Our Voices

Returning to school when ‘education is not neutral’: today’s challenges in educating the next generation

Across the country, teachers and staff members are returning to schools while still trying to manage the aftermath of the pandemic, virtual learning, volatile political rhetoric directed at education and educators, and school shootings.

As teachers, you are navigating a difficult – and often volatile – educational landscape, particularly when bringing critical thinking, diverse readings and opinions, and an honest history of the U.S. into your teaching.

What you teach, how you teach it and, often, why you teach is being called into question. At times, you are limited by restrictive policies and directives placed on you by individuals with agendas.

But you know your work is important and powerful. You know “education is not neutral,” as Brazilian educator Paulo Freire said. You know your work can focus on maintaining the status quo or, through liberation education – as educator and civil rights activist Septima Clark emphasized – it can open the door to political, economic, and social power.

We stand with you. We value you. We respect and appreciate you. And to the best of our abilities, we will support you and the work you do: Educating the next generation.