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Leadership and Activism

This category contains 315 posts

857 wicked design problems

Amidst the traffic resulting from President Obama’s visit to Orlando, I thought of Arne Duncan in Washington, DC, and his 857 desks. I thought also of University of Virginia Rector Helen Dragas and her 3 meetings. And I thought about walking around Epcot last night while talking politics and education with my mom, a happily … Continue reading

Education: The Past, The Present and The Future #2

You know you’ve read a good post when it makes you have several different thoughts about something important.  While this post begins like another, it has a totally different ending… Recently I read an article from District Administrator magazine entitled, “The Three New Pillars of 21st Century Learning”               … Continue reading

Real Reform: What we DO want (?)

Easy way to get a new post – paste your treatise from another blog… Yesterday (Sat. 6/9) this was posted on BlueJersey: “There’s a lot written here about what we don’t like about the right wing education “reform” agenda – the attack on unions, privatization, etc. I’m at an education panel at Netroots Nation, and … Continue reading

Why I Left the NEA

When the Arizona state legislature began cutting funding to education, I met with the union (the AEA, the affiliate of the NEA) and helped pass out fliers urging voters to speak out. When they passed anti-teacher legislation, I wore red and joined the protests. I blogged about it. I tweeted about it. I talked to … Continue reading

Educating and being educated.

We are approaching the horizon of a national crisis that is being ignored, blanketed in dissolution of hopes that it will be one of those “work itself out” issues like we hoped with the 2000’s financial meltdown. Our feelings about this crisis are the same as they were in that crisis because the same lack … Continue reading

Sustained by Love from Comrades (SLC)

Now is one of the few times I’m glad I have no time to write. I started writing a post in April and had to do it in pieces. I was almost all set to post something when I just had to change it. My next post was going to be titled “Time for Some … Continue reading

Let Our Voices be Heard (Guest Post by SWDFS student Raychel Gafford)

Reposted with permission from Southwest Detroit Freedom School. Originally posted at Let Our Voices Be Heard! Originally recited by Raychel Gafford during a walk out and protest at Western International School in Detroit Wednesday April 25, 2012. See video of the speech below! Her speech starts at 3:46! Hi my name is  Raychel Gafford. I’m … Continue reading

MAY DAY of Action for Education! #OccupyEDU

Today all over the country students, educators, parents and community members are taking part in the May Day of Action. There are many ways to support this day of action. One way is to make your voice heard online. Today we will be collecting blog posts and twitter/facebook status message and pictures and posters in … Continue reading

L.A. Riots: An Interview 20 Years Later

My good friend Javier Lucero (@mrlucero82) was a nine year old child during the L.A. Riots twenty years ago. I interviewed him about his experiences as a child and what that means for him as a teacher dedicated to social justice. The interview takes place in a car, so there’s sort-of a third character of … Continue reading

Frog Birds, Autonomous Individuals, Groups and Flying Kites in the Rain

I believe that society must be reconstructed to enlarge the contribution of autonomous individuals and primary groups to the total effectiveness of a new system of production designed to satisfy the human needs which it also determines. -Illich (1973)   Frog Birds, Autonomous Individuals and Groups The time is now to listen to Frog Birds, … Continue reading

Tear Down That Wall

Walls. We are surrounded by them in our schools. Usually a dull beige or institutional grey; they divide us from our colleagues, administrators, community, and sometimes even our students. They also serve as a phenomenal metaphor for the state of education in this country. How many people actually know what goes on in the educational factories … Continue reading

Traditions of Struggle: Teaching as a Spiritual Practice

“Struggling myself don’t mean a whole lot, I’ve come to realize/that teaching others to stand and fight is the only way my struggle survives.” – Bernice Johnson Reagon, Sweet Honey in the Rock I have been thinking a great deal lately about whether being a classroom teacher is actually what I envision myself doing. There … Continue reading

What Would Gandhi Do?

In its infinite wisdom, the New York State Education Department has increased the length of the state ELA and math tests by 50% this year. Now three days each instead of two. They say that the increase is due to a need to field test questions for future exams based on the Common Core standards. In … Continue reading

50 Words You Should NOT Say on a Standardized Test

I wanted to share a recent post I wrote for Common Dreams, a progressive news site. Here’s an excerpt from “50 Words You Should NOT Say on a Standardized Test”: “… when I first read about the New York City’s department of education effort to ban 50 words from city-wide tests, I thought that I’d … Continue reading

For they are not doing what they can’t yet do

In mulling over the school to prison pipeline and the cosmetic differences between grouping and tracking, I’ve found myself asking the same questions over and over again: Is there a link between early-childhood placement in a reading remediation program or scripted learning environment and eventual incarceration? (Don’t click if you hate Elseiver.) Even if there … Continue reading

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