There are 30 days of school between MLK Day and the anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s murder. Here are 30 black lives to celebrate on those days.

Day 1: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 Garrison Frazier was an enslaved minister who purchased his own freedom and that of his wife around 1857. Frazier was the leader of a group of twenty black community members who met with Union army general William Tecumseh Sherman in Savannah, Georgia in 1865. Frazier explained to Sherman that … Continue reading There are 30 days of school between MLK Day and the anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s murder. Here are 30 black lives to celebrate on those days.

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The Problem with Preparing Students for ‘The Real World’

“’Welcome to the real world,’ she said to me, condescendingly. Take a seat. Take your life. Plot it out in black and white.” That’s how John Mayer’s breakthrough hit from 2002, “No Such Thing,” begins. “She,” presumably, is Mayer’s high school guidance counselor who wants the young musician to “stay inside the lines.” The song … Continue reading The Problem with Preparing Students for ‘The Real World’

The New Working Class Teacher

Teachers have long been listed as part of what is called the “professional class.” Similar to the “middle class,” the professional class is the long time standard-bearer of capitalistic virtues and is often defined in contrast to both the upper or ruling class and the lower or working class. The shrinking demographic of the professional … Continue reading The New Working Class Teacher

‘Mr. Baker Lets Us Do It’

A recent post at Spoon Vision entitled, “’Take Your Hood Off,’ and Other Teacher Microaggressions,” upset more than a few people and resulted in almost 30,000 views in the last ten days. Much of the criticism was constructive and resulted in some very important self-reflection on my part. I especially appreciate those educators of color … Continue reading ‘Mr. Baker Lets Us Do It’

The Role of White Teachers in Educational Equity

The legacies of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the landmark cases of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and Brown v. Board of Education (1954) tell the complicated history of the love-hate relationship between U.S. law and the word “equality.” Today, through a process known as “resegregation,” it is clear once again that in … Continue reading The Role of White Teachers in Educational Equity

‘Take Your Hood Off’ and Other Teacher Microaggressions

In 2008, David Whitman, future speech writer for early Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan, coined the term “paternalistic school” to describe what we now know as “no nonsense” charter schools. Whitman, a proponent of education reform, chose the word “paternalistic” as a flattering moniker for the movement. In an essay entitled “An Appeal to Authority” … Continue reading ‘Take Your Hood Off’ and Other Teacher Microaggressions

When Suspensions Are Down, But Restorative Discipline Is Not Up

The racism, once long latent in “zero tolerance” school discipline policies, is now manifest to many education stake holders, especially in urban school districts with majority non-white students. White educators everywhere are waking up to the reality that America’s addiction to incarceration is directly tied to school discipline policies that disproportionately push students of color … Continue reading When Suspensions Are Down, But Restorative Discipline Is Not Up

There Is Nothing ‘Mom and Pop’ About Charter Schools

In a forgotten time in this country, the “mom and pop” moniker stood for everything that was right about the family owned small business. Urban grocery stores, owned and operated by small families who often lived in the same building, provided an indispensable service to neighborhood residents within walking distance. Qualifying for the nickname had … Continue reading There Is Nothing ‘Mom and Pop’ About Charter Schools

Political Teaching – Part I

Teaching is an inherently political vocation. Every teacher, without exception, is a conduit for multiple political agendas. The Oklahoma Academic Standards (OAS) are the political agenda of the Oklahoma State Department of Education, with direct oversight from the Oklahoma Legislature. To be fair, for the most part, the OAS were created with input from actual … Continue reading Political Teaching – Part I