The Complexion of Teaching and Learning – Episode Seven: Fusion and Friction with Standards

October 15, 2021

This episode features candid conversations with education leaders about the push for excellence and equity and what role standards play in providing instruction that is grade-level, engaging, affirming, and meaningful. 

Side B features a conversation with Bradley Powless of the Onondaga Nation who discusses the importance of identity in education.

Download this episode’s syllabus

Episode notes:

The following scholars and texts are featured in Episode Seven:

  • Shariff El-Mekki, founder of the Center For Black Educator Development
  • Paul Gorski, Equity Literacy Institute, Avoiding Racial Equity Detours
  • Dr. Kofi Lomotey, author, professor of educational leadership at Western Carolina University
  • Jeremy Garcia and Valerie Shirley, Indigenous scholars and University of Arizona teacher prep experts
  • Dr. Christopher Emdin, associate professor of science education at the Teachers College, Columbia University and author of “For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood And The Rest of Y’all Too,” and “Ratchetdemics.”
  • Dr. Alfred Tatum, professor, literacy specialist, and author of the books “Reading For Their Life: Rebuilding the Textual Lineages of African American Adolescent Males” and “Teaching Black Boys in the Elementary Grades.” 
  • Dr. Tiffany King, Georgia State University professor and author of the book, “The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies.” 
  • Dr. Tanji Reed Marshall, director of P-12 Practice at The Education Trust
  • Dr. John B. King, CEO of The Education Trust and former Secretary of Education
  • Corey Carter, Baltimore County Public School System Teacher of the Year 
  • “Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students” by Zaretta Hammond
  • “If You Listen, We Will Stay: Why Teachers of Color Leave and How to Disrupt Teacher Turnover” by The Education Trust
  • “Our Stories, Our Struggles, Our Strengths: Perspectives and Reflections From Latino Teachers” by The Education Trust
  • “Common Core State Standards: Structuring and Protecting Equitable Pathways for African American Boys” by Alfred W. Tatum
  • “Culture, Literacy, and Learning: Taking Bloom in the Midst of the Whirlwind” by Carol D. Lee
  • “Ratchetdemic: Reimagining Academic Success” by Chris Emdin
  • “Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom” by Lisa Delpit
  • “The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children” by Gloria Ladson-Billings
  • “Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice” by Geneva Gay 


“The Complexion of Teaching and Learning” is a docu-series exploring the historical, political, and professional insights and experiences of educators of color. The series is hosted by Brandon White (Twitter: @ClassroomB), an ELA Specialist for UnboundEd and former middle school ELA teacher and Restorative Practices educator for the Rochester City School District. To get the most out of this series, we recommend you start from episode one.