The Karen Fitzgibbons In Us [Scenarios USA]

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

Rebecca Carroll invited me to speak on elementary school teacher Karen Fitzgibbons and her comments about the incidents in McKinney, TX. Here’s an excerpt: But, as a teacher who’s not only taught for 10 years, but who has done educational activism work for about seven of those years, I’ve observed the vitriolic responses of even using the word “race” except when I dissent on Race To The Top, President Obama’s educational …

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Agents Of The State

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

“How many of you have a child that you believe in and no one else does?” Seats shift. “How many of you can relate to the children in front of you? How many of you have students who get thrown out of everyone else’s class but yours?” Some people blink, some heads turn to the side, but the general assembly hums and huffs. This is a Bronx auditorium where a …

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What Jay Z Freestyled, Applied To Education Reform

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Don’t ever follow the flow. Be the flow. All of this, applied to education reform. I woke up one morning to this Jay Z Tidal freestyle in my head, and some of the best ideas I’ve had all year came alive for me. I’m not sure what the future holds, but I’m almost certain it involves EduColor. I’m looking forward to the next evolution. We gonna turn style, I ain’t …

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Much Ado About 20 Days Left [On Whatever Teaching We Have Left]

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Don’t hold me accountable for the next 20 days, please. Pretty please. I get it. Every day is an instructional day. Every day, I’m supposed to engage students, activate their minds, differentiate for all learners, and use multiple assessments to make sure my lesson plan got through to the students. I’ll hold myself to that until June 26th, and with luck, most of my students will too. After 10 years …

Speaking on the Criminalization of Black Youth

Jose Vilson Jose, Video Leave a Comment

A few weeks ago, The New America Foundation had me and a few other luminaries (shout out to Nikole Hannah-Jones!) speak on the criminalization of Black youth in our schools. As the only classroom teacher, I felt passionately about throwing down the hammer whenever I got the mic, as you’ll see below. It’s worth the sitting in case you weren’t there. Just as awesome was that friends Sabrina Stevens  and …

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Teacher Appreciation

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

The last time I saw her, she was a proud teacher to students with special needs. We discussed the future of activism in education and the great work coming out of efforts we have worked on together. She has built her voice through song, social justice, and, just as important, students. This week, she informed a collection of us that her principal fired her from the profession she loved. The …

this is not a test book party

Stare Them In The Eyes

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

Before I continue, I’ve been nominated for the National Education Association’s Social Justice Award. If you’re an NEA / UFT member, please consider voting for me. Thank you! Voting ends on May 18th, 2015. When John Norton, editor and writing guru, was having long conversations with me on Skype about the direction of my book, he often told me that the book would elevate my voice in ways I couldn’t …

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Why Math Is A Social Justice Issue [Edutopia]

Jose Vilson Jose

Read my latest entry at Edutopia, my posit that math is a social justice issue: Even though Americans generally believe that math is the most important subject in school, students tend to drop out at higher rates when introduced to harder math and sciences. It seems the desire is there, but the skill and understanding are not. While there are a plethora of reasons for students to drop out, math …

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A Child’s First Teacher

Jose Vilson Guest Posts 4 Comments

[Today’s special guest is Anthony Mullen, 2009 Teacher of the Year and awesome writer. Feel free to tell us what you think about his post in the comments below.] Spring is in the air and I am surrounded by death. The countless small white headstones seem so clean, neat, tidy – each a small but insignificant reminder that a person once lived. I come here often but still get lost …

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Were You At The Protest, Too?

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 3 Comments

“Were you at the protest, too?” I’ve had no less than four people ask my directly why I haven’t written about my classroom experiences lately. Some of it stems from speaking truth to the gaping hole I continue to see in education writing, namely the intersectional race lens of events like the Atlanta cheating scandal and the Baltimore uprising. At this stage of the game, these events deserve more attention …