New York City Educational Reform, Then and Now: Charter Schools, Community Control, and the Strike of 1968

Over the past month, I’ve been subbing in charter schools in New York City and writing about the experience. This longer, culminating essay is a messy attempt at historicizing present-day charter school reform, with a discussion of a completely different kind of reform that was briefly on the table in the late 1960s. 


Bird’s-Eye View

In 1968, there were no charter schools in New York City. African American and Puerto Rican youth made up at least one-third of publicly schooled students, though the city’s leading black newspaper, the New York Amsterdam News, reported that number to be closer to one-half of all students.[1]

Racial segregation in the schools in 1968 looked much like it does today, just not as bad. While the state of New York had outlawed de jure segregation back in 1938, no one in the city’s government or private sector did much about it, and by the late 1950s, segregation had climbed to unprecedented levels due to discriminatory real estate practices and municipal policies. Redlining by financiers, restrictive covenants by real estate companies, and selective economic revitalization projects were all designed to coax white people into elite neighborhoods while fencing blacks and Puerto Ricans into the ghetto.[2] The 1960s rolled around, and though the Brown v Board Supreme Court ruling was over a decade old, segregation only got worse due to general indifference by those in power. NYC School Superintendent William Jansen, for example, called housing segregation “accidental” and “natural.”[3]

In New York City, not much was ever done about the fact that exclusively white people were encouraged to move to better neighborhoods — or, later on, presented with the opportunity to expand into black and brown neighborhoods, displace those neighborhoods’ residents, and, finally, attract the city’s financial and commercial investment. Not much was done about the widening racial inequalities that you could see by simply opening your eyes as you crossed from the Upper East Side into “Spanish” Harlem, from Ditmas Park and Flatbush into Brownsville, from the penthouses and hotels of Brooklyn Heights into the projects of Vinegar Hill and Fort Greene. That mass political and cultural inaction gave way to a school system that, today, is marked not only by shockingly elaborate spatial segregation, but that is also essentially a tiered system in which racial and class privilege dictates what kinds of schools your kids get to attend. It’s a double whammy: educational stratification adds insult to the injury of residential apartheid. NYC public schools today educate a student body that is 15 percent white, though some 45 percent of the city’s population is white. 75 percent of public school students receive free or reduced lunch. The city’s eight elite “specialized” public high schools are heavily white and Asian American (at prestigious Stuyvesant HS, for example, black, Latinx and American Indian kids make up a combined 3.41% of the student body), and more than half of the city’s public schools are over 90 percent black and Latinx.[4] To make a long story short, black and brown demographic isolation in public schools is more pronounced today than it ever has been, and the public school system as a whole has more youth of color from poor families than ever before as well.

Demographically, charter schools don’t look much different than public schools. All in all, New York City charters educate a student body that’s roughly 40 percent black, 40 percent Latinx, 10 percent white, 10 percent Asian American. The charters have slightly more students who receive free or reduced lunch as well. Somewhat perversely, this is a point of pride for charters — especially corporate network charters — that want to prove to the public that they are taking on a “diverse” student body and “educating” them better than public school students. It says a lot about the U.S. education system that some schools think it’s a good thing that more and more poor people are attending their schools. Rather than trying to ameliorate economic inequality or spatial segregation, these schools feed off it to justify their own existence. Furthermore, the fact that these charters are predominately black and Latinx would perhaps be worth bragging about if their curricula were at all community- or identity-based, or sociopolitically emancipatory. To the contrary, during my time subbing in charters this past month, I have seen with utter uniformity a suffocatingly white-centric, standardized, rote educational agenda. Moreover I’ve witnessed time and again a harsh disciplinary environment that pathologizes and then criminalizes deviant black and brown behavior, and thrives on “making an example” out of this deviance to enforce mindless compliance by the “good” students. The charter schools I’ve set foot in seem to want to “save” black and brown students by attempting to control them. The idea is that, with enough control, they will learn how to thrive in an anti-black society.

