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Voices of Courage in Education

Posted: 2004-04-24

Don't miss this online radio show. It is heartbreaking, challenging, and inspirational.

"Classroom Struggles," the web-based radio program hosted by Bess Altwerger at Towson University in Baltimore, is currently featuring

"Voices of Courage in Education," with ReLeah Lent, Gloria Pipkin, Steve Orel, and Brunetta


You can access this program at


Don't miss it!

Gloria Pipkin

Gloria Pipkin, a Florida native, taught language arts in her state?s public schools for more than 20 years. For her defense of the right to read, she was honored by the Courage Foundation in 1989. From 1985-1989 she edited the Florida English Journal. Since leaving the public schools in 1990, she has supervised student teachers for Florida State University and taught a course in children?s literature there, led private literacy workshops for students from K-high school, worked as a literacy consultant in a boys? prison, organized the Florida Coalition Against Censorship, and written widely about school censorship. In 2000 she founded the Florida Coalition for Assessment Reform, Inc., and currently serves as its president.

Releah Lent

ReLeah Lent taught English, journalism, and debate in Bay County, Florida, for over 20 years. She is currently a literacy coordinator for an education project sponsored by the University of Central Florida. After winning the PEN/Newman?s Own First Amendment Award in 1999, she and co-author Gloria Pipkin wrote about their struggles with censorship in At the Schoolhouse Gate: Lessons in Intellectual Freedom. Most recently, she and Pipkin edited Silent No More: Voices of Courage in American Schools, a collection of narratives about teachers who took their own costly stands in defense of intellectual freedom issues. The books? success contributed to their winning the American Library Association?s John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award and the National Council of Teachers of English/SLATE Intellectual Freedom Award, both in 2003.

Steve Orel, "World of Opportunity"

Steve Orel is the Assistant Director and Lead Instructor at the World of Opportunity adult education program in Birmingham, Alabama, where he is also an activist member of the Birmingham Human Rights Project. The World of Opportunity (WOO) opened its doors after the Birmingham City Schools pushed out 522 students in an apparent attempt to raise test scores.

Brunetta Wade is the mother of one of the first pushed-out students who signed up at the WOO.

For more information on this extraordinary program and students go to:

http://www.susanohanian.org/woo.html and


Article: 522 Students Pushed Out of School in Birmingham, Alabama (PDF)


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