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 …

Red apple on teacher's desk

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 …

Handpicked-raisins

Raisins Exploding In The Sun

Jose Vilson Jose 35 Comments

“… when someone with the authority of a teacher, say, describes the world and you are not in it, there is a moment of psychic disequilibrium, as if you looked into a mirror and saw nothing.” – Adrienne Rich “And yet it was impossible for me not to notice that the overwhelming majority of activist educators who gathered for this conference in Chicago were white; it was impossible not to notice …

prison

Of Challenge and Controversy (Why I Support Marylin Zuniga)

Jose Vilson Jose

Prison is not justice. When you’ve grown up with cousins and former students revolving in and out of Rikers and Sing-Sing, preferring incarceration to the instability of what we constitute as free, then you’d know why justice is not truly served by throwing people into jail and doing away with their lives. I’ve seen humans thrown in prison through human casualty, human error, human prejudice, and human cruelty, too. Society …

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Recruiting Educators of Color In The Time of Race To The Top

Jose Vilson Jose 8 Comments

Educators have espoused the phrase, “We didn’t come into this for the money,” an aphorism that’s allowed for the passage of regressive education funding in many states across the nation. This phrase came to me as I watched pictures of Atlanta educators handcuffed and led to jail cells for racketeering charges in connection with one of the largest education cheating scandals in American history. Just before that, the 2014 National …

Gerson Borrero Interviews Jose Vilson

Gerson Borrero Interviews Me on Teachers of Color [Video]

Jose Vilson Jose, Video 1 Comment

In the middle of the heated debates about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “bold, disruptive” changes to education (more charters, higher emphasis on test scores for teacher evaluations, and the voluminous echo of firing bad teachers in exchange for money that ought to go to already underfunded schools), I sat down with City and State NY’s Gerson Borrero. Many New Yorkers might recognize him as one half of the NY1’s Political Rundown …

Joint Economic Committee Holds Hearing On Income Inequality In The U.S.

Why I Disagree With Robert Reich on College and Career Readiness

Jose Vilson Jose 12 Comments

Last week, many of my friends shared this article from Robert Reich, a critique of the current “college for all” movement that’s forced millions of students into post-college (and for many lifelong) debt to private universities and for-profit banks in the form of loans. From him: The biggest absurdity is that a four-year college degree has become the only gateway into the American middle class. But not every young person …