Black teacher in classroom

New York City’s Fractured Relationship With Teachers Of Color

Jose Vilson Jose 6 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 …

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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 …

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

Jose Vilson Jose 4 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 …

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

Jose Vilson Jose 11 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 …

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

Jose Vilson Jose 13 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 …

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Teachers of Color Caught In The Windmill (On Real Equity)

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

  Last week, I delved a little deeper into this issue of teachers of color, hoping to sow some of the prevailing narratives up and construct something more cogent. Yet, when it comes down to it, the lack of teachers of color is a symptom and not a cause of the education gaps we currently see. Time and again, we get reports from former teachers of color about why they …