Sunday, March 10, 2013

Monday Interview - Poverty, Public Education, and Corporate Influence

Join me Monday, March 11th, for a live and interactive conversation with Paul Thomas on his book Ignoring Poverty in the U.S.: The Corporate Takeover of Public Education.

In the book, Paul "examines the divide between a commitment to public education and our cultural myths and more powerful commitment to consumerism and corporate America," and it attempts to "confront the growing misinformation about the interplay among poverty, public schools, and what schools can accomplish while political and corporate leadership push agendas aimed at replacing public education..."

Paul's strong critique of the framing of and the influences on discussions of education ultimately calls for a recognition of the "human potentiality" of all children, and for humane teachers (quoting Ralph Ellison) "who can convey to [students] an awareness that they do indeed come from somewhere, some place of human value, and that what they've learned there does count in the larger society." The contrast with our current narrative of individual achievement, ignoring the incredible barriers and influences on the lives of students, is stark.

Date: Monday, March 11th, 2013
Time: 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern (international times here)
Duration: 1 hour
Location: In Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Elluminate). Log in at The Blackboard Collaborate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early. To make sure that your computer is configured for Blackboard Collaborate, please visit the support and configuration page.
Recording:  A full Blackboard Collaborate recording is at and an audio mp3 recording is at and at after the show.
Mightybell:  A Mightybell space with interview resources and to continue the conversation is at

P. L. Thomas, Associate Professor of Education (Furman University, Greenville SC), taught high school English in rural South Carolina before moving to teacher education. He is currently a column editor for English Journal (National Council of Teachers of English) and series editor for Critical Literacy Teaching Series: Challenging Authors and Genres (Sense Publishers), in which he authored the first volume--Challenging Genres: Comics and Graphic Novels (2010). Additional recent books include Parental Choice?: A Critical Reconsideration of Choice and the Debate about Choice (Information Age Publishing, 2010) and 21st Century Literacy: If We Are Scripted, Are We Literate? (Springer, 2009) co-authored with Renita Schmidt. He maintains a blog addressing the role of poverty in education: His teaching and scholarship focus on literacy and the impact of poverty on education, as well as confronting the political dynamics influencing public education in the U.S. Follow his work @plthomasEdD and Radical Scholarship.
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