No Excuses: Race and Reckoning at a Chicago Charter School
An audio documentary from APM Reports.
August 9, 2022
Producer DJ Cashmere spent seven years teaching Black and brown students at a Noble Street charter high school in Chicago. At the time, Noble followed a popular model called "no excuses." Its schools required strict discipline but promised low-income students a better shot at college.
After DJ left the classroom to become a journalist, Noble disavowed its own policies — calling them "assimilationist, patriarchal, white supremacist, and anti-black."
In this hour, DJ, who is white, revisits his old school as it tries to reinvent itself as an anti-racist institution. And he seeks out his former students to ask them how they felt about being on the receiving end of all that education reform, and what they think now about the time they spent in his classroom.
Betsy Towner Levine
Support for this program comes from Lumina Foundation and the Spencer Foundation.