I am currently reading the new book by Oakes, Rogers, & Lipton called "Learning Power," which does an excellent job framing the rethinking that I see as necessary if the U.S. is move toward a universal right to a quality education. The book, like the piece to be presented at the conference by Oakes, Rogers, and Blasi, takes on the task of describing what the above-mentioned 'larger effort' might look like. Once we embrace the idea of a social movement to push for educational rights, other work comes into sharper focus. Those of us who are engaged in litigation or research or legislation or funding can align our efforts to a movement's goals and
Each policy decision is made within a context that policy-makers are very aware of. They know, based on that context, which policies are feasible and which are not. Lawsuits and court mandates help to shape that context, as do a variety of other forces -- the local ethos and beliefs and history and finances, as well as national trends, research, etc. But no equity-minded policy will long survive without a constituency with the political power to be effectively heard and heeded.
My background/perspective: I am an attorney and a professor of education at the University of Colorado. Much of my research has examined the process of equity-minded school reform. What policies are initiated, and why? How does the implementation process proceed, and why? How do educational policies and practices play out in the real world of schools, given imbalances in power and knowledge?
See you all next week.