Fall 2012 Backpack

In this issue:

* Jonathan Kozol Raises the Roof for Educational Justice
* Big Lessons from Chicago Teachers Strike
* Parents Across America Toolkit on “Won’t Back Down”
* MCAS Graduation Requirement Harms Special Education Students
* Commentary–Missing: Lots and Lots of Charter School Students

Welcome to the Fall 2012 edition of the Backpack, beginning with a report on Jonathan Kozol’s moving and energizing talk at Memorial Church. Kozol spoke of what’s become of Pineapple and other South Bronx children whom he met and wrote about decades ago.

A report on the Chicago Teachers Strike talks about its larger significance in the national movement against top-down, corporate model reforms like high-stakes testing. Prof. Louis Kruger contributes a report on the impact of the MCAS graduation requirement on students with disabilities over the years. As Kruger points out, it is a sad irony that in Massachusetts, a national leader in special education, “Our public school system is failing to protect and nourish the aspirations of our students with disabilities.”

This issue introduces the feisty and funny Edushyster, who shares with us a commentary on missing charter school students. And finally, a contribution from our allies at Parents Across America, on the latest propaganda film from Hollywood, “Won’t Back Down.”

As always, we welcome feedback and ideas from our readers. And don’t forget to pass the Backpack along to your friends and family.

Note: Unless otherwise noted, all articles represent the opinion of the authors and not necessarily that of the organization.


Lisa Guisbond and Jacqueline King are co-editors of The Backpack and CPS Board Members. Thanks to the outstanding contributions of Backpack editorial committee–Alain Jehlen, Jonathan King, and Ann O’Halloran.