The Nation, "Saving Public Schools"

A Progressive Education Agenda, Whatever That Means

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the Nation’s “What’s Next for Public Education discussion, a collaboration with the New School featuring AFT President Randi Weingarten, NYU Professor Pedro Noguera, The Marshall Project journalist and author Dana Goldstein, and well-known parent activist Zakiyah Ansari, moderated by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes with a few words from NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. Overall, I thought it was a good primer for some …

I-love-coffee

On Honest and Civil Conversation (Simmer Down Now)

Jose Vilson Jose 7 Comments

The first audience reaction to my speech at the Network for Public Education came from a older, burly white man with big hands and a soft voice. Not that any of this scares me much since I’m from the hood, but context matters. “Jose, I’m glad you’re here and I appreciate what you had to say today, but, when you referred to Tea Party people as subhuman …” Whoa, what? …

Classroom Window

Changing The Narrative, Right From My Classroom

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

Tomorrow, New York City teachers go for their first day back from vacation. With no kids and two weeks to clean out their caches (well, some of us), we’ll hopefully come back refreshed and ready to take on the relentless energies of the burgeoning young minds in front of us. Or whatever it is we choose to believe. This year, I’ve never been as excited to hop in and do …

My actual classroom from eight years ago. Same room this year, too.

Meeting My Once and Future Classroom

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Meet my once and future classroom. It once had a exposed wooden door, working lights, nine unmarked boxes, beige lockers, and a second year teacher scared for his career. I know this because I was him eight years ago. Throughout the year, the desks rumbled and shuffled about the class, sometimes in groups, in pairs, or in single row and file while students and their teacher prepared for tests of …

Ferguson-Michael-Brown-690

When Can We Talk About Race? (Michael + Trayvon + Renisha + …)

Jose Vilson Jose 12 Comments

This is often the way education conversations go: Higher-Up: Hey, so what do people want to talk about? Teacher 1: Can we talk about teacher evaluation? Higher-Up: Sure, what’s on your mind? Teacher 1: Well, here it goes. [long diatribe about how great / terrible Danielson is] Higher-Up: Well, OK. Anyone else? Teacher 2 (of color): Can we talk about race now? Higher-Up: Sounds complicated. We need a more appropriate …

You Can’t Educate With Us (On Tone-Policing When Silent)

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

I called someone a racist this past weekend. And a sexist for good measure. I don’t have much authoritative experience with the latter as I do the former, and I don’t go throwing around such a title lightly. I won’t go into the incident, but it was a long string of events that triggered me using the word, and, soon thereafter, people started opening up about some of the latent …

The Temptations

Just My Imagination Running Away With Me (A Post-CCSS World)

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

I‘ve seen this article in my e-mails and feeds no less than ten times this morning. Much of this is old news for me since, if you’ve put all the pieces together for the last four years, it’s fairly obvious just how invested Bill Gates has been in getting Common Core State Standards moved across different desks. It’s also obvious how many folks, from union leaders to business leaders, have …

US First Lady Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama and Why Teachers Need To Embrace Critique

Jose Vilson Jose 24 Comments

Every time someone says something, anything, about teachers, without fail, a naysayer always nags how it’s a conspiracy against teachers as a whole. For instance, a recent commercial about the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum started with a father asking his boy, “You like your teachers this year?” to which the boy replied, “Sure.” Some took that as a coordinated effort by Major League Baseball, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and …

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Hope Makes Teaching More Than A Job

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 1 Comment

Goodness, that last EduShyster’s interview was epic. There’s a whole piece that we didn’t even get to share with you because, well, it would hurt some people’s favorite bloggers / heroes / activists’ feelings. Really, the biggest difference between Audrey Watters’ awesome Twitter interview pre-This Is Not A Test and EduShyster’s recent, also awesome interview was the relationship each has to me. I consider Audrey a friend and, dare I …

Thurgood Marshall

Racism Without Racists: The School Re-segregation Edition

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

Today, ProPublica released a special report on their website dedicated to the re-segregation of America’s public schools. With the 60th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision on May 17th approaching, ProPublica has focused this special section on Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where three separate and equally devastating stories will be told as case studies to highlight the effects of “letting” dreams of integration die on their own. Unfortunately, progress …