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
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
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
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
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
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?
Public schools are the shit! Ask any fourth grader. “What do you think of your school, Timmy?” “My school’s the shit!” “Does your teacher let you talk that way, Timmy?” “Of course not! I just really want you to know how important my school is to me.” And there are over three million fourth graders … Continue reading Public Schools Are the Shit!
(In my classroom, I rarely speak his name, so forgive me for repeating it here.) Donald Trump is president, and I am a public school teacher. Let that sink in for a moment… Now, allow me to explain. Donald Trump is president, and I teach my students that ridiculing people with disabilities is a sign … Continue reading Donald Trump is President, and I am a Public School Teacher
See the video here.
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