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Structures Shaping Our Schools

January 25, February 8, February 29, March 14


4-5 p.m.


4 hours CTLE

Facilitator: Jerome A. Steele, CASDA Assistant Director of Research and Program Development

Have you ever wondered how education wound up here? Have you asked why the interests of students and families are often cast in opposition to educators? 


Over the course of four free sessions, we will explore key Supreme Court decisions, legislation and educational research to help us unpack how educators’ teaching conditions and the living and working conditions of our students and families are shaped by similar power structures. We will explore the consequences of landmark judicial decisions such as Brown v. Board of Education, San Antonio v. Rodriguez and Parents Involved v. Seattle. We will also explore key explanatory research from Gintis and Bowles, Michael Apple, Jean Anyon, and Gloria Ladson Billings.


Each session will be based on questions derived from key excerpts of judicial opinions, legislative text, and research articles (all texts will be shared before each session). Our goal is to provide a space for authentic discussion of how educators’ teaching and working conditions were shaped by a deep and complex history that is often ignored in teacher preparation and admin certification programs. Examining this complexity can help educators engage in more informed and nuanced conversations about educational equity and school improvement while challenging our conceptions of what it means for schools to be “successful.”


Learning Objectives:


  • Understand how key judicial and policy decisions shape our educational environment.

  • Develop an awareness of how the living conditions of students and families impact our work in schools. 

  • Sharpen our critical lens so we can participate more actively and effectively in policy decision making going forward.

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