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SEED 1001 Critical Issues in US Education (Bradley): Home

Professor Talana Bradley Spring 2023 OER


School of Education 

SEED 1001 Critical Issues in US Education   

(Segregation and Integration in US Schools, Then and Now)  3 hours; 3 credits 


  • Instructor: Talana Bradley
  • Email:
  • Class Meetings: Wednesdays 6:05-8:35PM 
  • Virtual Office Hours:  Wednesdays from 5-6pm and by appointment 

Important Note

Syllabus/Course Requirements are subject to change at the instructor’s discretion and with appropriate notification time to students.

CUNY Policies

Brooklyn College's Diverse Center for Student Disability Services group smiling.

The Brooklyn College Center for Student Disability Services is working remotely at this time.  Please email them at for assistance.

Students should inform the professor if they have a disability or any other situation that may require Section 504/ADA accommodations.  The faculty and staff will attempt to work out whatever arrangements are necessary.

Please provide me with your course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with me as soon as possible to ensure accommodations are met in a timely fashion.

In order to receive academic accommodations students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services. Students who have a documented disability or who suspect that they might have a disability are invited to set up an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services, Ms. Valerie Stewart-Lovell or the Assistant Director, Josephine Patterson or their general email

You are expected to: 

  • •Demonstrate outstanding professionalism, attendance, and punctuality throughout the course; 

Unexcused absences from weekly class will influence your final grade for the course.

  • Absence from a class is not an excuse for being unprepared or for missed/late assignments.
  • It is your responsibility to find out what was covered and to know when assignments are due. 

Academic dishonesty of any type, including cheating and plagiarism, is unacceptable at Brooklyn College. Cheating is any misrepresentation in academic work. Plagiarism is the representation of another person’s work, words, or ideas as your own. Students should consult the Brooklyn College Student Handbook for a fuller, more specific discussion of related academic integrity standards.

Academic dishonesty is punishable by failure of the “…test, examination, term paper or other assignment on which cheating occurred” (Faculty Council, May 18, 1954).

In addition, disciplinary proceedings in cases of academic dishonesty may result in penalties of admonition, warning, censure, disciplinary probation, restitution, suspension, expulsion, complaint to civil authorities, or ejection (Adopted by Policy Council, May 8, 1991).

NOTE: If you have a question about how to cite correctly ask your teacher BEFORE submitting your work.

  • The faculty and administration of Brooklyn College support an environment free from cheating and plagiarism.
  • Each student is responsible for being aware of what constitutes cheating and plagiarism and for avoiding both.
  • View complete text of CUNY Academic Integrity Policy and Brooklyn College procedure for policy implementation.
  • If a faculty member suspects a violation of academic integrity and, upon investigation, confirms that violation, or if the student admits the violation, the faculty member must report the violation.
  • Please read the section entitled “Academic Regulations and Procedures” in the Brooklyn College Undergraduate Bulletin or Graduate Bulletin for a complete listing of academic regulations of the College.

Bereavement Policy:

  • Students who experience the death of a loved one must contact the Division of Student Affairs, 2113 Boylan Hall, if they wish to implement either the Standard Bereavement Procedure or the Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure. The Division of Student Affairs has the right to request a document that verifies the death (e.g., a funeral program or death notice). Contact Email:
  • Typically, this death involves that of a family member, in parallel to the bereavement policy for faculty and staff. However, it is up to the discretion of the Division of Student Affairs to determine if a death outside of the immediate family warrants implementation of the student bereavement policy.
  •  As an option, and in consultation with the Division of Student Affairs, students may take the Leave of Absence Bereavement after the Standard Bereavement.
  • Reference to the Student Bereavement Policies will be noted on course syllabi.
  • Students requesting a religious accommodation should contact the Division of Student Affairs as well. The chief student affairs officer, or a designee, and the student will engage in an interactive process with the goal of finding an acceptable accommodation.

