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Rethinking Public Schools: Education, Immigration, and Economic Development

5th Annual TRED Conference 
November 18 and 19, 2016
New Bedford Whaling Museum
18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, Mass.

Hosted by the Doctoral Students of the Department of Educational Leadership

Conference Registration

Jonathan Kozol

Keynote speaker: Jonathan Kozol

Public education is a human right needed for a healthy democracy as well as social and cognitive justice. Around the world, public education has the potential to be the largest and most brilliant political device undertaken by government as a way to foster public welfare.

However, it has been assaulted from various sectors of society unable to solve the major social ills that affect urban areas, resulting in dropouts, school-to-prison pipeline, high levels of poverty, and overt social inequalities, including racism, genderism, and classism.

As a victim of disastrous set of social policies, public education appears to be the only solid answer for millions of working poor and economically disadvantaged, as a way to address the harsh cultural and economic challenges. This isolates public education from symbiotic and/or parasitic relationships that it has with other social issues and policies.

Through education reform policies, public education has been married to economic policy as a mechanism to produce 21st century workers for the global market. This market is framed by globalization that comes with a host of social issues which have displaced and exploited populations.

The global consequences of these economic policies are left unaddressed despite their local impact. Immigration is changing the terrain of public education, especially in urban and rural areas.  Immigration is political, social, economic, and cultural; therefore, it too is prone to the neoliberal globalization attacks that impede public democracy.

Globalization exposes public education, teachers, educators, and social activists to a new challenge, which is educating people for a society that desperately needs to be reimagined so it may work for social and cognitive justice within vibrant democracies.

It is these social questions and challenges that this year’s TRED conference, “Rethinking Public Schools: Education, Immigration, and Economic Development,” aims to address by providing a public space for educational researchers and practitioners to engage in critical and transformative dialogues to rethink the role of public education in the light of immigration and economic development.

What is the ideological color of policies that have strengthened the nexus between public education and economic development?

How will such nexus be able to break the community-school cycle of inequality and poverty?

How can civic and political participation address this wrangle?

To what extent can the rethinking of public education and its nexus with immigration and economic development pave the way for an alternative political economy of K-12 and higher education?  

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TRED (Transformative Research Educators for Democracy)
Through this conferences and our community and school engagements, TRED aims to address public issues in educational policies and practices that are both local and global. We hope that you will encourage fellow colleagues, students, and community members to attend this event. 

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