The One Thing I Don’t Do When I’m Assessing Students

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 11 Comments

I’ve now taught almost 11 years, starting in the throes of overtesting and overstandardizing. I’ve given multiple forms of assessments over different periods of time. I’ve taught all of the middle school grades and tutored lower and higher grades. I’ve taken my own set of exams for teacher certifications, most …


College and Career Whatever Have You

Jose Vilson Jose 7 Comments

A couple of years ago, I had a heavy-set, lighter-skinned student who spaced out for about half my class every day. He twiddled his pencil, shaved it down til the disposable paint cluttered the desk along with his extra-large binder. He did most of his multiplication on his head, which …

Listen To Me and My Favorite Songs [Rhymes and Reason]

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Rhymes and Reason interviewed me to talk about my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education from a hip-hop perspective. I appreciated the time to just talk things out, tell stories about my upbringing, and inject Kanye West into an education conversation. To listen, …

Harlem in B&W (by Jose Vilson)

Real Solidarity In The Time of Education Reform

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

We don’t have to choose between the testing / Common Core State Standards / Teach For America / charter school debate and intersectional / race talk. In fact, they’re part and parcel. I want to talk about all of it from the position that we need to look at education …


Schools on Trial And What Does Progress Mean?

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

I don’t have rules posted in my classroom. I’ve been issuing mandates asking students to respect each other, respect themselves, and respect the classroom and environment around them. As steward for the environment around me, I haven’t had many challenges to these rules from the students themselves. I don’t know …

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison Speaks To Me About Racism [The Work]

Jose Vilson Jose 0 Comments

For Lent, I’ve given up. Actually, that’s not true at all. If anything, I’ve re-dedicated myself to loving in spots that I shouldn’t, and letting go in spaces where I wouldn’t. The issue with many racists is that they’re heavily-armored in pushing some of us to the edge. In turn, …

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Why We Must Believe (Our Formation)

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 4 Comments

“Come on, let’s get this done, I believe in you.” “Why do you always say that, Mr. Vilson, like …” “Um, because I believe in you.” “Oh my God, this is, like, the only class I hear a teacher say that …” It was a weird moment for me. I …

My Classroom

The Beautiful Teacher Struggle

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

My feet on the ground actions are simple-not-easy. For the last three weeks sans EduCon weekend, I spent every “free” period plus lunch, after-school, and my birthday weekend grading papers. It’s the type of paper streak that makes non-teachers go from “Your job is so easy, plus you have summers …

One of my first website looks.

Design of a Decade: Moments From 10 Years Of Writing

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

People forget that, ten years ago, the idea of blogging aloud made no sense to the average reader. The mainstream media had the stranglehold on public opinion, and trying to get an op-ed into any space requires a lot of know-how and a little know-who. Teachers were always talked about, …