Episode 29: The White Progressive’s Dilemma

In this episode, we speak to Zachary Wright about his recent article on how the idea of a “good” school can simply be code for a school that serves a rich, white community. You’ll learn about the socioeconomic factors that influence school rating, the dilemma that progressive white parents face when choosing a school for their kids, and why parents need to reassess their concept of a “good” school. Zachary Wright, a national finalist for the United States Department of Education’s School Ambassador Fellowship is an assistant professor of practice at Relay Graduate School of Education serving Philadelphia and Camden. Prior to that, he was the 12th-grade world literature and AP literature teacher at Mastery Charter School Shoemaker Campus for the last eight years, teaching the school’s first eight graduating classes. Over his more than 10 years in Philadelphia classrooms, he was named Philadelphia’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 2013 and has participated in the fight for equal education funding by testifying before Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission as well as in the state house rotunda in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. [spp-player url=http://traffic.libsyn.com/voices4ed/29_-_Education_Post_-_White_Progressives_Dilemma.mp3] [spp-tweet tweet="“I think it's important for my children to know that there is a world larger than them- that they do not make up the entirety of the system, even though the system is built to accomodate them more than anyone else.” – Zach Wright"]

Episode Details:

  • The school choice dilemma for white progressives
  • Should families be allowed to choose where to send their kids to school?
  • Why test scores and graduation rates don’t tell you everything about school performance
  • Why parents need to reassess their concept of a “good” school

Links Mentioned:

[spp-tweet tweet="“I can talk a really good progressive game. I can talk a really good equity game, racial game, anti-racist game– all these things and make choices for my family which perpetuates every single one of these systems of injustice. And I don't know what is right and what is wrong in that situation because I have a responsibility as a father to do what is ‘best’ for my children.” – Zach Wright"]