An Unstandardized Take on Education 



The Language of Education – All of the Above Season 3 Ep. 1

Is it “at-promise” or “at-risk?” Should we say “achievement gap” or “opportunity gap?” In our Season 3 premiere, we unpack the ever-changing language of education. Are we witnessing political correctness gone crazy or is this a worthwhile effort to be more inclusive and asset-minded? We also take a look at recent news in education including the arrest of a six year old girl, the move to push back school start times, and the disparity in results of the CA Healthy Kids Survey.

Creating a Culture of Literacy – All of the Above Season 2 Episode 18

In our Season 2 finale we unpack the wonder and mystery of reading--and the work it takes to create a strong culture of literacy in today’s schools. We’re joined by literacy coach and Nationally Board Certified Teacher extraordinaire Geneviève DeBose Akinnagbe to hear about her work in building a culture of literacy in and out of her classroom.

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.

Recent Videos

Teach For America: Friend or Foe? – All of the Above Season 2 Episode 15

Teach for America is one of the most impactful and controversial organizations in education today. Is it championing equity and opportunity or is it undermining the teaching profession? We are joined by two powerhouse educators who are TFA alum--Tanya Franklin and Marcus Hughes--to unpack the debate over Teach for America.

Schools and the Pledge of Allegiance – All of the Above Season 2 Episode 16

In a nation that prides itself on being a beacon of democracy, should the pledge of allegiance still be practiced in our public schools? Jeffrey walks us through the complex history of the pledge as we re-examine this classic schoolhouse tradition.

A Conversation with Chavonne Taylor - An AOTA Ep.10 Extra

Manuel sits down with community activist, radio host, and trauma educator extraordinaire Chavonne Taylor to discuss the state of our schools and what educators need to do to better support students who have been marginalized.

(Re)Segregation: A Segregation Story – All of the Above Season 2 Episode 14

How can the story of one California high school inform our national discussion about school segregation? A new film explores how a once-integrated high school has become the most segregated in town. We bring filmmaker Pablo Miralles on to discuss his new film “Can We All Get Along? The Segregation of John Muir High School.”

The Principalship – All of the Above Season 2 Episode 12

Is there anything more important in a school than having effective leadership? Without it, teachers can’t thrive in their role, systems erode, and everyone in the building has their talent stifled. So, what does it take to be an effective principal today?

It’s All About the Kids – All of the Above Season 2 Episode 13

Educators love to say “it’s all about the kids,” but are they telling the truth when they say this? We unpack the “it’s about the students!” trope and examine the extent to which classrooms and districts make space for student voice and input.

Exploring Trauma-Informed Care – All of the Above Season 2 Episode 10

The latest buzz in education circles is trauma-informed care, but too few educators really understand what that means or looks like in practice. Given what we know about trauma and its impact on our students, what needs to happen in our schools to support our students who have been impacted by trauma?

Exploring Teacher Quality in High-Need Schools – All of the Above Season 2 Episode 9

It’s no secret that many of our highest-need schools face a revolving door of teachers—particularly inexperienced and ineffective ones. How can we work to ensure that our best teachers get placed where they are needed most? We are joined by NBCT Geneviève DeBose Akinnagbe.

The Path Towards Becoming an Educator – All of the Above Season 2 Episode 8

Behind every great educator is an origin story. In this episode, we explore why we decided to become teachers in the first place and we reflect on how one’s educator “origin story” impacts their work in the field.

The Teacher vs. Administrator Dynamic – All of the Above Season 2 Episode 7

Have school administrators forgotten what it’s like to be in the classroom? Veteran classroom teacher Manuel Rustin airs out some common teacher complaints about their administrators while veteran administrator Jeffrey Garrett responds.

The Pressure of Going to College – All of the Above Season 2 Episode 6

How do students today feel about the constant pressure to attend college? We sit down with some dope high school seniors to gain their perspectives about the modern “college or bust” climate of today’s schools. But first, we begin with a review of recent education news about firearm training in PE classes, corporal punishment in today’s classrooms, and a push to take nutrition OUT of school lunches.

Transforming Struggling Schools – AOTA Season 2 Episode 5

In the wealthiest nation on earth, why do we STILL have schools in crisis? We begin this episode with a review of recent education news about ADHD diagnoses, a big financial aid boost in CA, and a BIG geography fail in DC. We’re then joined by three heavyweights in the field of education from the Partnership for L.A. Schools for an honest conversation about why school transformation is so difficult.