This is what educational injustice looks like from a bird’s-eye view in New York City, and the charter school movement, for all its rhetoric about “choice,” “community,” “independence” and “high standards,” has only exacerbated inequalities by race and class, and in my opinion gender as well, though gendered inequality in its ubiquity within school culture is harder to illuminate statistically. There is no getting around the fact that charters are privatized spaces beholden, first and foremost, to the whims of their funders (who, just like public schools, are chained to strict, standardized performance metrics). They play host to elite corporations in testing, curriculum development, educational consulting and “edtech,” all of which have found a way to profit massively off of poor people and racist policy. They have long waitlists of potential students, which reflects a general if not majoritarian sense that charters are “better schools” than zoned public schools, if only by a hair. Indeed, lots of students who get into these schools do seem to have a better chance of going to college — but at the expense of those millions jammed into public schools whose resources and communities are further jeopardized by the charter movement.

How did we ever decide that charters could “fix” public education in the first place? The first charter schools were only envisioned as progressive pedagogical laboratories in the late 1980s, and were co-opted by corporate educational interests soon thereafter. But that’s nowhere near where or when the thirst for better public schools began. Two decades before state governments began considering charter schools a completely different movement for small public schools unbound to the Department of Education emerged in New York City. Known as “community control,” this movement that has been to some extent forgotten by or completely unknown to educators, public advocates, and well-meaning liberal citizens today. It’s important that we understand this history in order to reflect on how public schooling has always been this bad for some New Yorkers, and how a more radical and socially just program of education once nearly became a reality in neighborhoods presently being taken over by charters.


Political and Cultural Irrelevance

In cities like New York, we have charter schools in part because there is a demand for change in urban communities. New Yorkers, especially those from economically divested neighborhoods, who have only seen politically engineered racial and class segregation worsen through the generations, understand that public schooling is not set up to help them. School-as-gateway-to-success might be part of our national creed, but it’s never been any kind of truth for poor New Yorkers, especially for African Americans or Latinxs. And the charter movement has capitalized on that disenchantment with public schools by claiming to represent educational change after urban schooling has been so dismal for so long.

One way to shatter the illusion that charters represent real change is to revisit a time when a different kind of educational activism set the city afire with possibility. On a day in 1964, fed up with the city’s inaction on segregation, some 400,000 students boycotted school, calling it “Freedom Day.” Rather than attend their racially isolated, materially unequal, culturally irrelevant schools (which were staffed almost entirely by white teachers), black and Latinx students ran their own Freedom Schools that day. It was a gesture of rebellion against a historically white supremacist school system — a system that in decades past had escaped much of the country’s moral outcry as the Jim Crow South took on the brunt of it.

That kind of mass boycott seems unfeasible today given the taboo around skipping school, which comes from the fiction that school is always healthy for all kids. The expectation that kids will go to school to learn, for their own good, has attained such dominance in society that political dissent would seem to have no place in public school settings. Indeed, many professional educators cling dogmatically to the illusion that school and politics have nothing to do with one another. Kids marching against the election and then inauguration of Donald Trump this past winter knew otherwise; it was inspiring to see such dissent take form amongst youth who would not wait for the end of the workweek to show their anger as a multinational real estate tycoon took office on a white nationalist platform. At the same time it was sobering to be reminded that the realest place for political expression, for kids, was not inside of educational institutions but beyond their walls.

