This is a really fun interview with Chris Saldana of NEPC, in which we talk about the important education issues of our time.

I think you will enjoy it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Publication Announcement

NEPC’s June Education Interview of the Month: Teacher Strikes, Philanthropy, and Public Education


NEPC Education Interview of the Month is a great teaching resource; engaging drive-time listening; and 30 minutes of high-quality policy information for educators, community members, policymakers, and anyone interested in education.

NEPC Publication
NEPC Resources on Privatization

William J. Mathis:
(802) 383-0058

Christopher Saldaña:
(303) 492-2566
TwitterEmail Address

BOULDER, CO (June 16, 2020) – In this month’s NEPC Education Interview of the Month, NEPC Researcher Christopher Saldaña interviews Diane Ravitch, research professor of education at New York University and the co-founder of the Network for Public Education, about her new book, Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools.

In Slaying Goliath, Ravitch argues that the effect of the most recent teacher strikes was to change the narrative about K-12 public education in the United States. She explains that where educational policy had become fixed on the idea of high-stakes accountability and school choice, teacher strikes shifted the policy conversation toward reforms such as smaller classes that center on the needs of children.

Ravitch believes the teacher strikes, along with the COVID-19 pandemic, have highlighted the importance of K-12 public schools and the need for adequate school funding. The importance of schools, Ravitch argues, is evidenced in the role schools and teachers have played both historically and during the pandemic, from supporting parents during distance learning to ensuring that children have adequate food and shelter during the crisis. Ravitch does caution, however, that the pandemic will open policy opportunities for advocates of privatizing public schools, particularly those interested in expanding the role of technology in classrooms.

Nevertheless, Ravitch remains hopeful that K-12 public schools will come out stronger in the aftermath of the pandemic. She encourages philanthropists to shift their priorities away from funding their agendas to funding the agenda of communities – for instance, returning the arts to schools, reducing class size, eradicating the school-to-prison pipeline, and expanding mental health resources. She also encourages federal policymakers to return educational policymaking to the principles of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, whose purpose was to provide additional resources for America’s most vulnerable children.