Crossing the Rubicon: Choices and Consequences in the Contested Space of Urban Education

full name / name of organization: 
J. Christian Watts/ Jack and Jill Politics
contact email: 

I am an Editorial Fellow for a national, long-established African American blog with a wide and diverse readership. Currently I am seeking new voices for an education series. The focus of the series, set to begin mid-January and will run on consecutive Sundays through March 2013, will be Education in Contested Space. That space may be economic, political, cultural, linguistic, societal, etc. However, the disparate forces pushing and pulling our educational system and our limited, ever-shrinking educational budgets is of great interest. Pay particular attention to the idea of resistance to educational advancement, how we navigate this space, and how the voices of change, i.e. Michelle Rhee and the "School Choice," are not always what they appear to be.

As part of being selected to write, there will be new media opportunities accompanying your contribution – an interview, video, or audio depending on availability and timing, opportunities for radio and streaming chats with audience participation, etc. This is a chance to grow your profile and to begin speaking to different types of groups about an area for which you feel passionate.

A little guidance and some of my own perspective:

The most often repeated memes of public education are:

• Education is broken
• Educational choice equals better education/better educational access
• Charter Schools are a positive force
• Private use of public money is an acceptable tradeoff
• Teachers Unions are a hindrance to successful reform
• The business model of education works and/or is desirable

It is my contention that all of those memes, with the possible exception of a broken system, are fallacies of privilege, of misguided, racialized, or ultimately exploitive/corrupt conservative policy. But that is simply my opinion. It is informed by my experience as an educator in both public and private schools, as a graduate student and doctoral candidate. What I seek for the series is other perspectives. I am looking for strong voices with definite opinions. One of the benefits of being a Fellow, and of the space for which I work, is that we have the room to make these kinds of arguments in creative ways. So think outside the box, be as wonky or as aggressive as you wish. We are looking to expand this discussion and make our case, your case, and ultimately the case for how education is and should proceed.

Submit proposal or finished pieces, both with CV. We're looking for unique and/or experienced voices. This opportunity is open for Graduate/Professional Students, Adjunct Faculty, Public or Private school teachers k-12, Assistant and Full Professors. If you have a voice and something powerful to say, we want to hear it.

All Submissions Electronic
J. Christian Watts at

Submissions in MLA Style

Max word count around 3500 (but if you have a longer case to make we are flexible)

Indicate whether you are available for podcasts, interviews, video, or audio contributions on top of your submission

Deadline for proposals Dec 18, 2012

Deadline for finished pieces Jan 02, 2013