How community-centered, peer-to-peer, youth knowledge exchanges are evolving into a strong economic and political foundation on which to build radical public education.
Following in the rich traditions in African American cooperative economic and educational thought, teacher-organizer Jay Gillen describes the Baltimore Algebra Project (BAP) as a youth-run cooperative enterprise in which young people direct their peers' and their own learning for a wage. BAP and similar enterprises are creating an educational network of empowered, employed students.
Gillen argues that this is a proactive political, economic, and educational structure that builds relationships among and between students and their communities. It's a structure that meets communal needs--material and social, economic and political--both now and in the future. Through the story of the Baltimore Algebra Project, readers will learn why youth employment is a priority, how to develop democratic norms and cultures, how to foster positive community roles for 20-30 year-olds, and how to implement educational accountability from below.
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