"I teach my neighbors' kids" - Jeff Duncan-Andrade

Communities and schools can transform themselves if schools focus on supporting kids and families instead of manufacturing credentials. In many places that means healing trauma and building deep ties, as Jeff Duncan-Andrade has been doing for more than 18 years in Oakland CA.

Homeschoolers fought legal battles and child welfare authorities across the country. Many people from many different backgrounds homeschool to help their kids.   Community school activists may be able to change more than they know if they stay focused, like Jeff Duncan-Andrade, on the kids and what the kids and families need.

From the video:
"The radical disconnect between the intensity of those experiences in the lives of urban youth, and the kinds of things we are focused on attempting to teach them and measure around is so ridiculous , the ways in which we approach schooling in this country, with ... poor kids in urban environments would never be tolerated for middle class or wealthy children. Never. I cannot imagine a scenario whereby Columbine, the day after the shootings, is like ... back to the books! come on we've got a big state test tomorrow! .... I can't even imagine that at Columbine. And neither can anyone else. ... But ... That's what we do everyday ... that's what we do everyday in urban schools all over this country. Everybody knows the level of violence that is  going on in communities and everyday it's business as usual in most classrooms, in most schools  ... and no one would tolerate for their kids if they actually felt like they had the power, political, social, economics to prevent it. ... It's so normalized. That its almost like no one even thinks to question it."  
"It is pedagogically impossible [to push ahead with the curriculum] ... urban schools are not failing, they are doing what they are designed to do. ... It is system and its a quasi-caste system. .... What's the purpose? ... pass the test or give kids a set of skills that will help them in their lives ... and help them pass the test. " 
"A total curriculum redesign start with the stuff that has real material significance to young people's lives .... So ... figure out what's really important in young people's lives and start there. ... Every lesson you need to teach ... emerges wonderfully out of student experience, real life lived experience."
Jeff Andrade Duncan on Education "I teach my neighbors' kids" - YouTube:




Roses In Concrete
"Our country is at risk of losing an entire generation of young people in urban centers who feel trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty, violence, hopelessness and despair.  Rather than continually investing in models that try to save the “deserving few” who can escape from these communities, we need solutions that can help the vast majority overcome these toxic conditions to become the responsible and productive adults that will eliminate those conditions.  By creating a sustainable community, centered around a school that gives students and families security, nourishment, care, and education, we can create a model of success and revitalization that reverses decades of disinvestment.  Instead of cultivating one rose that grows in concrete, we aim to break up the concrete so that an entire rose garden can blossom in our highest need neighborhoods."



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