This past month I witnessed firsthand the backbreaking irrelevance of many secondary schools’ curricula. Charged with leading a tenth grade science class, I hoped the tranquilizing multiple choice test on moon phases was just a filler for what was normally a riveting, hands-on exploratory class. I was wrong. “We’ve already done this,” students told me throughout the day. At a different school, in a class in which I was supposed to be “team-teaching,” I watched a science teacher lecture her students for fifteen minutes on the Regents-approved definitions of “mutualistic,” “commensalistic” and “parasitic” ecological relationships. The class rushed to copy every word down, afraid that they’d be penalized a class participation grade or a behavioral demerit if they were seen idle. One student struggled with the definitions. “A bird eating another animal,” the teacher repeated, pointing to a multiple choice question that would assess how well he understood the material. “What kind of relationship is that?” The student tried to fit each of the three choices into the scenario. “Parasitic, I guess.” “Good!” the teacher exclaimed, moving on. This robotic, assessment-crazed approach to learning was definitive of most of the schools I went to. Notably, every one of the schools was almost entirely black and Latinx, in poor neighborhoods.

Once, I was brought into an English class and told that the students had already been given the assignment, so all I had to do was “mark down behaviors.” “What’s the assignment?” I asked the teacher who’d led me in. “They have to write five poems. Each must be at least ten lines. They know what they have to do,” she said, as though it were a familiar drill. They had approximately thirty minutes before the poems were due in the absent teacher’s mailbox. When the other teacher left, the kids began to run, shout, and laugh. No one was writing any poems. A security guard heard all the noise out in the hall and came in. I told him what they were supposed to be doing, and he rolled his eyes at the inauthenticity of the assignment. Again, I got the feeling he had seen this before. “All right,” he declared to the class. “We’re gonna make this into a performance space. Who wants to share a poem they wrote.” It was only time I saw any educator that day attempt to foster community in the classroom space. It also struck me that this man, by virtue of the fact that he was constantly having one-on-one conversations with unruly kids, knew the students better than a lot of the teachers did. One of the only black men in a leadership position at that school, technically he represented authority, but since he was usually in the position of granting clemency to “bad” kids, he also represented the defiance of authority. In a way, he had their trust.


Community Control

I imagine majority white-staffed NYC schools in 1967 in majority-black and -brown neighborhoods featured some of the same racial dynamics, born out of housing segregation and employment discrimination but also exacerbated by a lifeless curriculum. That year, black and Puerto Rican activists decided that if public school was ever going to be empowering for their people, they would need to take all personnel and content decisions into their own hands. They were demanding the right to run their own schools, independent of the DOE’s bureaucracy and cultural norms. That summer African Americans and Puerto Ricans in Harlem, the Lower East Side, and Ocean Hill-Brownsville lobbied the city for what came to be known as “community control:” the Board of Ed granted these three neighborhoods their wish, seeing it as an opportunity to shed some of the responsibility for these schools’ low graduation rates and dismal conditions.

To be sure, politicians and bureaucrats in Mayor Lindsay’s administration had no strong feelings either way about letting these neighborhoods take a crack at educational leadership. After all, the city had always turned a blind eye at the institutional racism that plagued its black and Puerto Rican students: why not let them fend for themselves? The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) — NYC’s dominating teachers’ union since the late 1950s — however, stood fiercely against the decision. They understood immediately that community control would undermine white teachers’ autonomy in black and brown neighborhoods. And 98 percent of the teaching force was white.[5]

It’s important to understand, at this juncture, how the dynamics of the civil rights cause had changed. Even as recently as three years beforehand, in 1964, racial segregation was generally accepted as the main problem that made schooling unequal. Our public school classrooms today are awash in nostalgia for a Southern Civil Rights movement that mobilized courageously and somewhat successfully to deliver blows against this manifestation of racial inequality. In the North, however, there were few victories against a culture of apartheid that was always implicit, omnipresent but less so formalized, and by the late 1960s optimism regarding any plans of “integration” had turned cynical. This was how black and Puerto Rican communities came to desire control of their own institutions, rather than continuing to fight futilely for racial mixing in schools, or for normative liberal policy reforms that mostly just granted more funding to city-controlled schools in poor neighborhoods of color. It was not that neighborhoods like Harlem, which lobbied for control of schools like I.S. 201, or Ocean Hill-Brownsville, which briefly gained control of J.H.S. 271, suddenly wanted segregation or separatism. Rather, they wanted black and Puerto Rican self-determination after so many decades of white dictation. If the city wasn’t going to try and desegregate those neighborhoods, then the educational movement for black and Puerto Rican identity would just have to happen in spaces that lacked white students.

