WonkyFolk Vol 8 – The Home Base Episode

Greetings, CharterFolk!

This week, Andy and I are talking with Lakisha Young, the Founder and CEO of The Oakland REACH, and Heather Harding, Ed.D, the Executive Director of the Campaign for a Shared Future. Our conversation focuses on the difficult judgement calls parents and advocates are having to make as they attempt to retain focus on the learning needs of students amid proposed book bans and curriculum changes. A theme running through the discussion was the critical need for advocates to have “a home base” of policy priorities to anchor their efforts amid a political context that is becoming ever more mired in controversy and polarization.

Here is a link to the podcast. And for those of you who would prefer a video recording, we provide a link to YouTube as well. 

This week some of the topics we discuss include the following:

  • Introductions and the state of public education (00.03.00)
  • Parent power, the work of The Oakland REACH, and shifting the narrative of the recent Oakland teachers strike to focus on the harm done to students (00.06.25)
  • Parent power, the work of the Campaign for Our Shared Future, and the 4 aspects of its national campaign (00.23.06)   
  • The theory of action, power dynamics, and defining the wins, especially as they relate to urban education (00.29.24)
  • The influence of politics on curriculum, advocacy, and community-driven solutions (00.36.32)
  • The Oakland REACHS’ Liberator Model (00.42.16)
  • The real threats to public education, a definitional problem, confusion, and distractions (00.47.50)
  • Book bans and the sensationalism of social and national media (00.53.40)
  • Responding to divisive issues and staying grounded with a focus on a home base of teaching and learning (01.07.13)


You can use the following links to access

Previous volumes of WonkyFolk can be accessed here.

WonkyFolk is a discussion series between Andy Rotherham and Jed Wallace intended to provide an informative and engaging forum where education reformers can grapple with tough issues related to our shared quest to improve public education in our country.

If you have ideas for WonkyFolk discussion topics, please email me!