Renowned educator Gloria Ladson Billings who mainstreamed the idea of culturally responsive pedagogy doesn’t talk about the so-called achievement gap. She talks about the education debt, and she’s right to do so. What is owed to the schools and the communities that have been historically and deliberately divested and marginalized? I don’t have an answer to that question, but I believe that’s the conversation we need to be having and the work we need to be doing.
Almost all future episodes of this podcast are going to focus on individual schools and communities, and the unique aspects of their history, place, and context. But before we get there, it’s important we spend some time unpacking the historical foundations of our public schools in North Carolina.
Having a fuller understanding of the foundations of our schools in the past changes how we approach solutions today. It changes the conversations we have, the questions we ask, and the actions we take as a result. This week, we’re going to take a look at the intentional inequities baked into the foundations of North Carolina Public Schools. Where did they come from? How did they start? And most importantly, how do we use our unique identities right now in order to build coalitions that seek to see, understand, and interrupt business as usual.
This episode features guests David Zucchino, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the book Wilmington's Lie, Ann McColl President and co-founder of the Innovation Project of North Carolina, and Courtney Parker West, a leadership development coach, racial equity trainer, and community organizer. She’s also my wife and partner. I hope you’ll join me as we continue this journey of learning and unlearning.