2019 AATC O.L. Davis, Jr. Book Award Winner

Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side

by Eve L. Ewing

On behalf of the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum (AATC), we are pleased to announce Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side by Dr. Eve L. Ewing is the recipient of the 2019 O.L. Davis Jr. Outstanding Book Award. Dr. Ewing describes the history of segregated schools in Chicago and the way school buildings were later usurped by the charter industry. The story of Dyett High School is particularly interesting for both its history, the story of its namesake, and the attempts to dispossess it from the community. This is an excellent book that discusses policy and makes clear that it is doing so by mentioning policy specifically. In the words of one of the committee members,

Great text! The story and connections created by Eve Ewing bring the laissez faire racism into full view. The emphasis on community in school policy decisions – or lack of focus – shifts focus within our current system. Seeing policy and policy making as a curriculum process place this text as a significant contribution.

Dr. Ewing is cordially invited to accept her award and present at a special session of the AATC Annual Conference, which will be held in Birmingham, AL, October 3rd-5th, 2019.

Dr. Ewing’s book was selected among 18 nominations, including 4 other finalists:

It’s Not about Grit: Trauma, Inequity, and the Power of Transformative teaching by Steven Goodman (Teachers College Press)


The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better by Daniel Koretz (The University of Chicago Press)

Unschooling Critical Pedagogy, Unfixing Schools by John Petrovic (Peter Lang)

What works May Hurt: Side effects in Education by Yong Zhao (Teachers College Press)

O.L. Davis, Jr. Book Award Committee Members

Dr. Daniel R. Conn

Dan Conn, Ed.D. is an associate professor and program director of the Master of Education at Minot State University. Dan’s research interests include: social justice, aesthetics in education, and ecological education. His more recent articles can be found in Teaching and Curriculum Dialogue, The Qualitative Report, and Current Issues in Education, and Curriculum Theorizing. Dan serves on the Executive Council for the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum and is an active member of the Elliot Eisner Special Interest Group with the American Educational Research Association. Dan is also a founding member of a non-profit, dreamBIG Green Schools, which aims to engage local communities in dialogue and action related to climate change.


Dr. Kimberly A. Mahovsky

Dr. Kimberly A. Mahovsky is an assistant professor at the University of Northern Colorado specializing in math methods for elementary education along with supervising student teachers within the College of Teacher Education. Kim has 10 years of teaching experience in elementary education before pursuing her master’s degree at Regis University and her doctorate at University of Denver with both degrees in curriculum and instruction. Along with directing a National Science Foundation grant, she has presented her work on the effects of high-stakes testing on classroom/pedagogy, conceptual understanding in mathematics, and teacher accountability under a standardized curriculum at several national conferences. Kim’s work with her research team, Tales of the Classroom, and the dialogue that stems from her membership with AATC fuels her passion for superior educational practices in all levels of education.


Dr. Paul Parkison

Paul Parkison, Ed.D. is associate professor and chair of the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum at the University of North Florida. His primary research interests involve investigation of teacher identity, the political economy of the teaching profession, and accreditation policy analysis. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the American Association of Teaching and Curriculum. His most recent scholarship has appeared in Education Forum, Critical Education, Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, and Curriculum and Teaching Dialogue.


Dr. Joseph Zajdel

Joseph Zajdel, Ed.D. teaches at Cumberland University, serves on dissertation committees at Delta State University, and is an independent research methodology consultant for doctoral students. His teaching experience includes school law, statistical analysis, and various courses in teacher education. The transfer of learning is his primary research interest with regard to critical pedagogy, epistemologies of science, and transfer between musical patterns and problem solving.


Dr. Michelle Tenam-Zemach

Michelle Tenam-Zemach, Ed.D. is an associate professor at Nova Southeastern University. Michelle co-edited Rubric Nation: Critical Inquiries on the Impact of Rubrics in Education, and she recently co-authored an article about the assessment industrial complex that was published in a Special Education of The Journal of Curriculum Theorizing. Michelle served as the Associate Editor of Curriculum and Teaching Dialogue, and she also served multiple terms on the Executive Board for the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum. Michelle’s research interests include: mothers play as agents of curricular choice for their children, curriculum theory and practice, assessment and evaluation, and language in the curriculum.