A Man and His Elephant, by Paula Bronstein

Embracing The Elephant (Race and Education Reform)

Jose Vilson Jose 18 Comments

When I first saw Michael Petrilli’s list of influential education policy tweeters, I laughed. As usual, it’s as important to see who’s left off the list as to see where they rank. We see through whichever lens is given to us at whatever time we read any piece, as well as create it, so this isn’t a personal attack on Michael or EducationNext (or anyone else mentioned on the list …

Questlove, of the Roots

Short Notes: Intersectionality of Race and Gender via Questlove

Jose Vilson Short Notes Leave a Comment

A few notes: This graphic is what I try to tell people about teachers. We work all summer, just not necessarily with kids. [Upworthy] I didn’t have the heart to read this before, but Questlove’s letter about “not being shit” resonated with me on a deep level. [NYMag] Jamilah Lemieux wrote a thorough critique of Kim Foster’s rejoinder of the aforementioned Questlove’s piece. [Ebony] Linda Darling-Hammond skewers the recent NCTQ …

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 …

Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe and Finding The Language For My Experience

Jose Vilson Jose 7 Comments

When Chinua Achebe passed away, my thoughts immediately took me to the fifth grade book fair. There, I found the cover of a book I found interesting. Knowing nothing about the actual book, reading level, or histories behind it, I decided to buy it for what was probably five bucks from my school’s library. Shortly after the book sale, we had African dance classes for the semester. The volunteer dance …

Riot

Riot When You’re Black, Angry Need Not Apply

Jose Vilson Jose 6 Comments

The newest truism goes: If you’re a group of color, you’re rioting. If you’re White, you’re protesting. If you’re multicultural, you’re marching. The recent so-called riots in Brooklyn serve as yet another example. For those of you unacquainted, concerned Brooklyn residents of all ages held a vigil and demonstration to protest the treatment of 16-year-old Kimani Gray, a gun-toting teen who the police filled with 11 rounds of bullets in …

riots

Educators, You Might Be A Good, Racist Person Too

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

Ta-Nehisi Coates has a message for good, honest folk. Read: But much worse, it haunts black people with a kind of invisible violence that is given tell only when the victim happens to be an Oscar winner. The promise of America is that those who play by the rules, who observe the norms of the “middle class,” will be treated as such. But this injunction is only half-enforced when it …

Quvenzhané Wallis on the cover of Entertainment Magazine

Quvenzhané Wallis, Matthew McConaughey, and How We See Our Children of Color

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

I have a confession: I’ve never seen Beasts of the Southern Wild. As a relatively new parent, I don’t always have the time or the funds to make it out to the movies very often. But that’s not the purpose for my essay because, when it comes out on Netflix, I know I have to watch. I, along with thousands of others, took issue with the Onion’s satirical tweet calling …

Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

On Edu-Blogging While Negro [We Ain’t Even Supposed To Be Here]

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

A couple of months ago, in the middle of a few good conversations, Leonie Haimson reminded me that I was one of the first NYC edubloggers to do “it.” By it, we all understood “it” to be using a blog to speak up and out about educational issues. People like NYC Educator, Norm’s Notes, JD2718, Pissed Off Teacher, and the now defunct EduWonkette, informed my early thinking about how best …

Race and Intellect, or Except for You, You’re The Smart One [Unreleased]

Jose Vilson Jose 6 Comments

This week, I’m releasing some of the pieces I’ve written that never saw the light of day for different reasons. Here’s the second. Release Date: 12/03/2012 Dear New Teacher, A few questions to ask now that you’ve gotten your feet wet at your job: How many friends of color do you have in your circle? How often have you interacted with one, and not in a I-follow-Diddy-on-Twitter sorta way? Are …