analogclock

The Short Hand on the Clock (On Common Core State Testing)

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 5 Comments

It happens every year, no matter whose tests I proctor. My heart beats faster. Pencil points blunt and break, and I swoop in with a quick replacement. Students look up at me from their papers and I make a signal to look back at their papers instead. A few students take naps and I look at them with equal parts disappointment and envy, assuming they’d triple check their answers before …

atlanta_superintendent_teachers_arrested_cheating_scandal

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 …

Black teacher in classroom

New York City’s Fractured Relationship With Teachers Of Color

Jose Vilson Jose 8 Comments

I forgot to tell y’all something at last week’s teacher of color panel. Our system is simply not suited to support teachers of color. In last week’s discussion with Linda Darling-Hammond, Bettye Perkins, Cliff Janey, and Richard Ingersoll at the Teaching and Learning Conference, we had a lively discussion on the shortage of teachers of color. My comments came out of left field because I’m sure some of the audience …

brokenschools

The Crosshairs of High Expectations and Poverty

Jose Vilson Jose 14 Comments

Everything is for the kids. Want to create a new program? Say it’s for the kids. Want to implement a new policy? Tell them it’s for the kids. Need to raze an entire school in a densely populated school district? Preface it with “We did it for the kids.” Need to convince the public that a frivolous measure of student learning like a VAM score should be weighted more than …

shrug-house

There Is No “How To” For Teacher Leadership

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the New Teacher Center conference in San Francisco, CA to discuss teacher leadership. It felt like forever since I used the words “teacher leader” to describe myself, but people have no idea what to do with me since I am in the classroom with a full program and am mentoring and speaking out about different ideas in teaching. Thus, teacher leader. Most …

kid_in_lab

What Works For My Kids

Jose Vilson Jose 12 Comments

The New York Times’ Anna North recently asked me if I was a believer in learning styles, and I’m like, “No.” That’s not my fault, really. As a younger teacher, many of the veteran teachers told me the long list of initiatives that they’d seen come and go in education research, where “education research” is a pejorative, not a compliment. Multiple intelligences. Learning styles. Workshop model. Differentiation. The new math …

rosa-parks

Why We Need Black History Month In The First Place

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Recently, PBS Newshour asked for my thoughts on Black History Month. After noticing that even some people of color railed against the idea of such a month, I decided to write a primer on why we needed them and why this matters for our students, all of them: I wanted to give the students a 10-minute lecture on the fact that groups used to lynch people of color for public …

mlkdisobey

White Administrators’ Guilt

Jose Vilson Jose 21 Comments

“This race discussion doesn’t apply to me.” Whenever we say that racism isn’t just discrimination of one set of people towards another, but a systemic set of power structures that benefits one (white) group over another. This goes double for principals and assistant principals because, when your standing already endows you with more power than others in the building, your responsibility towards being cultural competent is doubled as well. We …

Exclusive: The Classroom and the Precinct, Accurately [The Enemy]

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

My people, I recently wrote an article for the upstart mag The Enemy, expounding on my thoughts about the relationships between teachers and the police, pulling together Mobb Deep, Frank Serpico, and others for a piece that was / is absolutely necessary. Here’s a glimpse: To the eyes of the American public, it might seem like none of these are connected, but, to many people of color, the school-to-prison pipeline …