Historical Brown Out?

Jonathan Zimmerman writes in the LA Times that one legacy of Brown is sanitized textbooks and incomplete, milquetoast history. Pretty provocative stuff in the midst of the Brown anniversary, but it’s hard to argue with Zimmerman’s main point.

And it’s probably OK to acknowledge an unintended side effect of Brown now, fifty years later, right? After all, hardly anyone thinks now that Brown was a bad idea. No one now in government would have written something like,

“I realize that it is an unpopular and unhumanitarian position for which I have been excoriated by liberal colleagues, but I think Plessy v. Ferguson was right and should be reaffirmed.”

Of course not, no one! Surely not the current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in a memo to Justice Jackson, for whom who he clerked during Brown

Want more of a Zimmerman fix? Check out Whose America? Culture Wars in the Public Schools.

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About Andrew Rotherham

Andrew Rotherham is a co-founder and External Relations leader at Bellwether Education Partners, a national nonprofit focused on dramatically improving education and life outcomes for systemically marginalized young people and their communities. Rotherham, who also serves on the Virginia Board of Education, occupies a unique place in the U.S. education sector working across silos. He has been appointed to senior policymaking roles by Democrats and Republicans, works at the intersection of research and policy, media, and practice, and is a longtime champion of heterodoxy, empiricism, and pragmatism in education policy.

Rotherham writes the blog and newsletter Eduwonk.com. In addition to Bellwether, he founded or co-founded two other education organizations and served on the boards of several successful education startups. He served at the White House as special assistant to the president for domestic policy during the Clinton administration, as a member of the Virginia Board of Education appointed by then-Gov. Mark Warner and more recently by Gov. Glenn Youngkin, as an education columnist for TIME magazine, and as a contributing editor at U.S. News & World Report. He also taught in traditional and experiential settings at the K-12 and college levels.

Rotherham is the author or co-author of more than 450 published articles, book chapters, papers, and op-eds about education policy and politics, and is the author or editor of four books on education policy. He serves on the board of directors for The 74, a national education media organization, and on the international board of directors for Classroom Champions, a Canada-based nonprofit that pairs Olympic and Paralympic athletes with high-poverty classrooms as mentors. Rotherham advises a variety of companies and organizations, including Whiteboard Advisors; Upbeat, a data analytics company focused on teacher engagement and retention; ClearForce, a security and threat prevention company; and several nonprofit organizations.

Outside of his professional work, Rotherham raises tens of thousands of dollars each year to support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, is an EMT, and he and his wife, a public high school English teacher, host a concert series featuring regional and national musical acts in a former one-room schoolhouse. A father of two daughters, he lives in Virginia.

About Bellwether Education Partners

Bellwether is a nonprofit dedicated to helping education organizations—in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors—become more effective in their work and achieve dramatic results, especially for high-need students. To do so, we provide a unique combination of exceptional thinking, talent, and hands-on strategic support.

More specifically:

– Our Policy and Thought Leadership practice works to inform and shape the broader education policy landscape by conducting policy analysis, research and writing, and idea generation on education issues and advising education entities.

– Our Talent practice identifies, places, and supports reform-minded leaders and supports organizations in developing strategies to identify talent needs and support talent internally. We conduct comprehensive executive searches, customized “search advisory” services, and provide individual coaching services.

– Our Strategic Advising practice works with leading-edge education organizations on their most pressing strategic and operational issues. Our work ranges from supporting entrepreneurs through business plan development, to partnering with established organizations on growth and performance improvement, to assessing new opportunities for impact as the field evolves.

Why bring all this together? We believe the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and many of the challenges organizations face are so complex that they require all three areas of expertise. Having each leg of the stool makes the entirety stronger, tying in innovative thinking with perspective into the on-the-ground realities.

Learn more by clicking here.