Students voice their dress code concerns – AOTA Season 2 Episode 4

Schools are quick to implement and enforce dress codes, but how do these policies impact students’ experiences at school? We begin this episode with a review of recent education news before sending it over to a school library for a revealing talk with students about how dress codes impact their schooling.

School Choice as a Driver of Segregation – All of the Above Season 2 Episode 3

After a review of recent education news, we take a deep dive into the controversy surrounding school choice. With American schools more segregated than they were before Brown v. Board, are school choice measures addressing inequity or are they making segregation worse?

Revisiting how teachers frame “success” – Season 2 Episode 2

We begin this episode with a review of recent education headlines about teacher wages, grade inflation, and defrauded student loan borrowers. We then take a deep dive into the hidden dangers of setting high expectations devoid of authentic love and understanding.

Education Headlines Galore! – All of the Above Season 2 Episode 17

Sometimes there’s so much going on in the world of education that it’s hard to keep up! Don’t worry, we got you covered with this special headlines-in-education episode. We invited one of our favorite English teachers, Mimi Dao, back on the set to help us unpack today’s news.


Students in high-need schools deserve our best teachers! National Board Certified Teacher extraordinaire Geneviève DeBose Akinnagbe joins us to share a letter that a student wrote to her about the lack of quality teachers in high-need schools.


Mimi Dao, a dope high school English, Puente, and ELD teacher, brings in a bonsai plant to illustrate the careful attention that is required to meet the individual needs of different learners.

An All of the Above Short: What were they thinking?

This Halloween a group of teachers in Idaho dressed up as Trump's border wall, complete with “Make America Great Again” scrawled across it and the Statue of Liberty standing behind it. Another group of teachers then dressed up as "Mexicans" with sombreros, ponchos, maracas, and fake mustaches.


We cap the end of season one with a discussion about the never-ending debate over dress codes and school uniforms. We also bring on a special guest for our “Show and Tell” to discuss the problematic narratives around attending junior college. Season finale! Remember to subscribe on YouTube so you don’t miss out on Season 2!

ASSESSMENT - EP. 7 - Manuel celebrates his 15th year in the classroom and examines the various challenges that make this a difficult milestone for many teachers to reach. Our nation’s high teacher attrition rate, which disproportionately affects teachers of color and teachers who work in schools serving high percentages of students of color, continues to plague high-needs schools.

Full Episode 5 - A Look Back

We take on the latest developments in American schooling, 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 with his Assessment of the the vital role played by our schools’ unsung heroes.


We’re joined by restorative practices guru Julija Zubac and accomplished high school principal Mauro Bautista for a discussion about how to ensure school safety in the wake of incidents of mass violence. What is the best way for us to ensure safety at our schools while simultaneously working to avoid turning our schools into prisons?


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.


We have our first guest contributor for Show and Tell! Nadia Elhawary, a dynamic educator with experience in teaching and in counseling, brings in a portfolio she created in 3rd grade to show us how her schooling maintained a white-washed view of history that reinforces white supremacy. Nadia reflects on her need to unlearn and actively dismantle the dominant narrative that marginalizes the histories of people of color.

Full Episode 6 – Keeping our Schools Safe

We begin with a look at recent headlines in education and then we bring guest contributor Nadia Elhawary on set for an analysis of white supremacy in school curriculum. Our Seminar tackles the issue of school safety with guests Mauro Bautista, an accomplished high school principal, and Julija Zubac, a champion of restorative communities. Jeffrey closes out the episode with his Assessment of the inequities within the summer loss.


After a look at recent headlines in our Warm Up, guest contributor Mimi Dao reflects on the importance of teachers revisiting their practice and ensuring that they are meeting the individual needs of their current students. Tremale Berger joins our Seminar for a discussion about supporting the needs of students in foster care, and Manuel closes with an Assessment of teacher turnover and attrition.

Full Episode 4 - Technology in the Classroom

In Episode 4 we take on recent developments in education, from the role of modern technology in our classrooms to the emergence of performance tasks as measures of college readiness. For the Seminar we are joined by a technologist, a university instructor, and a classroom teacher to discuss the big questions that arise from the rapid growth of technology in the classroom.


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. The fact that there are educators who don’t want this program to exist for our law-abiding students who’ve spent nearly their entire lives in America is both unsettling and unacceptable.


We guarantee that every educator has a strong opinion about standards and assessments! Whether you love them or hate them, join us as we examine the never-ending standards debate. Jeff brings in a copy of the common core state standards to launch this episode’s Show & Tell.