KPFA Radio 94.1FM with The Network for Public Education Action presents:
Friday, October 13, 7:30 pm
Oakland Technical High School, 4351 Broadway, Oakland
Advance tickets: $12 : brownpapertickets.com :: T: 800-838-3006
or Marcus Books, Books Inc/Berkeley, Pegasus (3 sites), Moe’s, Walden Pond Bookstore, Diesel a Bookstore, Mrs. Dalloway’s
America’s most eloquent and informed proponent of public education, Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, will discuss with Jitu Brown their mutual struggle for public education.
Diane Ravitch is a Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education. She is the Founder and President of the Network for Public Education (NPE). Her Blog – dianeravitch.net – has received more than 30 million hits. From 1991 to 1993, she was Assistant Secretary of Education and Counselor to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander in the administration of President George H.W. Bush. She was responsible for the Office of Educational Research and Improvement in the U.S. Department of Education. As Assistant Secretary, she led the federal effort to promote the creation of voluntary state and national academic standards. From 1997 to 2004, she was a member of the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the federal testing program. She was appointed by the Clinton administration’s Secretary of Education Richard Riley in 1997 and reappointed by him in 2001. From 1995 until 2005, she held the Brown Chair in Education Studies at the Brookings Institution and edited Brookings Papers on Education Policy. Her latest book is Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools (2014)
Jitu Brown, the national director of the Journey for Justice campaign, was part of a month-long hunger strike by parents and community activists to save Dyett High school in Chicago. He is a long-time community activist and has brought great energy and focus to the connection between the attacks on public education and the disempowerment of African American communities.
He strongly believes that family engagement should be continuous throughout a child’s life, spanning cradle to career and beyond, and that it is a shared responsibility in which schools and other community agencies and organizations are committed to engaging families in meaningful and culturally respective ways, and families are committed to actively supporting their children’s learning and development. Bringing together several networks is critical to improving outcomes including parent leaders and advocates; school leaders and other educators; and those working on inclusion issues and parent-teacher partnerships. Increasingly across the country, parents, families and community-based organization have begun to organize and push back against the proliferation of charters, school closings and other drastic reform measures they feel disproportionally effect vulnerable communities of color. One such group is the Journey for Justice Alliance, an alliance of grassroots community, youth, and parent-led organizations in 23 cities across the country demanding community-driven alternatives to the privatization of and dismantling of public schools systems. “We are organizing in our neighborhoods, in our cities, and nationally, for an equitable and just education system, based on a belief in the potential of all children and the rights of parents, youth, and communities to participate in all aspects of planning and decision-making.”
Jitu Brown, married and father of one child, is the national director for the Journey for Justice Alliance (J4J). He was born on Chicago’s south side and is a product of Chicago’s public school system. Jitu started volunteering with the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) in 1991, became a board member in 1993 and served as the Board president for a number of years. He joined the staff as education organizer in 2006. Jitu has organized in the
Kenwood Oakland neighborhood for over 17 years bringing community voices to the table on school issues.
He helped develop the Mid-South Education Association, a grassroots advocacy group comprised of administrators, parents, teachers, young people and local school council (LSC) members to meet the needs of schools in the area. They were the first group to certify parents as LSC facilitators, which has become a model being replicated across the city of Chicago. In addition, they successfully organized to stop several school closings in the area and secured resources for neglected neighborhood schools. KOCO has served as a resource for organizations nationwide, dealing with school closings and the elimination of community voice from the decision-making process.
Kevin Cartwright has been a radio producer, media trainer and music programmer for Pacifica Radio station KPFA-FM since 1994. He has produced and contributed to a number of local and national public affairs programs that have included Living Room with Larry Bensky, Democracy Now, the KPFA Evening News, and The Morning Show. Kevin is a communications strategist who continues to work with a number of local, state and national social change organizations across the country to help improve their overall communication and PR strategies, framing and messaging apparatus, media engagement and social media. Currently, Kevin is completing two short fiction works, Oakland and Slow Dancing In Babylon, as well as a suite of dramatic plays covering the past 60 years of West Oakland.
Benefit for KPFA & The Network for Public Education Action