Jay Gillen


Jay Gillen - Resized

Jay Gillen has taught and organized in an around Baltimore City Public Schools since 1987. In 1994, after a two-year organizing campaign, he became teacher-director of the new Stadium Middle School, the first community-controlled public school in Baltimore in many years. Working with graduates of the Stadium School, Gillen developed the peer-tutoring Baltimore Algebra Project (BAP) in 2001. Students working for the BAP as math literacy workers and student organizers have earned more than $4,000,000 since then. The BAP became entirely student-run in 2009, and is looked to around the country as a model for structuring student power in a sustainable way. In 2009, Gillen returned to full-time math teaching, co-teaching with BAP graduates to create near-peer learning communities for high-school students having trouble with math. Today, he teaches at the Waxter Juvenile Detention Center for Young Women, and is helping to develop a Peer-to- Peer Youth Enterprise Incubator, which has a goal of creating 200 knowledge-based peer-to- peer jobs serving 1,000 students in Baltimore by  2019. Gillen is the author of numerous articles, and of the book, Educating for Insurgency: The Roles of Young People in Schools of Poverty. A companion volume, Uprooting Education: From Crawl Spaces to a Youth Economy will be published in 2019.