The UFT condemned community control by arguing that it was school segregation all over again. Union president Albert Shanker contended that the policy was a “serious step backwards,” as though “people in the community [were] saying ‘We’ve given up on integration.’”[6] Though he was behind on the times, Shanker figured his nod to the Southern Civil Rights Movement (in which he himself had acted, and which he constantly reminded his detractors in order to boost his credibility) would put the union in the moral right. Shanker and other white liberals would continue to cite segregated schools as the main cause of achievement inequalities in New York City throughout their careers; though they were not entirely wrong, they grievously misunderstood segregation as a cause of inequality rather than an effect of white supremacy and class stratification. In the imagination of social and political leaders like Shanker—what many have come to understand as a typical neoconservative sensibility—integrating the schools would fix black and brown underachievement because white kids and their money would descend benevolently on these spaces.[7] Something like what Daniel Patrick Moynihan implied in his “Report on The Negro Family,” Shanker assumed historically underperforming, culturally “deprived” populations could be led to remedy their own “pathological” approach to learning if different cultures marked by stronger family structure and economic prosperity were present. Essentially, poor kids of color could succeed through osmosis if placed in proximity to affluent white kids. Educational leaders who fought stubbornly for integration as the be-all, end-all to social justice were unable to interrogate the implicit racism in these kinds of assumptions.[8]

Of course, teachers and organizers in the UFT did not need to offer any of their own solutions to make their case against community control. They simply turned an issue of historical, institutionalized racism into an issue of workers’ rights and interpersonal race relations. With such a strong white presence in the teaching force, Albert Shanker and the mainline of the union merely had to appeal to the teachers’ own job security to reframe the conflict so reductively that he could shift popular (white) sentiment. For Shanker, community control amounted to “extreme provocation” of teachers that would cut against “professionalism” — namely, if implemented, it would enable any community to hire non-“experts” to teach children.[9] Essentially, he was claiming that white teachers from outside majority-black and -brown communities were more authoritative on kids’ education than those communities’ own residents. That, and the union was terrified that empowering communities of color with managerial decisions would leave white workers vulnerable.

They were right on the latter fear, at least in Ocean Hill-Brownsville. In the spring of 1968, the locally-appointed community board dismissed nineteen teachers and administrators — all but one white — from J.H.S. 271. The OH-B board asserted that these educators would obstruct rather than facilitate Ocean Hill-Brownsville’s culturally sensitive, community-oriented educational agenda. While Shanker and the union grew hoarse with outrage, and plotted organized retaliation, the upstart African American and Puerto Rican neighborhood’s activists prepared to defend their actions. This was real reform: a full, organized rebellion against white power in the city’s educational system. They were taking their children’s education into their own hands.


The Strike, Race and Colorblindness

It was the summer of 1968, and while the rest of the country was embroiled in political and racial tensions, the Ocean Hill-Brownsville (OH-B) neighborhood took the lead on making the struggle for black and Puerto Rican liberation a reality. New York City’s teachers’ union, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), decried that community’s teacher dismissals. UFT president Albert Shanker threatened to shut down all the schools in Brownsville, and the neighborhood’s residents one-upped him by vowing that the OH-B youth would attend Freedom Schools (just like they’d done during the school boycott of 1964). The Negro Teachers Association sided with Ocean Hill-Brownsville, distancing themselves from Shanker’s aggressive words. The conflict reached crisis mode at the beginning of the 1968-69 school year, when some 90 percent of NYC’s teachers struck against the city. The strike dragged on until the middle of November.

