Trauma Informed Schools: The New ‘New Paternalism’

In 1997, New York University professor, Lawrence M. Mead, edited a book entitled “The New Paternalism: Supervisory Approaches to Poverty.” Mead’s work, spanning more than 30 years, has been highly influential in the implementation of draconian and ineffective work requirements for government assistance programs. “The New Paternalism” directly inspired noted education reformer, David Whitman, to … Continue reading Trauma Informed Schools: The New ‘New Paternalism’

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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)

No Space in Public Schools for Teaching Alt-right Ideology

A recent HuffPost exclusive titled, “Florida Public School Teacher Has A White Nationalist Podcast,” details how a 7th grade social studies teacher in Crystal River, Florida, moonlights under a pseudonym as a podcaster, young adult novelist, and a rather public figure with a considerable presence and following in the alt-right media. The website Angry White … Continue reading No Space in Public Schools for Teaching Alt-right Ideology

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

Where Should White Teachers Teach?

The latest data shows that slightly less than 50% of America’s students are white, while the percentage of white teachers, though slowly trending downward, remains near 80% (USDOE). Combine these numbers with the reality that our schools are more segregated now than they have been in decades, and that means that my situation is far … Continue reading Where Should White Teachers Teach?

What It Means That My School Embraces Cultural Diversity

I should clarify. I am not in a position to speak on behalf of my entire school. What follows are the implications of cultural diversity as they are apparent to me. My hope, however, is that I have earned the right to speak small truths into the theories and practices of my education colleagues both … Continue reading What It Means That My School Embraces Cultural Diversity

Individualism and Culturally Responsive Teaching

The education reform movement, characterized by standardized tests, charter schools, and voucher programs, is a product of both capitalism and individualism. The buzz word for the movement, which itself implies a commitment to individualism, is “choice.” The language is always about one student and never about all students. Reformers want schools to be marketplaces for … Continue reading Individualism and Culturally Responsive Teaching