(FRONT PAGE MAG) – Department of Education officials were embarrassed recently when it was revealed by multiples sources that a guide it had made available to more than 13,000 school districts to help schools reopen in the wake of Covid 19, “ED COVID-19 HANDBOOK: Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs,” included a link to a radical education organization, the Abolitionist Teaching Network (ATN).
Bettina Love, University of Georgia professor and a founder of the ATN, has been very clear that modest modifications in the schools will be insufficient for the type of change she desires, that an entire dismantling of the racist system she and her fellow travelers believe created and controls public education must take place. “We are not interested in reform or small measures that do not target the root of the problem,” she said, “which is racism and ‘whiteness’ that is deeply embedded within education.”
In her 2019 book, We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom, Love revealed that, in her mind, racism was systemic, destructive, and endemic in schools, and that disruptive steps have to be taken to tear down the old system and replace it with a new, post-racial one. “To even begin to attack our destructive and punitive educational system,” she wrote, “pedagogies that promote social justice must . . . help educators understand and recognize America and its schools as spaces of Whiteness, White rage, and White Supremacy, all of which function to terrorize students of color.”
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