In the rhetorical arena, Shanker tried to make Ocean Hill-Brownsville a race issue — and he did it by rarely mentioning race explicitly but always evoking it through coded language. He called OH-B activists “extremists” and repeatedly asserted that the OH-B board was “threatening” not only teachers’ jobs but their safety as well.[10] He found an anti-semitic poem that had been written by an anonymous student, and had it read over public radio to play up the black-Jewish tensions that had marred the city for decades (most of NYC’s teachers were Jewish, and understood the public schools’ cultural assimilationist tendencies in a more sanguine light). And he was eager to mention the involvement of the Black Panthers in the OH-B campaign so as to activate white fears based on how they imagined the Panthers to be exclusively violent in their community activism.[11] Of course, they weren’t, just as Ocean Hill-Brownsville’s educational uprising was entirely peaceful.

Ironically, community control was in fact a racial issue, but for much more deeply-seated reasons. After all, a white-led school district and teaching force had imposed white cultural and epistemic norms on majority-black and -Puerto Rican communities like Ocean Hill-Brownsville for as long as the schools had been open. With their assertion of community control, black parents and activists had decided that they wouldn’t stand for such racism. The union twisted OH-B’s motivations, making “racism” about the black and brown dismissal of white teachers (i.e., job security), rather than about the Euro-American whitewashing of knowledge and culture in schools. Essentially, Shanker and the union doubled down on the normalization of white supremacy in school content and personnel: if white leadership and curricula were normal, then any push by people of color for educational power could be reductively read as racist against white personnel. Finally, the fact that Shanker deployed a colorblind analysis of the issue — it was not about white people or black people but simply about what was best for all the kids — made it easy for his white supporters to claim that educational oppression was never about race.

In the United States, and especially in places like New York City, colorblind analyses of school success ask us to believe that any kid can thrive in school and grow up to pursue their professional dreams as long as they do as they’re told and as long as their teachers and schools make the grade. That narrative glosses over the reality of racial inequalities in the curricular standards, while simultaneously forcing us to believe that school is where individual success is made or thwarted. Charter schools tend to use colorblind logic while also appealing to a liberal sensibility about historical racial inequalities: they ask us to believe that their corporate, standardized teaching practices can teach all kids how to be successful, but they also garner liberal sympathies by reminding us that poor kids of color have always been denied opportunity in the U.S.  Normal public schools generally sell us the same story: good urban schooling is for “social justice,” yet justice is achieved through standardized testing and suffocating behavioral norms. Egregiously, charters argue that they should be allowed to correct social inequalities by expanding in cities at the expense of public school funding and space. This is a mark of neoliberalism: the institutional appeal to equality and social justice, supposedly executed through privatization and “colorblind” (white) practices.

By contrast, community control, in the late 1960s, attempted to achieve social justice through a local, public educational program (schools run by the actual community) and by dismantling white supremacy (amending the standardized curriculum, getting rid of white teachers who claimed not to see race). There was nothing extreme about this reform; the community merely proposed to make school relevant for its own kids. Eventually community control was defeated as Albert Shanker and the union forced the city to de-localize school administration (Ocean Hill-Brownsville became part of a larger district with centralized authority). For the time being, job protections remained in place for white teachers, but over the next twenty years they, too, would be eroded by the country’s heavy emphasis on school standardization and accountability.

Ultimately, Shanker and the union helped defeat a grassroots movement that they would have been better served to join forces with. Indeed, to their own detriment, white teachers chose to antagonize a racial justice movement, rather than think of how their causes might be one and the same.


Lessons Learned: School, Unions and the Struggle

 Charter schools and community control have nothing to do with one another, and that is the point. Whereas community control was a promising, grassroots reform to public schooling, charters not only fail to empower local communities but have been twisted politically into a fundamentally conservative approach to school reform. When Betsy DeVos and other proponents of school privatization argue that more charters and vouchers will give parents more “choice,” they are banking on the public’s general dissatisfaction with urban schools, but proposing to change nothing about that model, including how students are assessed, what classrooms look like, how often kids get to leave the building, and what success means. They ask philanthropists, politicians and taxpayers for the resources to build new schools that are slightly more exclusive (though they draw from the same demographics) and just as oppressive for young people. The charter model helps some get to college, and otherwise makes it a bit harder for everyone else.

