Saving Our Public Schools and Students
We talk with two teachers who are protecting our children’s right to have an education. In the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, parents are on a hunger strike in their desperate attempt to save the last public high school. Dyett High School is the last school in their area that accepts all students regardless of ability and the city is trying to shut it down. The parents have another vision of a school that teaches cutting edge technology for sustainability. In Washington State, kindergarten teacher, Susan DuFresne, is a power house fighting to protect her students from the cruelty of standardized testing that robs them of their education and labels them at successes or failures when they are just getting started. Seattle, where Susan teaches, is investing $210 million to expand a youth prison. The city is basing occupancy on fourth grade reading scores. Rather than investing in better education, it is choosing to lock students up.
Relevant articles and websites:
Sit-in At Chicago Mayor’s Office Over School Closing by Mike Klonsky
Eleven Parents Launch Hunger Strike by Empathy Educates
Chicago Organizers lead Hunger Strike to Save Dyett High School by The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools
My Statement of Professional Conscience by Susan DuFresne
A Teacher Living on the Edge by Susan DuFresne
Susan DuFresne is a kindergarten teacher and activist in the Seattle area. She teaches both general education and special education. Susan has worked in high poverty schools and continues to organize direct actions for social justice. This summer she and her husband Shawn organized the Opt Out Bus Free Books for Kids West Coast Tour – which informed parents about the Opt Out Movement, Common Core, and the racism of high stakes testing – while giving books to children in need. You can follow Susan on Twitter at @GetUpStandUp2.