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Power and Privilege in Education Policy

Making the Case for Critical Theory as a Theoretical Framework for a Liberatory Policy Agenda

Andre ChenFeng In 1963, Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to the U.S. Congress, said, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” 

As a first-time attendee to the AACTE’s Holmes Policy Institute, I was met with theory, practice, and a new appreciation for civic engagement. My key takeaway from the Holmes Policy Short Course was for scholars of color to bridge education policy with critical praxis[1]. In other words, we are to unapologetically interrogate the role of white supremacy and whiteness in our education policies with our dissertation research questions. 

Zoom meetingDuring the course, Weade James, AACTE director of development and research, reminded the Holmes Scholars that “part of being an effective education leader is being an active participant in the public policymaking process.” I was inspired by her leadership and vision to create the Holmes Policy Short Course for scholars of color—a space to train and equip advocates for education policy to navigate white supremacy in our political institutions.

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