One morning in May of this year I walked into a charter school in Brownsville. Two white men in bright colored business attire, ostensibly the school’s principals, greeted me at the door, and suddenly I felt less out of place as one of the only white faces there. It was odd to be entering a school that was almost 100 percent black and Latinx, staffed mostly by white men and women in their twenties, in a neighborhood that had been mostly African American and Puerto Rican since the 1950s but was now quickly becoming white due to the meteoric rise of Brooklyn rent. Some of my white friends lived in Brownsville. But where were all the white kids?

I was placed in an eighth grade math class, and was told to teach an algebra lesson. I went over the problems on the students’ worksheet, and the kids rushed through the motions—this was way too easy for them. As the day dragged on, the students got more and more impatient with the content, and with me, their substitute teacher, so I dropped the whole-class lesson and just let them work in groups. I went around striking up conversation, asking the students what they thought of their school. “It’s a prison,” someone said. “Rikers Island,” another blurted. “We’re forced to come, but nobody wants to be here.” When it got loud in the room, another teacher would poke her head inside, and everyone would shush immediately. I asked one of the students why everyone had gotten so quiet so quickly. “She would suspend you in a minute,” he said.

During the course of my time as a substitute, I constantly asked the students if they thought their charter school was better than the public school alternatives. Their responses were somewhat cryptic. Generally it seemed that they felt lucky to be at a charter school, and at the same time, they regretted that they had to do it. One student explained that “charters pretend they’re better than public schools, but really all schools are the same.” When I asked her to go further, she repeated her peers’ prison comparisons. Another student told me, incomprehensibly, that his was “a good school, but the kids ruin it.” One high school senior told me it was a privilege to be able to attend a charter school in Bushwick because “otherwise I would have had to attend my zoned school.” I asked him where that was. Brownsville, he replied.

Although charter schools are not improving the way public education is run, we don’t need the story of Ocean Hill-Brownsville’s 1968 bid for educational autonomy to know that the public school system is racist and intellectually stagnant. We can look to worsening housing segregation and racist zoning practices to see that both public and charter schools only accommodate a geography of inequality. School-based attempts at reorganizing people tend to privilege families who have the ability to navigate bureaucracy (such as when charters hold lotteries for which “anyone” can register). Often these reforms ask black and brown families to deliver their kids to “better” white schools, thereby preserving the racist implication that it is African American and Latinx environments that are problematic. All the while, the myth that school paves the way to individual success is never interrupted or historicized.

To see through the meritocratic lie, one must merely take a brief glimpse at rising economic inequalities combined with the impending catastrophe of climate change and the global normalcy of perpetual war and mass displacement. I am not trying to instill in the reader a sense of doom so much as I am arguing that we need to stop imagining that “better” schooling means more individual economic empowerment. Rather, if we want school to be better for citizens of this world, it must be premised on creating a better world together. Ocean Hill-Brownsville sought to do this by focusing on justice for a historically marginalized black and brown community—fundamentally a project of equity and a rebellion against white supremacy and free market racial capitalism. Schools today can start by scrapping the idea that students earn grades based on how hard they work individually; furthermore they can drop the damaging notion that education is for future success (i.e., college, a job) rather than for present-day justice, peace and sustainability. School must be about the community and the world right now than about the individual in five, ten or twenty years.

