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Our journey concludes with a look towards the future: an inspiring conversation with a group of youth activists who tell their stories and establish a visionary call to action for education leaders and policymakers across the country. We talk to the students about their lived experiences in and out of school, role of student advocacy, and the growing collective impact of youth. In addition to these youth leaders, we are joined by Dr. Gregory Hutchings Jr., superintendent at an urban school system, and Dr. Mary Earick, Dean of the School of Education at NMHU.
Our education system is at an inflection point, and as COVID-19 makes us reconsider the best ways to teach students, we must also consider how assessment and accountability need to shift toward a more modern structure. Dr. Samuel speaks with Thomas Toch, director of education policy think tank FutureEd, and Jason Mendenhall, who leads the development of innovative statewide assessments at NWEA.We talk about the future of assessment and the evolution of accountability systems, and how the pandemic has created urgency and opportunity for change. 
The truth about education in this country can be hard to stomach. In this episode, we go on a journey through the history of education policy in the United States, challenging beliefs about teachers of color and the outcomes of students of color. Dr. Samuel’s guests are Dr. Lea Austin with the Berkeley Center for the Study of Child Care Employment; Dr. Lynn Wright, principal of Oakridge Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia; Dr. Wayne Lewis, dean of the school of education at Belmont University in Nashville; and LaTanya Pattillo, teacher advisor to North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.
No two schools are the same, and the root of their differences is unequal funding, altering the outcomes and life trajectories for many students—particularly those of color—for generations. Dr. Samuel speaks to Jason Willis from the Comprehensive School Assistance Program (CSAP) at WestEd and Daniel Thatcher from the National Conference of State Legislators about the history of school finance, how wealth widens the education achievement gap, and what policymakers need to do now to improve outcomes for students who need the most support.  
Lifelong educator Dr. Aaliyah Samuel invites you to join her on a journey deep into the lesser-known history of laws and policies that have perpetuated and exacerbated racial inequities within America’s education system. In the first episode, we start with the personal and the profound: a meeting with Minnijean Brown-Trickey, a civil rights hero who was one of the Little Rock 9, and Dr. Samuel’s encounter with the Charlottesville letter, a disturbing document that reveals the persistent evils of segregation. From these two crucial moments begins the series-long discussion on matters of inequality and education past, present, and future. 
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