Professor to Talk Nov. 7 About Reform Efforts' Impact on Inclusive Education System

Wayne Au
University of Washington Bothell

Wayne Au

Wayne Au, an editorial board member of Rethinking Schools and associate professor of education at the University of Washington Bothell, will speak at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at the University of Arkansas about the impact of reform on communities of color. He will speak in Giffels Auditorium in Old Main.

The title of Au's talk is "Hollow Equity: How Current Education Reform Efforts Hurt Communities of Color (and what we can do about it)." It is free and open to the public. The College of Education and Health Professions is sponsoring the event.

"Dr. Au's lecture will help the campus and community in terms of establishing a vision for education that is inclusive and to keep in mind when making tweaks, changes or reforms that those actions sometimes can have a negative impact on communities of color," said Chris Goering, an associate professor of English education who is organizing the talk. "For example, the number of charter schools in Arkansas is increasing and Dr. Au will talk about how we can avoid some of the pitfalls experienced in connection with charter schools in other areas. He successfully led a challenge to the charter school laws of Washington state."

In recent decades, education policy in the United States has been built on the logic that neoliberal, free-market competition will lead to significant educational improvement, particularly for low income and communities of color not being served by our public school system, Au said. He will explain the overall structures of neoliberal, corporate education reform and argue that, contrary to the rhetoric of reformers, such policies actually serve to further exacerbate racial inequality in education by undermining democracy.

Rethinking Schools is a nonprofit publisher and advocacy organization dedicated to sustaining and strengthening public education through social justice teaching and education activism, according to its website.

Contacts

Heidi S. Wells, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions
479-575-3138, heidisw@uark.edu

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