The United Federation of Teachers is still around today, and though the power of unions has declined consistently over the past half-century, the UFT continues to have a major presence in city labor organizing, just as its umbrella organization, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), remains influential in the national picture. Unlike its strategy in 1968, the UFT must find a way to join coalitions of grassroots activism in the city’s communities of color in order to truly pose a threat to power. The first step to doing so, admittedly, is convincing unionized educators that power is still unequal by race, class and gender in the public school system, and that it will take more than good salaries and due process of personnel decisions to achieve social justice. On the whole, labor unions in education need to be challenging standardization, corporate control and punitive accountability not merely because it threatens teachers’ livelihoods but because these practices are only contributing to a mechanistic, viciously unequal society. Simply put, teachers who desire change need an analysis of power that goes beyond the diatribes of the faculty lounge. It’s the only way school might once again become relevant in the larger struggle.



[1] Podair, Jerald E. The Strike That Changed New York: Blacks, Whites, and the Ocean Hill-Brownsville Crisis. New Haven [Conn.] ; London: Yale University Press, 2002; Perlstein, Daniel H. Justice, Justice: School Politics and the Eclipse of Liberalism. New York: P. Lang, 2004. Both Podair and Perlstein claim one-third of New York City’s students were black or Puerto Rican, though the New York Amsterdam News reported “a school system where pupils are one-half Negro of Puerto Rican.” Marietta J. Tanner, “The Community Conscious.” 11 Nov 1967. The New York Amsterdam News, 6.

[2] Massey, Douglas S., and Nancy A. Denton. American apartheid: Segregation and the making of the underclass. Harvard University Press, 1993. See also Podair, ch. 1.

[3] Glass, Michael R., 2016. “A Series of Blunders and Broken Promises: IS 201 as a Turning Point.” The Gotham Center for New York City History. Retrieved at:; see also, Biondi, Martha. To Stand and Fight. Harvard University Press, 2009.

[4] Saxena, Suchi, 2016. “New York City Public Schools: Small Steps in the Biggest District.” The Century Foundation. Retrieved at:

[5] For a thorough history of the New York City community control movement, read Podair, The Strike That Changed New York, and Perlstein, Justice, Justice, as well as Perrillo, Jonna. Uncivil Rights: Teachers, Unions, and Race in the Battle for School Equity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.

[6] Albert Shanker, Letter to Members, 5 September 1968. Box 1, Folder 5, Anne Filardo Papers on Rank and File Activism in the American Federation of Teachers and in the United Federation of Teachers, 1968-2001. Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Archives, New York University, New York, NY; Albert Shanker interview, 1988. “Eyes on the Prize II.” Washington University Libraries, Film and Media Archive, Henry Hampton Collection. St. Louis, MO. Found online at:

[7] for thorough discussion of neoconservative political evolution, see MacLean, Nancy. Freedom is not enough: The opening of the American workplace. Harvard University Press, 2008

[8] On the implicit racism in racial integration as a fix for achievement gaps, see Bell, Derrick A. Silent Covenants: Brown V. Board of Education and the Unfulfilled Hopes for Racial Reform. New York ; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004; Ladson-Billings, Gloria. 2006. “From the Achievement Gap to the Education Debt: Understanding Achievement in U.S. Schools.” Educational Researcher, 2006. 3. JSTOR Journals, EBSCOhost; Fine, M. & Cross, W. (2016). “”Critical race, psychology, and social policy: Refusing damage, cataloging oppression, and documenting desire.” in Alvarez, A. N., Liang, C. T., & Neville, H. A. (2016). The cost of racism for people of color: Contextualizing experiences of discrimination. American Psychological Association.

[9] Shanker Letter to Members, 5 Sept 1968On the discourse of professionalism, see D’Amico, Diana. “Teachers’ Rights versus Students’ Rights: Race and Professional Authority in the New York City Public Schools, 1960-1986.” American Educational Research Journal 53, no. 3 (June 1, 2016): 541-572. ERIC, EBSCOhost (accessed January 30, 2017).

[10] Albert Shanker debate with John Doar, 6 Nov 1968. United Teacher. “Shanker Debates Doar.” Albert Shanker Records. Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. Found online at:

[11] Perlstein, 2004


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