Archived Issue Archived Front Page of TCLA - Vol.1, No.1 - Democracy 2000 (Winter 2000/2001)
an online journal of idea, ucla's institute for democracy, education & access Democracy 2000
Teaching to Change LA Winter 2000/2001 Winter 2000/2001 Vol.1, No.1
About TCLA
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< The Digital Divide - Spring 2001 >
Democracy 2000
What Does Democracy Look Like?

Americans have heard a great deal about democracy in recent weeks. Elected officials, party activists, and later judges have invoked "democracy" to make the case for, or against, counting disputed ballots. Many members of the press have portrayed the entire electoral contest as democracy in action. One reporter, covering the ballot-stuffed moving van as it rolled across Florida’s highways, remarked, "This is what democracy looks like."

This journal is guided by a different vision of democracy. We look upon democracy as a not-yet-realized ideal of a society governed by, and in the interests of, the common people. We imagine democracy as a process for bringing together the voices of those too often excluded from policy debates—urban youth, teachers, and working class parents. We envision democracy as a movement for social change. Rather than a yellow moving van, we picture a mass of protesters—young and old; black, yellow, brown, and white—marching for educational and economic justice through the streets of downtown Los Angeles last August chanting, "This is what democracy looks like."

We hope that the pages of this journal echo with what Walt Whitman called Chants Democratic.’ You will find the voices of students, educators, and parents from across greater Los Angeles, speaking out on democracy, on their schools, and on the conditions in their communities.

John Rogers is the Associate Director of idea.

What Does Democracy Sound Like?
Yetunde Reeves & Tere Viramontes
Click here to listen to more audio reflections from teachers on educational policies and tools for democracy.
About TCLA
About TCLA
TCLA aims to make public the information and activities that further social justice in Los Angeles communities. Find out what prompted the creation of TCLA, who worked on this issue and the ways you can submit work to the journal.
LA Teachers
LA Teachers
Democracy in My Classroom
Elizabeth Minster's struggle begins in the classroom. As a social studies teacher at Los Angeles High School, she works to create a community, curriculum and class environment in which the practice of democratic principles can take place.
LA Students
LA Students
Democracy is…
Students at Stoner Elementary write poetry about democracy. Rahel Abebe writes, "I like it/Ask me why/ Because it gives everyone’s voice a chance/Because it’s part of my life and soul/Because I can be heard/Because/That’s why/I like Democracy"
Parents & Community
Parents & Community
Parent Partners
Cicely Morris and Aisha Zakiya Blanchard have created a model for teacher and parent collaboration in Inglewood.
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LA Voices
LA Voices
"If I had more of a voice I would change the books that are torn in the libraries so the kids can read new books that aren't torn and ripped..."
- Christina, Grade 4, Age 8
Fern Avenue School, Torrance Unified
Politics & Education
Politics & Education
Proposition 227, Stanford 9 and Open Court: Three Strikes Against English Language Learners
Ramón Martínez, a teacher at Utah Street Elementary in Boyle Heights, describes how Proposition 227, Stanford 9, and Open Court affects English Language students in Los Angeles.
Books & Links
Books & Links
From The Freedom Writer’s Diary, a collection of student diary entries, to The PBS Kids Democracy Project, a web site for children, this page offers a variety of resources for students, teachers and parents.
Talk Back
Talk Back
We’d love to hear from you! Let us know what you think about TCLA and Los Angeles schools and find out how you can submit a story to TCLA.
<< Special Feature - Education, Access, and Democracy in Los Angeles >>
This past summer professors at UCLA received funding from idea and the Los Angeles Basin Initiative to teach high school students how to become critical researchers of democracy, education and access in their communities. The following pages are dedicated to this seminar.
IDEA/LABI Teacher Page:
Teaching Critical Research
IDEA/LABI Student Page:
Urban Youth as Critical Researchers
To read reviews of the course work, activities and theories behind Education, Access and Democracy in Los Angeles, click here. Click here to find out what high school critical researchers have to say about democracy in their schools and communities, or watch videos of students discussing the importance of critical research and what they feel is the most important issue in their communities.

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