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This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-host Gerard Robinson and guest co-host Derrell Bradford talk with Virginia Walden Ford, education advocate and author of Voices, Choices, and Second Chances, and School Choice: A Legacy to Keep. She shares her experiences growing up and desegregating high schools in Little Rock, Arkansas in the mid-1960s, and the lessons she carried forward in her school choice advocacy in Washington, D.C. She describes how her role as a student, mother, and grandmother informed her leadership in the nation’s capital, and the steps it took to mobilize parents, work with politicians and policymakers, and successfully launch the city’s school voucher program. She offers insights on what school choice advocates need to do today to expand educational opportunity at a time of heightened partisanship. They also discuss what it was like working on her two books and 2019 film, Miss Virginia, based on her involvement with the civil rights movement and the fight for educational equality. Ms. Walden Ford concludes the interview with a reading from one of her books.
Stories of the Week: In New Jersey, school districts will no longer require mask wearing for the first time since the pandemic began – leaving the decision up to hundreds of local school leaders. In Boston, school superintendent Brenda Cassellius has announced plans to step down at the end of the school year, amid growing calls for state receivership.