“If We Let These Charter Schools Continue to Expand, It’s Going to Be The Loss of What Public Education Really Means” with Dr. Wing Li
In our eighth episode of Public Good, Shannon and Stephen are joined by Dr. Wing Li.
Dr. Wing Li (pronouns she/her) is the Communications Director at Support Our Students, or SOS Alberta. SOS Alberta is a non-partisan public education advocacy group fighting for the rights of all children to an equitable and accessible public education system. SOS Alberta is a political action-oriented collective that mobilizes policy research and media discourse into tangible social change. Dr. Li holds a Master of Science and a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Lethbridge. She also currently works with elementary reading intervention at her community public school, has taught at the post-secondary level, and has worked with science education and knowledge translation initiatives. Along with the dedicated team at SOS Alberta, she is working to organize a movement for a truly universally accessible public education system for all students from a structural societal justice lens.
In this episode, we speak to Dr. Li about the educaion landscape in Albera. Dr. Li offers a comprehensive outline of the varied forms of schooling in the province, namely public schools, charter schools, catholic schools, francophone schools, private schools, and home schooling. She also raises some important questions aboout how these varied forms of schooling undermine the tenets of public education, such as universal access and governance. This is an incredibly rich interview filled with important discussions about: the use of rhetoric (choice and rights); the legitimation of private funding and influence; and, the insidiousness of privatization. Dr. Li also introduces listeners to SOS Alberta, an advocacy group that is challenging privatization and fighting for an equitable and accessible public education system: https://www.supportourstudents.ca/.