An Unstandardized Take on Education 


A reassessment of education today.

Education is too often relegated to the most remote corners of our news media. All of the Above is a unique place for both non-educators and educators alike to examine critical issues in education in an interactive and unstandardized way.

Bringing education to the forefront.

All of the Above is hosted by two passionate life-long educators who seek to bring issues in education to the forefront. Taking a deep, critical look at issues in American schooling today, they are joined each episode by amazing guests who are making waves in education.

Recent Videos

Full Episode 5 - A Look Back

In Ep. 5 we take on the latest developments in American schooling, from school desegregation plans in NYC to the connection between Starbucks’ implicit bias training and our own classrooms. We then celebrate the six-month anniversary of the show by taking a look back at some key highlights of previous episodes. Jeffrey closes out the episode with his Assessment of the the vital role played by our schools’ unsung heroes.


Manuel brings in a graduation cap and reflects on the major transitions that our schools face as the 2017-2018 school year comes to a close. When the Class of 2018 reunites at future class reunions, what will our schools look like? Debates over arming teachers, implementing school choice, and redefining what an “American” is threaten to radically change our schools as we know them.

Full Episode 4 - Technology in the Classroom

In Episode 4 of All of the Above we take on recent developments in American schooling, from the role of modern technology in our classrooms to the debate around discipline reform and the emergence of performance tasks as measures of college readiness. For the Seminar we are joined by a technologist, a university instructor who teaches the next generation of teachers, and a classroom teacher to discuss the big questions that arise from the rapid growth of technology in the classroom.


Jeffrey brings in a copy of the late, great, Lerone Bennett Jr.’s book Before the Mayflower and examines the widespread ignorance we have about the full scope of our nation’s history.  Americans are shockingly uninformed and misinformed about history and our government. Our school system - particularly our suburban and rural schools - plays a big role.

FULL EPISODE 3 - Examining College Access

In episode three we take on recent developments in American schooling--including preparation for school shootings, the debate around college access, and the importance of the arts in our schools. The episode begins with a look at recent headlines, including DeVos' recent comments about prior education policies. Our panel discussion examines whether our "college for all" emphasis is the right move for public education. 


Manuel brings in a well-used paintbrush and examines the shockingly low number of American students that have had access to a meaningful arts education in public schools.  One of the first and biggest casualties of the No Child Left Behind era, arts education has many proven positive impacts on children and on society.  The piecemeal approach we are currently taking to provide minimal arts education is admirable given budgetary constraints, but not enough to meet the needs of our students. 

AOTA SHORT - Teachers and Second Jobs

Teacher by day, dental assistant by night? Sounds crazy, and it is. About one in six teachers in America holds down a second job in order to make ends meet. Considering the combination of increased housing costs and stagnant salaries, is this becoming the new normal?

FULL EPISODE 2 – Race, Culture, and American Schooling

In the second full episode of All of the Above we explore recent developments in American schooling, from the diversifying student population to the shortage of teachers and more.  For our seminar segment, we bring on a celebrated Ethnic Studies teacher and an award-winning university professor of Black Studies & History to discuss the dynamics of race and culture in the modern American classroom.


Jeffrey Garrett shares his concerns regarding the limited amount of time that we allot to teachers to reflect on their practice, collaborate, and hone their craft on a daily basis.

RECAP: Teaching in today's political climate

Roughly 1/3 of teachers are Trump supporters. As we head towards the finish line of year one of Trump's presidency, here's a little recap of four educators discussing politics in the classroom.

AOTA Short: Net Neutrality and Education

With the end of net neutrality upon us, much of the focus has been on how our use of streaming services may be impacted. In this short we take a look at how the repeal of net neutrality may impact students and teachers.

AOTA Short: Test Scores Up, Student Happiness Down

In this All of the Above short we discuss a recent study that appears to show a correlation between raising test scores and declining student happiness. Specifically, the study suggests that teachers who are skilled at improving test scores are likely to have less happy and less engaged students than teachers who aren't as successful at raising test scores.


Jeffrey revisits the tragic killing of Philando Castile, whose death not only sent shockwaves through the nation but through the school lunchrooms where he helped feed the children of St. Paul, MN. Jeffrey sends a special shout out to the cafeteria workers, bus drivers, school nurses, and countless other unsung heroes who make sure our students and schools are set up for success day in and day out.


We are joined by middle school teacher Evelyn Ennis, teacher education instructor Jeff Share, and technologist Santhosh Balasubramanian for a discussion about the rapid growth of technology in the classroom. Time spent on devices and a myriad of blended learning platforms now occupy a significant amount of the instructional experience of many American students.  But is this a good thing? Are we on the precipice of a great new era of public education, or on the edge of disaster?


Manuel reflects on a recent chance encounter with a former student at a concert in Hollywood. After a flurry of negative headlines regarding teacher interactions with students, Manuel reminds educators of the importance of being a positive connection for students trying to connect the dots in this disconnected world.


We’re joined by Rachel Bonkovsky and Mo Hyman for a discussion about the movement towards college for all. Rachel is a Senior Director of School Transformation who manages high school principals and oversees her organization’s college going culture initiative.  Mo Hyman is the co-founder of College Access Plan, a non profit college access program that serves 1,500 students from middle school through college. 


Jeffrey takes aim at the Republican “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” and examines its potential impact on American public schools.  The tax law, which transfers over $1.5 trillion of wealth from the people to the super wealthy, stands to place downward pressure on schools.  From direct budget cuts to federal funding, to the ripple effect that cuts to programs like Medicaid and SNAP will have on students’ home lives, there are many implications for our schools that have gone largely unaddressed in the media. 

AOTA Short - The Low Prestige of Teaching

Everyone respects teachers, right? With declining numbers of people entering the profession in recent years, is our disregard for teaching the cause of teacher shortages across the country? Are low pay and low prestige chasing away the next generation of American teachers?


For this week's panel discussion we are joined by Roxana Dueñas and Dr. Terence Keel for a discussion about race, culture, and American schooling. Roxana Dueñas is a stellar teacher who helped pioneer Ethnic Studies courses at her school site. Dr. Keel is an award-winning professor of Black Studies and History whose new book, Divine Variations, explores the intersections of race, science, and Christianity.


Dr. Rustin discusses a recent report showing that more than a quarter of the nations’ educators don’t support DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

AOTA Short: Is the quest for perfect grades harming our students?

In this All of the Above short we take a look at a recent story concerning the negative effects of striving for perfect grades. Are students harmed by the pursuit of perfect grades?

AOTA Short: State Sued Over Low Reading Scores

This All of the Above short examines a lawsuit in California over reading achievement. A group is suing the state alleging that it has failed to adhere to its plan for addressing the literacy crisis in California schools.


Our inaugural episode dives head-on into the latest issues impacting our schools today. After a look at recent headlines in education, Manuel examines the ongoing pressure that teachers often feel to leave the classroom and climb up the career ladder. Afterwards, our hosts are joined by two special guests for a discussion regarding just how “political” a teacher should be during class. Jeff then offers a reflective look at how efforts to ensure school safety may instead be creating a veritable police state for our students. 



Rethinking School Security - EP. 1

Jeffrey shares his concerns about how incidents of violence on school campuses may be soliciting the wrong response from schools looking to establish safe and healthy school climates.


Politics in the Classroom - EP. 1

In this age of intense political debate and division, to what extent should a teacher's own political views be visible in the classroom? Two guests - one a teacher educator and another a student teacher - join us on set to discuss.


Rethinking the Career Ladder - EP. 1

Dr. Rustin shares his concerns regarding the ongoing pressure for classroom teachers to climb up the career ladder and leave the classroom.