Bereavement Procedure:

  • Upon approval from the Division of Student Affairs, the student is allowed one week, commencing from the day of notification to the Division of Student Affairs, of excused absence.
  • Should the student feel that he/she needs additional days, these should be discussed with individual course instructors and/or the Division of Student Affairs.
  • The Division of Student Affairs will contact the student’s faculty and academic staff of the student’s courses.
  • Faculty and academic staff will be advised that extensions must be granted to the student for the period of one week of excused absence.
  • Further extensions may be negotiated with the student when he or she returns to campus.
  • Students are encouraged to discuss options with their instructors.

Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure:

  • Students may be allowed to withdraw from the semester in which the death occurs.
  • The Bereavement Leave of Absence is for one semester only.
  • Students who have opted to take the Bereavement Leave of Absence and have already attended classes for the semester of the leave will be allowed to re-enter the following semester without having to reapply to the college.
  • Students who wish to take the leave of absence prior to the beginning of the semester will be required to reapply for the following semester.
  • Students who are in good academic standing will be given the opportunity to successfully complete the credits for the semester in which they return.
  • Students will consult with the Division of Student Affairs, on a case-by-case basis, as to whether they should withdraw from their courses during this leave of absence or to request incompletes from the faculty member.
  •  Given that there may be a potential impact on financial aid, students who receive financial aid and who take the Bereavement Leave of Absence, upon arrangement with the Division of Student Affairs, will meet with a financial aid adviser prior to taking this option.
  • The New York State Education Law provides that no student shall be expelled or refused admission to an institution of higher education because he or she is unable to attend classes or participate in examinations or study or work requirements on any particular day or days because of religious beliefs.
  • Students who are unable to attend classes on a particular day or days because of religious beliefs will be excused from any examination or study or work requirements.
  • Faculty must make good-faith efforts to provide students absent from class because of religious beliefs equivalent opportunities to make up the work missed; no additional fees may be charged for this consideration.
  • If classes, examinations, or study or work requirements occur on Friday after 4 p.m. or on Saturday, similar or makeup classes, examinations, or study or work requirements will be made available on other days, where possible and practical.
  • The faculty and the administration will not allow any adverse or prejudicial effects to accrue to students availing themselves of this regulation.
  • If students have complaints about the application of this policy, they are entitled to bring action or a proceeding for enforcement of their rights in the Supreme Court of Kings County

Why does this course matter for my future and what will I learn?

Poster showing head-and-shoulders portrait of Angela Davis, facing left.I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” - Angela Y. Davis

For our education majors: 

What makes a good teacher in a system that wasn’t designed to serve the students that you plan to serve?  What makes a successful classroom in a system that wasn’t designed to serve the students that you plan to serve? In a system that was designed to prepare young people for jobs that no longer exist! In a system designed to oppress the very students you plan to serve!  Why do some students get an ideal public education, and some get a deficient one in a country that stands for liberty and justice for all?

By exploring Critical Issues in Education, you can become aware of the value for knowing and honoring your students. Systems are designed to get the results they were intended to get.  By understanding the “Critical Issues in US Education”, we start with the foundation, policies, intentions, and formulas by: 

  • Being exposed to key strategies on how to work within a system that is inherently designed to not serve those who are ‘at-promise’; 
  • Collaboratively teaching a lesson in which you explain the history of a Critical Issue in US Education and propose how you and your colleagues can address it as the teachers and professionals of tomorrow. 

For our non-education majors: 

We all have been educated in a system designed to get specific results, and I think we can all agree that as a society, we can do better. Have you ever sat in a class and wondered, why do they teach it like this? Why do I even have to learn this? Why can’t learning be more fun, engaging, and relevant to what’s important to me and my world? Well, this class is for you too! We will explore those topics and more! You are an integral part of the education system and your  perspective and understanding of Critical Issues in US Education matter! 

I love this course and hope by the end, you all will too! 


Course Overview

Course Bulletin

All levels of public education in the United States today have become the focus for often competing political, economic, social, and cultural visions of how and why we should educate the nation’s youth. This course offers  students the opportunity to become knowledgeable about critical issues in American education and the controversies  surrounding them, while considering the historical, political, sociological, and economic dimensions of each.

