create a more equitable school system for students from Berkeley High to New York City and San Francisco's communities of color. See Mike Klonsky's small talk blog for more on Pedro's latest book Unfinished Business: Closing the Racial Achievement Gap in Our Schools , co-edited by another one of my former colleagues Jean Yonemura Wing, now working with Oakland Unified but, like Pedro, a longtime social justice movement veteran as well.

Lastly, to round out the Berkeley High connection, last weekend I attended an excellent workshop on teaching about Modern China for high school and college students organized by the KQED Education Network.
One of the main presenters at the workshop was another small schools movement leader and longtime Berkeley High School teacher Rick Ayers. For more on Rick's history - of Chicago-area antiwar activism, weather underground notoriety, dating Saturday Night Live's Gilda Radner and Social Justice teaching and advocacy - see the Berkeley Daily Planet's June 2006 feature on his work. See also his writing on the small schools movement in the SF/Berkeley East Bay area. See also his 1998 book Teaching for Social Justice.

Props to KQED's Education Network 's Alison Lee Satake and Elaine Shen for developing a great workshop with excellent teacher resources. For more info on their upcoming workshop.

More info -

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