Brian Jones is an educator, actor, and socialist in New York City. For nine years he taught elementary grades in New York City’s public schools and he is currently working on a doctorate in urban education at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Brian is a long-time member of the International Socialist Organization.
As a teacher, Brian fought against the privatization of NYC’s public schools. He organized against charter school co-locations, budget cuts, and school closings. In 2012 Brian helped to lead the the “Occupy the Department of Education” protest against school closings that brought thousands of educators, parents and students to the rubber-stamp Panel for Educational Policy meeting in an attempt to shut it down. Brian is a founding member of the social justice caucus in the United Federation of Teachers: the Movement of Rank and File Educators, and was its candidate for UFT Secretary in 2013.
As an educator and activist, Brian has become a leading voice in discussions about public education. In 2010, he first came to national attention in a televised debate with charter school CEO Geoffrey Canada and then-Washington DC schools chancellor Michelle Rhee at NBC’s first Education Nation summit. The following year Brian co-narrated the film, The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman, which has been screened in all 50 states and on several continents. He has appeared as a commentator on Democracy Now! and MSNBC, and has written articles for many different publications and websites, including SocialistWorker.org, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times.
Brian has contributed to three books: Education and Capitalism: Struggles for Learning and Liberation, 101 Changemakers: Rebels and Radicals Who Changed US History, and Educational Courage: Resisting the Ambush of Public Education. Brian has also lent his voice to several audiobooks, including Hopes and Prospects by Noam Chomsky, The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World by John Carlos and Dave Zirin, and the one-man play, Marx in Soho by Howard Zinn. Brian is a recipient of the 2012 Lannan Cultural Freedom Fellowship.
Brian travels widely to speak to activists, educators, parents, and students about racism, civil rights, and public education. He blogs at No Struggle, No Progress.