HEJE Overview 10-16-17

DSO: Today we review four long-form pieces, focusing on one per area: Healthcare (Why Medicare for All means freedom); Environment (A just rebuilding in the wake of Harvey, Irma, and Maria); Justice (How Chicago gets a few of its guns); Education (The demise of Midwestern flagship Research I universities).

Selections from Jacobin (Healthcare), The Center for American Progress (Environment), ProPublica Illinois (Justice), and The Atlantic (Education).

Oh, and a bonus piece in “Health” (courtesy Mother Jones) on the opioid epidemic as it plays out on a daily basis in northeastern Ohio.

Enjoy! Continue reading “HEJE Overview 10-16-17”


HEJE Overview 10-14-17

Is Anybody Still Listening?

As a citizen, voter, and human being, I am writing this message to anybody who’s still listening to express my grave concern over a great many issues arising in the past few weeks/days/hours.

These include—but are not limited to—the following. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 10-14-17”

HEJE Overview 10-8-17: Education

Structural Racism within and outside the Classroom


These deeper parts (of the system) are the mental models and values of people perpetuating the system ― the rules that govern our districts and how dollars are allocated are created from the mental models of our region’s leaders. These are the racial biases we have about sending our children to school with kids who don’t look like us or the worries voiced about children being bused to our neighborhoods when their schools are failing. Without understanding the system structure that creates these problems in the first place, we will forever be addressing the events we can see and rarely solving the problem that causes them.

Saras Chung, “Segregated Schools in St. Louis are not an Accident”

The “deeper parts” of this system are everywhere, provided we’re willing to open our eyes and look around us. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 10-8-17: Education”

HEJE Overview 9-30-17: Education

If you think U.S. schools are integrated, think again


They said they didn’t intend to hurt the people on the other side of the highway. For them, it wasn’t about race, or even class. Instead, they said they wanted to protect the high standards of their schools and give their children the best chance for a good education.”

—“Bridging the Divide”, a Baltimore Sun series on school desegregation

It’s always about something other than “race” or “class”. And when people make this explicit, you always know it’s precisely about race and class.

Today we begin what we hope to turn into a regular series on the re-segregation and non-integration of the U.S. K-12 public schools. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 9-30-17: Education”

HEJE Overview 9-19-17: Education, New Orleans version


Successful reform must also support school improvement in ways that ultimately create a set of schools that are worth choosing, in which every child will choose and be chosen by the schools that meet their needs. That system has not yet been created in New Orleans. Time will tell whether it can be developed. It is likely that acknowledging the realities of the experiences of the most vulnerable children is a necessary first step in that direction.”

–Stanford Center for Opportunity in Education, Report on NOLA, 2015

Today we focus on the school system of New Orleans (NOLA), how it was radically “reformed” following Hurricane Katrina, and what the results have been telling us about public—and not-so-public—education.

There are lessons here for Houston, which may or may not be needed—or heeded. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 9-19-17: Education, New Orleans version”

HEJE Overview 9-18-17: In the Wake of Harvey and Irma


“Those elites who deny the existence of climate change are the same ones who refuse to see the pervasive inequality underlying these disasters. After all, capitalism combined with structural racism is exactly what drives inequality and environmental injustices. Vulnerable communities pay a disproportionate price for climate-related disasters, just as they do in other aspects of life.”

–Sonali Kolhatkar, “Demanding Climate Justice in Hurricanes’ Wake”

Today’s HEJE Overview looks at the health/healthcare, environmental (air, water, land), and yes, educational impacts from the two recent hurricanes, Harvey and Irma. Inevitably, separate topics bleed into one another, and there’s plenty of (in)justice everywhere one looks. Climate disasters serve to bring into very, very high relief the inequities in healthcare, environment, and education across the U.S. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 9-18-17: In the Wake of Harvey and Irma”

HEJE Overview 9-8-17: Education


The average ACT score at Gardendale High School is a 19; the average student entering Alabama has a 26. We’re not talking about trying to get our kids into a super-elite school like Vanderbilt or Emory. We’re worried that they won’t have the opportunities we had.”

–David Salters, a parent of four, resident of Gardendale, Alabama

Assignment for a grad-level seminar in the history of U.S. education (policy): Discuss the above statement from an historical, sociological, and economic point of view.

Today’s links and comments

The Secretary of Education officially announces she’ll rewrite the policy for universities to investigate sexual harassment cases; beware the Public Policy Institute if you care about public education; Michael Klonsky remembers Illinois’ constitutional ban on public funds for private religious schools; the resegregation of U.S. schools; results of charterization and privatization in Arizona come home to roost;  the long and painful demise of St. Louis’ public schools, and more. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 9-8-17: Education”