Among the issues the course will address are

  1. The purpose of public education in a democracy;
  2. The private/public split in  education, with a focus on home schooling, charters, parochial, and private K-20 schools;
  3. Who determines the school curriculum;
  4. Mayoral control, the value of high-stakes testing, and outcomes based approaches to education; 
  5. The way public K-20 public schools are funded;
  6. Technology’s impact on education with a focus on online education;
  7. The role of unions and tenure in schools and in the teaching profession;
  8. The challenge to public schools  of poverty, diversity, and equity and
  9. Sexuality, gender and sex education.

Starting Spring 2018 Satisfies Pathways  Flexible Core US Experience in Its Diversity requirement. 

How will I be assessed?

Much of the work for this class happens in class. Your presence matters. Conversations are bridges to justice, healing, and liberation, and we can make every conversation count towards creating a just and liberated world.” -Elena Aguilar,  Coaching for Equity @brightmoringtm 

During class, you will be given time and a reflective prompt for you to respond using Padlet. Padlet as a Digital Tool for practicing Computational Thinking and Reflective Practice—To be used as a synchronous and asynchronous communicative tool that allows students to collaborate with others through posting and/or responding to discussion  threads organized around concepts and themes of their particular disciplines and/or pedagogical skills. 

  1. Creating a thread
  2. Responding to that thread
  3. Responding to at least one peer’s response -- posting comments/kudos/questions that will enhance the discussion, or help move the conversation forward: follow up questions, examples, new perspectives, etc. 

To post in this forum, click on the title of the forum, then click on Create Thread:

  1. Respond to the prompt and share 3 AHAs – salient points – evoked from Today’s Session…(10 Points) 
  2. Reply in a substantive post to at least one other participant. To reply to colleagues, click on Reply within the colleague's post. (10 Points) 

In addition to your main, graded reply, feel free to post kudos, questions, or brief remarks in reply to any of your colleagues. 

Participation Rubric for Discussions,  A substantive reply meets these criteria: 

  • Post a response to the colleague within the “module” dates.  
  • Posting was responsive and substantive.  
  • Posting comments or questions that enhanced the discussion or helped move the conversation forward.  
  • These may have included follow up questions, examples, or new perspectives.  
  • Posting provided evidence that the participant had thoughtfully read the colleague’s posting.  
  • Posting showed ample evidence of having reviewed or completed the relevant readings or assignments.  
  • Posting was constructive and differences of opinion were expressed in a collegial manner.  
  • Jigsaw Book Group which will expose you to key strategies on how to work within a system that is inherently designed to not serve those who are ‘at-promise
  • Collaboratively teach a lesson in which you explain the history of a Critical Issue in US Education and propose how you and your colleagues can address it as the teachers of tomorrow. 

We will spend at least 100 minutes of class time, exploring and playing in the Metaverse thinking about possibility. For education majors, ultimately, create an experience for your students. For all other majors, think about the implications  for your major. You will receive the points for just playing in the Metaverse even if you don’t end up with a product you love.

Computing Integrated Teacher Education (CITE) @ CUNY “to integrate state standards aligned computing content and pedagogy into required education courses, field work and student teaching.” 

NYSED K-12 Computer Science and Digital Fluency Learning Standards Grades 9-12 “Computational Thinking involves thinking about and solving problems in ways that can be carried out by a computer….” (pgs. 4-5). Our focus is a “Digital Literacy Standard: 9-12.DL.2."

Communicate and work collaboratively with others using digital tools to support  individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

Clarifying Statement: Digital tools and methods should include both social and professional (those predominantly used in  college and careers). Collaboration should occur in real time and asynchronously, and there should be  opportunities for students to both seek and provide feedback on their thoughts and products” improve one’s pedagogy and practice (InTASC 9, 10; SOECF 1; NYSED 9-12. DL.2) 

I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change, I am changing the things I cannot accept.”  –Angela Y. Davis  

What is one way that you can resolve a specific Critical Issue in US Education? 100 points  

Final examinations for undergraduate classes must be held in the 15th week of the semester at the specified time and place during the scheduled examination period.   

