The school at the center of the NY Times podcast, Nice White Parents
The school at the center of the NY Times podcast, Nice White Parents
IS 293, “Nathan Hale Middle School,” in Brooklyn, NY. The subject of Nice White Parents, the New York Times/Serial Podcast Series.

Exclusionary “Learning Pods” are not just racist, and of course classist, let’s state the obvious, but they are also violence against children, and we must say this.

Broadband access in this nation is racist and classist and an assault on rural children and children everywhere whose parents lack resources. We must say this.

The way schools are funded, including via PTA/PTO fundraising is racist and classist and represents violence against children everywhere whose parents lack resources. We must say this.

The timeline of the series stops at the pandemic. But Ms. Joffe-Walt said the nation’s education system is at a pivotal juncture, noting the future could be indelibly shaped by white parents. …


Wisconsin 2018, elections for State House of Representatives. Republicans received under 45% of votes, but won over 63% of seats.

“When the Framers [of the Constitution] used the word [democracy] themselves it was often a pejorative term. On the convention’s first day, delegate Edmund Randolph of Virginia warned that “none of the [state] constitutions have provided sufficient checks against democracy.” A week later, Massachusetts delegate Elbridge Gerry said “the evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy.” Father of the Constitution James Madison referred to “the inconvenience of democracy,” and Alexander Hamilton to the “imprudence” of it.” — Eric Black

America likes to perceive itself as a leader in global democracy, or at least it did before January 2017, but leadership often conveys a sense of “staying ahead of the game,” and the United States has a peculiarly antique electoral and government system, one inherited — almost in entirety — from the national parent, 18th Century Britain. This “Queen Anne Democracy” was never intended to be a democracy in any way, it wasn’t designed that way, the founders — though expressing noble intentions — were for the most part elite Southern plantation owners, and seven of those 13 original states (including New York) were slave states. So US Constitution was designed to absolutely limit democracy, which despite progress, it still does. …


1965 Selma March for Voting Rights

Maybe it is five years ago now, but at one of the high schools where I worked then, our most “at-risk” high school, a Language Arts teacher and a Librarian collaborated on a project about building monuments. This was even before the 2017 Charlottesville right-wing riot with its in retrospect focus on monuments and meanings. Even before our more famous version of this project.

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One of the Monument Projects from Albemarle High School

I watched one young man building the model of his monument and asked him to tell me about it. “It’s a monument to front porches,” he said — and what he was building was a very long porch with many places to sit — “because that was what my grandma had, and I loved the conversations [we had] there, and I think we don’t have that much [anymore].” …


Ira David Socol

Author, Dreamer, Educator: A life in service - NYPD, EMS, disabilities/UDL specialist, tech and innovation leader for education. Co-author of Timeless Learning

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