On the Rick Smith Show we discussed charters, privatization, New Orleans ed reform and more. Karran Harper Royal and Julian Vasquez Heilig joined Rick Smith to discuss our endangered public education system, the reach of the flawed “educational reform” movement in New Orleans and elsewhere, and ideas about how public schools can be improved and can be saved from privatization.
Julian Vasquez Heilig, an award-winning researcher and teacher, is a Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at the California State University Sacramento. His current research includes examining how high-stakes testing and accountability-based reforms and market reforms impact urban minority students. His work has been cited by The New York Times and other major media outlets and he has appeared on PBS, NBC, NBCLatino, NPR, Univision, and MSNBC. He blogs at Cloaking Inequity, consistently rated one of the top 50 education websites in the world by Teach 100.
Karran Harper Royal works as an Education Advocate in New Orleans. She is the Assistant Director of
Pyramid Community Parent Resource Center Her work at Pyramid involves providing one to one support to parents of children with disabilities and conducting workshops to help parents understand their rights under federal special education law. In addition to working with Pyramid, Mrs. Harper Royal is a founding member of Parents Across America, a contributor to Research on Reforms and is a consultant to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Mrs. Harper Royal is a tireless advocate for students with disabilities and has appeared in a number of broadcasts and publications related to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and public education reform in New Orleans and is a member of several community groups. She is married with two sons Mrs. Harper Royal blogs at Education Talk New Orleans.
In 2005, The Rick Smith Show stepped into a local radio world devoid of progressive talk.
Rick took his straight shooting no nonsense Teamster outlook to the air and started mixing it up with conservatives from one of the reddest areas north of the Mason Dixon line. His show grew steadily, attracting listeners starved for a voice that spoke to working stiffs who felt the economic floor crumbling beneath them.
Five years after the start of his weekend program, Rick moved to new time slots and new stations. His show now airs Monday-Friday 3pm-6pm on several stations across the state of Pennsylvania where he offers hard truth and commentary with a unique blend of clear-headed, gruff analysis and bemused observation. Lest things get too serious, he spices things up with a laugh or two.
Rick comes by his outlook honestly. He grew up in the projects of Cleveland, ducking local gangs while doing paper routes and odd jobs to help feed his family. After high school, he went out on his own, driving 18 wheelers as a proud union member. Nowadays, Rick, a father of three, is on the front lines of the class work every weekday from 3pm-6pm. He feels the calling to spread the word about the desperate needs facing workers, and to make the world a better place for kids growing up in what is becoming an America of rich and poor.
Rick believes somebody has to wake up the American working class to engage in the democratic process, but not in the corporate-funded Tea Party fashion. He has the rough edges and the grit of a Teamster; he’s a street talker, but a street talker with charm.
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