Mission Statement of the School of Education

Mission Statement of the School of Education   

The School of Education at Brooklyn College prepares teachers, administrators, counselors, and school psychologists to  serve, lead and thrive in the schools and agencies of this city and beyond. Through collaborative action, teaching and  research, we develop our students’ capacities to create socially just, intellectually vital, aesthetically rich and  compassionate communities that value equity and excellence, access and rigor. We design our programs in cooperation with Liberal Arts and Sciences faculties and in consultation with local schools in order to provide our  students with the opportunity to develop the knowledge, proficiencies and understandings needed to work with New  York City’s racially, ethnically and linguistically diverse populations. We believe that teaching is an art that incorporates  critical self-reflection; openness to new ideas, practices, and technologies, and that focuses on the individual learner’s  needs and promotes growth. Our collective work is shaped by scholarship and is animated by a commitment to educate our students to the highest standards of professional competence.    

Course Goals and Objectives

  1. Students examine, develop and present their knowledge and understanding of specific, critical issues in United States education including their historical roots, contemporary causes and how they shape different educational experiences for children and youth in the United States:
    • by understanding specific historical and contemporary issues in United States education, and the social, economic, cultural, political and other influences that have shaped them. (INTASC 1)
    • by reflecting on issues of equity, diversity and social justice in education. (INTASC, 3, 9)
  2. Students develop, present positions on how   specific critical issues in United States  education should be addressed by  governmental agencies, educators, private  entities, and citizens, based on an   examination of evidence and arguments, and  rooted in their own core beliefs with respect  to educational and social justice
    • &by knowing, understanding and reflecting critically on different perspectives and insights offered by educators and other stakeholders. (INTASC 1, 4)
    • by entering into conversations with students, teachers, administrators and other practitioners. (INTASC 9, 10)
    • by reflecting on their own beliefs with respect to education, schooling and social justice, and formulating their own ideas and arguments.
    • Gain skills for creating a nurturing learning environment in a high- needs urban elementary school by intersecting best classroom practices with an understanding of all students that include English Language Learners and Students with Special Needs, Students of Color, Latinos, Native Americans, and LGBTQ+, as well as the social, economic, and cultural context of the students and their families (InTASC 3, 10; SOECF 3; NYSED 9-12. DL.2).
  3. Students examine, develop knowledge and understanding, and present an analysis of  how specific critical issues in US education  are manifest in and shaping experiences and outcomes of students in a school in their community
    • by fully participating in the course through class activities, readings,  discussions, fieldwork, research and other assignments (INTASC 1, 5)  
    • by engaging in research fieldwork activities that engage candidates  into the lives of children and adolescents, their schools and their   neighborhoods historically and contemporarily. (INTASC 10)  
    • by critically examining issues of equity, diversity and inclusion in education. (INTASC 3)  
    • Develop capacity for incorporating collaborative learning,   motivations, communication, and management in a classroom  (INTASC 3, 5; SOECF 1).

Expected Performance Objectives  

The Course Objectives reflect the Brooklyn College School of Education Conceptual Frameworks that will guide our work: 

  1. Candidates critically reflect on their own assumptions about their practices, the students with whom they work, the communities in which they work, as well as their own development as professionals. (Critical Self-Reflection) 
  2. Candidates foster relationships and know the importance of establishing and maintaining a positive collaborative relationship with families, school colleagues, and the community to support students’ learning and well-being and also to create classrooms that foster opportunities for student collaboration thereby enhancing  student learning and social development. (Collaboration)
  3. Candidates demonstrate, in their practice, strategies that support every student’s effort to reach the highest level of academic achievement and to use pedagogies that embrace the wide range of cultures represented in today’s classrooms. (Social Justice) 
  4. Candidates show, in their practice, a sensitivity to knowledge about and understanding of their own and others’ racial, ethnic, religious, class, sexual, gender, cultural and linguistic identities, as well as implement a variety of teaching  strategies that encourage students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. (Diversity)