Book Talk: None of the Above

None of the Above: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Public Schools Cheating Scandal, Corporate Greed, and the Criminalization of Educators

Shani Robinson and Anna Simonton

February 13th 6 PM to 8 PM

Room 4202 at the CUNY Graduate Center

In None of the Above, Robinson and Simonton explore how racist policies and practices cheated generations of Black children out of opportunities long before some teachers tampered with tests. Examining the corporate education reform movement, hyper-policing in Black communities, cycles of displacement and gentrification, and widening racial and economic disparities in Atlanta, they reveal how the financially powerful have profited from privatization and the dismantling of public education. Against this backdrop, they cast the story of the cheating scandal in a new light, illuminating a deeply flawed investigation and a circus-like trial spun into a media sensation that defied justice.

Shani Robinson is an alumna of Tennessee State University and taught in Atlanta Public Schools for three years. She’s currently an advocate for trouble youth and their families.

Anna Simonton is an independent journalist and an editor for Scalawag magazine. Her work has been published by The Nation, In These Times, and AlterNet, among others.


The Long View chronicles the efforts of Oakland’s students, educators, organizers, parents, and community members to create lasting solutions to the systemic inequities in the city’s public school system. The film unfolds over the course of a three-year community effort to come together and create change in schools and in the district as a whole.

6:30 pm refreshments in Room 4202
7:00-9:00 film screening Martin Segal Theater

Remarks following the film by Zakiyah Ansari, Advocacy Director,
New York State Alliance for Quality Education (AQE)
and conversation with film’s director

Co-sponsored by the Ph.D. Programs in Urban Education, Critical Psychology,
the Public Science Project, the URBAN Research Network,
the Center for Advanced Study in Education and the Gittell Collective
Foundation support from:
The Stuart Foundation, The C.S. Mott Foundation, The Panta Rhea Foundation, The Nellie Mae Education Foundation, The California Endowment, The Hewlett Foundation, The Ruth Mott Foundation


Place and Displacement – Towards Building and Sustaining Just Communities

The URBAN 2018 Conference will convene university scholars, community organizers, educators, activists and artists to connect, share stories, and develop practices and strategies for supporting communities in rapidly-changing cities and outlying areas across the US. Disruptions such as school closures, immigration enforcement, mass incarceration, gentrification, and environmental racism are cumulatively displacing low-income communities and communities of Color. The overlapping nature of these issues call for intersectional approaches that draw upon the expertise of youth and community organizers, educators, and university researchers working in equitable partnerships, consistent with the tradition of community-based participatory research.

The Conference brings together members of URBAN from across the country to discuss their efforts to build and sustain research partnerships that address these issues. The Conference will take place from May 17-19, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Critical Participatory Action Research Pre-Conference on Thursday, May 17).

For more information about this year’s Conference, please contact Vanessa Roberts, Conference Coordinator (

Registration: Please make sure to register for the conference by April 15th:

Travel & Lodging: The Denver International Airport is the closest airport and boasts numerous ground transportation options. Please refer to the  URBAN Conference 2018_Lodging Options document for more information on the hotel discounts we have secured and recommended neighborhoods for those who might prefer room-share or alternative accommodations.

Conference Program: URBAN conference draft agenda – 4/27/18


In an increasingly unstable and precarious world in which systems of government have yielded to systems of neoliberal governance– without stable jobs, stable climates, stable borders, or clear lines between public and private sectors– it behooves us to reassert our “the right to research” and perhaps go further. We hope, then, to examine radical possibilities, and speculate on what else might be possible, to contest today’s dominant social imaginaries. Activists themselves, alongside scholars, have made urgent calls for critical research that helps laborers, undocumented immigrants, indebted students, and others to revamp campaigns that have traditionally targeted governmental policies— but must now tackle a complex web of decentralized private-public partnerships, multinational corporations, in solidarity with those who are geographically far, but fighting the same struggles. Both activists and scholars have also made repeated calls for access to and ownership of data, to make sure that those who are talked about have the skills and means to talk back, to watch the watchers and to interpret the research themselves.

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