Listen up: New podcast tackles systemic racism in schools

Topics include school funding, diversity in the education workforce and testing inequities
By: | September 30, 2020
Education leaders on the "Testing America’s Freedom,” podcast will examine policies, and practices that have exacerbated racial inequities in schools. (GettyImages/Terry Vine)Education leaders on the "Testing America’s Freedom,” podcast will examine policies, and practices that have exacerbated racial inequities in schools. (GettyImages/Terry Vine)
Aaliyah Samuel

Aaliyah Samuel

A new podcast that examines systemic racism in America’s schools will detail strategies superintendents and their teams can deploy to build equity in education, its creators say.

“Testing America’s Freedom,” produced the testing nonprofit NWEA, will feature education leaders discussing the laws, policies, and practices that have exacerbated racial inequities in schools.

Host Aaliyah Samuel and her guests will cover school funding, diversity in the education workforce and testing inequities, among other topics.

“Inequities within our public education system do not exist by accident, they are the result of carefully orchestrated policies that used tools like school funding, divestment and testing to perpetuate achievement and outcome gaps for students of color,” says Samuel, NWEA’s executive vice president of government affairs and partnerships.


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“Although the past may be grim, as educational leaders, we have the opportunity to use these same tools to reimagine systems of learning and teaching so we can construct a more equitable future,” Samuel says.

The five episodes are:

  1. Testing America’s freedom
  2. School funding: The real challenge in achieving educational equity
  3. What’s race got to do with It? Everything.
  4. The missing summative: What does it mean for the future of assessment?
  5. Paving the way for an equitable future: Words of wisdom from the next generation of leaders

Guests of the podcast include, among others:

  • Lea Austin, co-director of Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at The University of California Berkeley
  • Wayne D. Lewis Jr., dean of the School of Education at Belmont University
  • Daniel Thatcher, senior fellow for education finance policy at the National Conference of State Legislatures
  • Thomas Toch, director of FutureEd
  • Jason Willis, area director for strategic resource planning & implementation at WestEd

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