A 1989 graduate of Roseburg High School has been awarded the prestiges Brock International Prize in Education for his significant contributions to the field of education.
Jeff Duncan-Andrade is an associate professor of raza studies at San Francisco State University. He is also the founder of the Community Responsive Education group, which works internationally to develop more equitable school environments, and the Roses in Concrete Community School, which provides community responsive teaching to one of the most vulnerable communities in Oakland, California.
According to the website, the award “recognizes an individual who has made a specific innovation or contribution to the science and art of education, resulting in a significant impact on the practice or understanding of the field of education. The innovation or contribution must be specific and must have the potential to provide long-term benefit to humanity through change and improvement in education at any level, including new teaching techniques, the discovery of learning processes, the organization of a school or school system, the radical modification of government involvement in education, or other innovations.”
Duncan-Andrade was nominated by Kelly Wilson, Dean of High Tech High Graduate School of Education at the university and a juror for the prize. In her letter, Wilson said she believed “Jeff is worthy of this award because his approach to the issues confronting urban education in the United States is so innovative and effective.”
In his letter to the Prize jury, Duncan-Andrade said his work is different because “most schools focus on educating poor kids so that they can escape the poverty and suffering in their community... we know that nothing more profoundly undermines a community’s hope that the outmigration of their best and brightest young minds. Roses cultivates warrior-scholars who see the transformation of their community as an opportunity and an obligation to lead lives of direct action for social impact.”
The award is an international honor — eight other highly qualified educators from across America and the U.K. were nominated — but Duncan-Andrade says it isn’t about the awards.
“I don’t really put much stock in awards or individual recognition, but I think (this award) means something for the work and it means something for my community,” said Duncan-Andrade. “I think that one of the problems that we have in our society, but particularly in schools and education, is that there are no shortage of critics. And I’m fine with being critical, but to truly have that critical lens have impact you have to offer a viable alternative. And I think that is what the Brock Prize is acknowledging — that the criticism of public schools is warranted, but its value really rests in us using that critique to develop, test, investigate ways that it could actually be different.”