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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

peanuts-thanksgiving-table

The Race Discourse (So Hopefully You Won’t Have To Go Through That)

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

I wanted to write this piece as a bit of a year in review, but, in light of so many recent events, I prefer to let these cats out of their collective bag now. It seems, in the last few years, I’ve developed a reputation for having hard discussions with folk who have lost touch with other people’s humanity. Just last week, someone accosted Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis …

James Baldwin

Writing Yourself Right Out Of The Burning House

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

“Dear Self (& other writers)–If you’re not writing with the urgency of exile, what’s the point? Which is to say, your writing should convey so much immediacy, fire and risk that you chance being kicked out of something with each line. Your writing should make you fucking quake.” – Airea D. Matthews Kelly Wickham shared this quote with her friends recently and also commented that she thought about my recent …

burnttoast

Race, Class, and Acceptability As A Connected Educator [Aspiring To Karen]

Jose Vilson Jose 12 Comments

Karen Lewis matters to me for a myriad of reasons, both personal and activist. She isn’t just the leader of the Chicago Teachers’ Union and the CORE caucus that took the education world by storm with fiery oratory and community-centered energy. She symbolizes a new vision for progressive education reform, one that speaks proactively about the education deforms with the nuance that only a Black woman such as herself can. …

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Join The EduColor Movement, Part 1 of Many

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

It’s been a few years since Arvind Grover, ed-tech specialist in NYC, and I looked around boutique education conferences and said, “Wow, these spaces need a lot more diversity.” When a few of us sat there and said we’d create a clearinghouse to rate the diversity of any conference we came across, I didn’t think we’d have much impact. How many people of color were willing to jump into spaces …

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Not All My Teacherfolk Are My Kinfolk

Jose Vilson Jose 14 Comments

Tiffanie Drayton’s open letter to the teachers who wore NYPD t-shirts on the first day of school ought to be printed and passed around in every staff meeting: To your Black and Latino students, many of whom must have serious conversations with their parents about safeguarding their person from those charged to serve and protect them — the NYPD — your actions are deeply hurtful. Any remaining innocence they brought …