Center X: “Just Talk” on Protecting, Connecting, and Constructing to Preserve Educational Justice

Professor John Rogers describes new strategies needed to serve the vulnerable, provide opportunity for all in Trump era of educational policy.

This week’s “Just Talk,” a column of public scholarship by UCLA’s Center X, features an essay by Professor John Rogers on “The Struggle of Educational Justice in the Age of Trump.”

Professor of Education John Rogers leads the Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access (IDEA) at UCLA. Photo by Jennifer Young

“This week’s Senate confirmation of Betsy DeVos ushers in the Trump era of education policy,” writes Rogers, who serves as faculty director for Center X and also directs UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access (IDEA). “This era demands new ways of thinking about and acting for educational justice. Some of what is needed has long been the hallmark of educational justice work: Protect those most vulnerable from oppressive policies and systemic neglect; Connect progressive labor, community, and youth organizations in sustainable networks and coalitions for learning and action; and Construct robust models of school and community-based learning that expand youth opportunity and voice.

“Yet more is required now because these are extraordinary times. The Trump administration has unleashed overtly racist and xenophobic rhetoric, magnified threats to marginalized communities, and impetuously overridden institutional checks and reasoned objections. These actions have prompted widespread concern and produced massive public protest. We see healthy resistance emerging in many places. But the disruptive force of chaos (planned and unplanned) as well as longstanding fractures amongst progressives, leave sites of resistance overwhelmed or isolated, or both. New strategies are necessary to advance educational justice in the era of Trump.”

To read Professor Roger’s op-ed, click here.