About us

Greetings from Valparaíso Chile! We are spending four months here, working with the city ministry of education and teachers and activists, hoping to learn from their efforts to transform public education and the city itself, and to share how this might be helpful to us in Chicago.

Pauline Lipman
Pauline Lipman is professor of Educational Policy Studies and Director of the Collaborative for Equity and Justice in Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her teaching, research, and activism grow out of her commitment to social justice and liberation. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on political economy of urban education, particularly the inter-relationship of education policy, urban restructuring, and the politics of race.

Pauline is the author of numerous journal articles, book chapters, and policy reports. In The New Political Economy of Urban Education: Neoliberalism, Race, and the Right to the City (Routledge, 2011), she argues that education is integral to neoliberal economic and spatial urban restructuring and its class and race inequalities and exclusions as well as to the potential for a new, radically democratic economic and political social order.

Pauline is a founding member of Teachers for Social Justice in Chicago and is involved in grassroots organizing against education privatization and for equitable, democratic neighborhood public schools and community-driven school transformation as part of the democratic
transformation of the city. She is currently working in Valparaíso, Chile to learn about efforts by the municipal government and education activists to use local political power to transform public education as part of the transformation of the city. Her blog, Chitown and Chile, (withRico Gutstein) documents the education campaign in Valparaíso and lessons for Chicago.

Rico Gutstein
Eric “Rico” Gutstein is Professor in the Curriculum and Instruction Department of the University of Illinois at Chicago and Associate Faculty in CEJE. Rico has worked closely with Chicago Public schools (CPS) since 1994, with Orozco School (Pilsen), then helped co-found Chicago’s Social Justice High School (Lawndale, 2005).

At both schools, Rico worked with students and teachers, co developing/teaching mathematics for social justice (critical mathematics) and taught social-justice focused mathematics classes. Rico has collaborated with Chicago communities to defend and develop public schools grounded in principles of self-determination, environmental justice, and global leadership. He co-facilitated the proposal-writing team of the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School that kept CPS from closing Bronzeville’s last public high school iSince 2017, Rico has served on the Task Force of the Sustainable Community Schools (SCS) initiative, a joint project of the Chicago Teachers Union/Grassroots Education Movement (a Chicago community coalition) and CPS. Rico is a co-founder (1998) and active in Teachers for Social Justice (TSJ), a Chicago-based organization active in the education justice movement. Rico has published on critical mathematics, the relationship of racial capitalism and CPS policy, and education justice movements.

In Fall 2019, Rico is in Valparaíso, Chile, where he is learning from, and working with, education activists to develop critical pedagogies linked to radically transforming the city. He collaborates with Pauline Lipman to produce the ChiTown&Chile blog.

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