This Public School Teacher Does Not Pledge Allegiance to the Flag

I have not pledged “allegiance to the flag of the United States of America” in more than eight years. My personal objections to participating began as religious (see Anabaptist theology and practice). I was not teaching at the time, so like so many Americans, public situations that observed the pledge were a very irregular part … Continue reading This Public School Teacher Does Not Pledge Allegiance to the Flag

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The Schemers, Accomplices, and Pawns of Every Charter School

Charter schools are destined to be viewed by future generations as having been on “the wrong side of history.” But like other current education reforms, on the surface at least, charter schools seem like a good idea to a variety of people. Proponents of charter schools range from conservatives to progressives and from corporations to … Continue reading The Schemers, Accomplices, and Pawns of Every Charter School

Dos and Don’ts of Teaching American Slavery (for White Educators)

The Southern Poverty Law Center and Teaching Tolerance recently released a report entitled, “Teaching Hard History: American Slavery.” It is essential reading for all teachers; all subjects and all grade levels. The companion podcast series of the same name is equally valuable for educators. For U.S history teachers, like myself, that teach American slavery as … Continue reading Dos and Don’ts of Teaching American Slavery (for White Educators)

Public Schools Are Not ‘Government Schools,’ Not Yet

A favorite talking point of school privatizers and education reformers is to refer to public schools as “government schools.” When free market ideologues and politicians do this, they are primarily appealing to the libertarian tendencies of middle and upper class white evangelicals and Catholics. Right wing politicians rarely use the word “government” positively as an … Continue reading Public Schools Are Not ‘Government Schools,’ Not Yet

Five Reasons the Success of State Question 799 Referendum Petition Is Not a Foregone Conclusion

On Tuesday, May 1, 2018, two women walked into the Secretary of State’s office in Oklahoma City and filed the necessary paperwork to begin collecting signatures in an effort to place HB 1010xx on the ballot in November. HB 1010xx is the revenue bill, signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin on March 29, which … Continue reading Five Reasons the Success of State Question 799 Referendum Petition Is Not a Foregone Conclusion

Colonial Days and the Erasure of American Slavery

Of the four core subjects (social studies, science, language arts, and math), social studies is no doubt the subject with the reputation for having the most potential to be boring. The lifeless history class taught by the uninterested male coach is the cliché that every social studies teacher must work hard to avoid. Then there … Continue reading Colonial Days and the Erasure of American Slavery

Oklahoma Teacher Walkout: What We Can Do Different Next Time

Most of Oklahoma’s public schools were closed for nine days, April 2-12, 2018, as a show of strength and commitment in what came to be known as the Oklahoma Teacher Walkout. It was two weeks of rallying, marching, lobbying, organizing, singing, chanting, and picketing. Each of these forms of civic engagement is now an essential … Continue reading Oklahoma Teacher Walkout: What We Can Do Different Next Time

Union Talk: Oklahoma Walkout Edition

(See below for definitions.) Teachers and State Employees in Oklahoma are getting jiggie (1) with a statewide job action (2). For ten years Oklahoma teachers have been told, “Bob’s your uncle” (3). During this time, teachers in Oklahoma gained a reputation for being Worms (4). Now, many teachers are belly up (5), and some have dragin … Continue reading Union Talk: Oklahoma Walkout Edition