Jay-Z Smoking, Possibly a Cuban

Short Notes: Y’All Gone Learn Today [Open Letter]

Jose Vilson Short Notes Leave a Comment

Last week, I wrote an open letter to educators in general, but specifically education activists, vested parties, and anyone interested in the workings of this circle. While the letter was met with plenty of praise, it had a few detractors, primarily from those who misunderstood the intent of the letter. After a close reading and re-reading, I stand by the original letter, but shortly thereafter, I wrote a shorter version …

martin-luther-king-arrested

An Open Letter From The Trenches [To Education Activists, Friends, and Haters]

Jose Vilson Jose 13 Comments

To my fellow education activists: I’ve come across a few pieces that concern me and others in the last few months, and we got some shit to talk about. On normal days, I wake up at 5:30am hellbent on kicking butt at work, metaphorically of course. The stirring in my belly long after my butter toast and coffee is the passion with which I approach my students, whether or not …

Cesar Chavez Day Google Doodle

Chesar Chavez, Jesus Christ, and Commitment to Eradicating Poverty [To The Foolish]

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

Dear critics of Google’s choice for their Google Doodle of the Day: What part of “serving the poor” is not aligned with today, a celebration of Jesus’ renewal and purpose in life? In no way am I saying Cesar Chavez is Jesus, but are Chavez’s (and Dolores Huerta, by the way) works not aligned with the auspices of serving the poor and helping the needy? While Jesus worked with the …

Empty Chair

A Suspension of Time and School

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 9 Comments

You weren’t supposed to come back. Even though you were on our school’s roster, rumor had it that your guardian put you in a different school, and you’d no longer half-bounce into my class, calling one of your friends a “nigga-what-the-fuck” for something they allegedly did to you. Before you came back, you only knew me as the second math teacher, the Black-possibly-Dominican guy who came in to help your …

Open Letter To Chancellor Dennis Walcott and Others on The Idea of Assessment

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

To Chancellor Dennis Walcott, David Coleman, Merryl Tisch, and McGraw-Hill Publishers: First, I’ll mention that, since the discussions of the Common Core Learning Standards came to the fore, I’ve had a plethora of chances to immerse myself in the new vision for a quasi-nationalized education paradigm. In NYC, as usual, education policy makers feel the need to set the standard for the nation, from Bloomberg’s mayoral control dictates to the …

An Open Letter To The Present and Future President Obama [2012 and Beyond]

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

Dear President Obama, You’ve won. Congratulations. Honestly. As an independent, I had no initial horse in this race, but as a Afro-Latino, I’m proud that you’ve once again managed to claim the White House as yours, in a country where the bones, blood, and sweat of African slaves and Native Americans sit under the House you now occupy. Your re-election came at a high cost, specifically your dreams of a …

Carmelo+Anthony+Olympics

Dear Carmelo Anthony, Because It’s That Necessary [From a Knicks Fan]

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

Dear Carmelo Anthony, Let’s start out with the easy stuff. Congratulations on another gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London. You impressed us with your usual array of offensive weapons, specifically the hot 3-point shooting. At some points, it really seemed like you flicked the ball off your fingers and it would still go in. You seem to thrive in international play, impressing the world in the 2006 World …

Kermit4

A Letter About My View on the Common Core Learning Standards [Because "Shut Up" Isn't Clear Enough]

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

Dear Reader, Frankly, this post shouldn’t matter. I’m a classroom teacher first and foremost, and am often in situations where I can readily embody what most of my colleagues believe about education and the teachers’ role in education reform. It’s a privilege at times to rub elbows with union leaders, well-known activists, and other thought leaders and sharpen those elbows when their ideas go astray from my personal beliefs. I …

Luis Ramirez and Three of His Murderers

Another Reason Why Some Educators Won’t Talk About Race

Jose Vilson Jose 13 Comments

No, you’re going to get into race at length. Or any other real world issue for that matter. Because you’ve made your blog just as someone in the edublogosphere prescribed: edu-tech here, ed policy there, a response to the latest trend sprinkled in. You’re doing well for yourself and your readers skyrocket. The only controversy you ever touch is the difference between a PC and a Mac. Naturally, you choose …