Faculty and Staff

Pauline Lipman, PhD


Pauline Lipman is professor of Educational Policy Studies and Director of the Collaborative for Equity and Justice in Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her teaching, research, and activism grow out of her commitment to social justice and liberation. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on political economy of urban education, particularly the inter-relationship of education policy, urban restructuring, and the politics of race. Pauline is the author of numerous journal articles, book chapters, and policy reports. In The New Political Economy of Urban Education: Neoliberalism, Race, and the Right to the City (Routledge, 2011), she argues that education is integral to neoliberal economic and spatial urban restructuring and its class and race inequalities and exclusions as well as to the potential for a new, radically democratic economic and political social order.

Pauline is a founding member of Teachers for Social Justice in Chicago and is involved in grassroots organizing against education privatization and for equitable, democratic neighborhood public schools and community-driven school transformation as part of the democratic transformation of the city. She is currently working in Valparaíso, Chile to learn about efforts by the municipal government and education activists to use local political power to transform public education as part of the transformation of the city. Her blog, Chitown & Chile, (with Rico Gutstein) documents the education campaign in Valparaíso and

Rhoda Rae Gutierrez, PhD

Program Director and Researcher

Rhoda Rae Gutierrez received a PhD in Policy Studies in Urban Education- Social Foundations from the University of Illinois at Chicago. At CEJE, she has collaborated with teachers to engage in critical inquiry and integrate critical pedagogy in the classroom, and organized teacher workshops and public colloquia on education justice issues. She also worked on multiple CEJE research projects including the 2014-15 Chicago School Closings project, which researched the impact of the historic 2013 wave of school closures from the perspectives of parents, students and communities. Her research interests include Chicago neoliberal education policy, the cultural politics of race, and education and racial justice.

Rhoda is a parent of two Chicago Public Schools students and is an education activist who has worked in coalitions to stop school closings, end high-stakes testing, push for an elected representative school board, and build solidarity among teachers and parents. Rhoda has served on the boards of directors of the Crossroads Fund, a public foundation that supports social change grassroots organizing in Chicago, and Pintig Cultural Group, a Filipinx American political theater organization. She is also the former Chicago chapter coordinator of GABRIELA Network, a Philippine-US women’s solidarity organization.

Eric Gutstein, PhD

Faculty Associate

Eric “Rico” Gutstein is Professor in the Curriculum and Instruction Department of the University of Illinois at Chicago and Associate Faculty in CEJE. Rico has worked closely with Chicago Public schools (CPS) since 1994, with Orozco School (Pilsen), then helped co-found Chicago’s Social Justice High School (Lawndale, 2005). At both schools, Rico worked with students and teachers, co-developing/teaching mathematics for social justice (critical mathematics) and taught social-justice focused mathematics classes. Rico has collaborated with Chicago communities to defend and develop public schools grounded in principles of self-determination, environmental justice, and global leadership. He co-facilitated the proposal-writing team of the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School that kept CPS from closing Bronzeville’s last public high school in 2016. Since 2017, Rico has served on the Task Force of the Sustainable Community Schools (SCS) initiative, a joint project of the Chicago Teachers Union/Grassroots Education Movement (a Chicago community coalition) and CPS.

Rico is a co-founder (1998) and active in Teachers for Social Justice (TSJ), a Chicago-based organization active in the education justice movement. Rico has published on critical mathematics, the relationship of racial capitalism and CPS policy, and education justice movements. In Fall 2019, Rico is in Valparaíso, Chile, where he is learning from, and working with, education activists to develop critical pedagogies linked to radically transforming the city. He collaborates with Pauline Lipman to produce the ChiTown & Chile blog.