The Graduates – They’ve lived education reform, and now they want a different way forward.

Source: The Urbanite | Author: Michael Corbin | Date of original publication: September, 2011

Michael Corbin of the Baltimore Urbanite reports on the emergence of “Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle” (LBS).  The LBS prepared a 46-page position paper that called for the reinvigoration of vocational education programs and a curriculum explicitly focused on community building.  They proposed a curriculum that is centered on the cultural resources of the kids in public schools. LBS leaders told district CEO Andreas Alonso that that they had firsthand experience with the flaws of  education reform.  Alonso replied that the young leaders weren’t seeing the big picture.  Wrong answer!  The system’s leader did not need to agree with these young people, but he should not have squandered the opportunity to listen to reflective citizens who have “lived education reform.”  Administrators in central offices, especially, need to remain in touch with the feelings of students.  As one LBS leader explained her experience,  “Reform meant calling some schools failures. What they were really doing is calling kids who lived there failures.”

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