Many people cling to the ideal of “the school” as the great equalizer, a place where Americans are made and equal opportunity is realized. Meritocracy, where kids excel or fail based on brains and drive alone, is alive and well. Yes, these people argue, there are some kids that aren’t thriving in school, but it’s their fault—they, their families, or their culture don’t value education, or maybe they simply don’t have enough grit.
This understanding is not only inaccurate but dangerous. “The school” has been and continues to be an agent in oppression. Throughout history, each time communities of color have made progress toward equal educational opportunity, a major societal push-back has caused the losses of gains that appeared won. And the struggle to regain lost ground and move ahead continues. How can we make real progress? History has some answers.
Dr. Joy Williamson-Lott, professor of education, will present "New Hurdles, Same Territory: How History Can Guide the Future of Education" as part of the UW Graduate School's public lecture series.
Registration opens in December 2016. This event is free and open to the public. To ensure seating, you must register in advance.