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Sunday, May 5, 2019

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum
441 John Lewis Freedom Parkway, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30307
United States


The Baton Foundation, Inc., in partnership with the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, will host a moderated discussion and book signing about the Atlanta cheating scandal. This program is free and open to the public.

Program Narrative

In None of the Above: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Public Schools Cheating Scandal, Corporate Greed, and the Criminalization of Educators, author Shani Robinson, along with journalist Anna Simonton, chronicles her story while offering a comprehensive exposé of who really cheated the children of Atlanta. The authors show how Atlanta Public Schools employees were collateral damage in a crisis caused by an education reform movement that is increasingly shaped by business interests.

The book links Robinson’s personal experience to the political and historical context that set the stage for the Atlanta cheating scandal. It explores how policies and practices rooted in structural racism have cheated generations of Black children long before teachers tampered with tests–and how those policies continue to do so today–in Atlanta and across the country. Examining the corporate education reform movement, hyper-policing in Black communities, cycles of displacement and gentrification, and widening racial and economic disparities in Atlanta, the authors 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.

About the Authors

Shani Robinson, an alumna of Tennessee State University, is an advocate for troubled youth and their families. She taught in the Atlanta Public Schools system for three years.

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

About the Moderator

Kristen Buras is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She was a Wisconsin-Spencer Fellow and received her doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Buras is the author of Charter Schools, Race, and Urban Space: Where the Market Meets Grassroots Resistance, which chronicles the past decade of education reform in New Orleans (2005-2015). In partnership with veteran teachers and high school students, she coauthored Pedagogy, Policy, and the Privatized City: Stories of Dispossession and Defiance from New Orleans, which was recognized for its outstanding contribution by the Curriculum Studies Division of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Buras is director of the New Orleans-based Urban South Grassroots Research Collective for Public Education, an alliance of critical scholars and longstanding African American education and community groups committed to research focused on issues deemed important by affected communities as well as organizing around racial and economic equity. Notably, Buras was granted the Distinguished Scholar-Activist Award by Critical Educators for Social Justice of AERA.

Buras’ research has been published in Harvard Educational Review, Peabody Journal of Education, Race Ethnicity and Education, and the Berkeley Review of Education. She has also published in popular venues such as The New Orleans Tribune and The Progressive Magazine. Additionally, Buras has been interviewed on local and national radio, and contributed to various education blogs.  She has spoken by invitation at universities such as Columbia, Dillard, Fordham, Loyola, Harvard, and Tulane, and as part of community-based forums in New Orleans, Nashville, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, and elsewhere. She is a Fellow of the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado-Boulder and is former associate editor of the Journal of Education Policy.

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