Resisting the Ambush of Public Education
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
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Lost amid the debate over educational policies are the stories of the educators, parents, and students who are most affected by legislation such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. In Educational Courage, veteran educators and activists Nancy Schniedewind and Mara Sapon-Shevin bring together the voices of those who are resisting market-driven initiatives such as high-stakes testing, charter schools, mayoral control, and merit pay. The diverse narrators who write in this volume confront the educational agendas that undermine teachers’ judgment and knowledge, ignore the different backgrounds of students and parents, and debase the learning process. Yet these educators, parents, and activists also offer stories of resistance and hope as they fight to uphold the ideals of democratic public education.
Mara Sapon-Shevin is Professor of Inclusive Education in the Teaching and Leadership Department of the School of Education at Syracuse University. She teaches in the University s Inclusive Elementary and Special Education Teacher Education Program that prepares teachers for inclusive, heterogeneous classrooms. She frequently consults with districts that are attempting to move towards more inclusive schools and respond more positively to student diversity, providing workshops and support for teachers, students, parents and administrators. Mara presents frequently on inclusive education, cooperative learning, social justice education, differentiated instruction, friendship, community building, school reform, and teaching for diversity. She works with other educators and community members to design workshops and learning experiences to help participants build relationships across ethnic and racial groups and collaborate for friendship and peaceful co-existence. Mara can often be found leading conference groups in community building, singing and dancing. The author of over 150 books, book chapters and articles, Mara is also the co-author of a seven session curriculum entitled, Endracism/Endinjustice: Challenging Oppression, Building Allies designed for high school and college students. She is the co-producer of a DVD entitled and nobody said anything: Uncomfortable Conversations about Diversity that explores critical teaching incidents on social justice for faculty in colleges and universities. Her most recent book is Widening the Circle: The Power of Inclusive Classrooms (Boston: Beacon Press, 2007).