Brenda Bilal oral history interview 2, 2005 January 13
Brenda Bilal was a 55-year-old woman at the time of interview, which took place in her office in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was born in Durham, North Carolina in 1950. She was educated at Fayetteville State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and University of Texas; and was employed as a college teacher and a college administrator.
In part two of this two-part interview, Brenda Bilal continues discussing her experience with open education in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system. Ms. Bilal criticizes the current trend in mainstream education at the time of interview of increasing reliance on standardized testing, saying that this is stressful for students and forces teachers to teach to the test rather than structuring the curriculum to student needs. She shares her opinion that contracts, collaboration between students, and flexible projects are more effective ways to approach education. In addition to her perspective as an educator, Ms. Bilal also sees value in open education from her perspective as a parent. She describes the qualities that she believes her children gained in having an open education, including a sense of self-worth, creative thinking, empathy for others, persistence, and resourcefulness.