From last summer: "THIS JUST IN: Star English teacher Ruby Ruhf says goodbye to Ohio and signs with NY P.S. 431. She'll land $80 mil from the six-year deal, along with a possible additional $40 mil based on test scores."
Hidden inside this summer's comedy about the South Side of Chicago is a story about whether parents should leave their son in a school in which he might be groomed as a gang member or take him out to a safer option.
In one scene in particular, the school principal tells the parents (including the father played by Ice Cube) that their son seems to be involved in gangs, while at the same time encouraging the parents to keep him at the school:
Principal: Mr. Palmer, now hold up. Hold up. Now, that's not what I was suggesting. We want Jalen to be here. The school needs him here.
Ice Cube: For what? Seem like y'all losing him.
Principal: Mr. Palmer, I understand...
Ice Cube: I'm supposed to sit here and we're going to sacrifice our only son to this system?
Principal: There's gotta be something we can do to work together on this.
Ice Cube: Seems like the problem is bigger than you and me.
There's also a montage featuring Urban Prep, the all-boys charter school known for sending all of its high school seniors to college.
"Meant to promote the first lady’s Let Girls Learn initiative, 'This Is For My Girls' grabbed headlines when it was first released but hasn’t quite stuck in the public consciousness since then."
Over at Vox, the show is described as "a vicious free-for-all" focused on helping the rest of us understand why white guys are well, so angry. They're also tired, and bored, and sexist/racist: "If you’re cool watching two slacker white dudes fight to take down a completely competent black woman, then you’ll love Vice Principals."
According to EdWeek's Mark Walsh, the show is part of the "the coarse-ification of the Hollywood image of educators in recent years." He predicts educators won't like Vice Principals but admits that the show is "pretty funny most of the time, exposing some of the quirks of education bureaucracy and high school culture in our country."
The New Republic tells us the show is about love and toxic masculinity, though it credits the series for avoiding gay panic humor.
Want more? You can find more reviews rounded up at IndieWire.
The whole "Pokemon Go will revolutionize education" claims have made me incredibly angry, even though it's a claim that's made about every single new product that ed-tech's early adopters find exciting (and clickbait-worthy)... All this matters for Pokemon Go; all this matters for ed-tech....“Gotta catch ’em all” may be the perfect slogan for consumer capitalism; but it’s hardly a mantra I’m comfortable chanting to push for education transformation.
- Audrey Watters in Hack Education Weekly Newsletter (HEWN)
Here's the teaser trailer for the new HBO series, "Vice Principals," which features two highly flawed human beings attempting to replace a retiring principal played by Bill Murray.
"In a video being widely circulated on Twitter on Monday morning, Royce Mann, an eighth grade student from Atlanta, is shown performing a slam poem titled “White Boy Privilege.” Across the social network, the video is being celebrated as the definition of responsible self-analysis by a white American at a time when racial tensions seem to be ever-increasing." via Fusion (Royce Mann’s white privilege poem goes viral)
"One woman at the scene said Castile was a cook and kitchen supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School in St. Paul. The St. Paul elementary school’s website lists Castile as the cafeteria supervisor." (Protesters target Governor’s Residence after fatal police shooting).
"Clarence Castile, Philando’s uncle, said his nephew had worked in the J.J. Hill school cafeteria for 12 to 15 years, “cooking for the little kids.” He said his nephew was “a good kid” who grew up in St. Paul and also lived in Minneapolis for a time." (Aftermath of fatal Falcon Heights officer-involved shooting on video).
The incident took place away from school, during a traffic stop. Some of it was broadcast on Facebook.
Other highly-publicized videos that have involved students or schools include a white South Carolina school police officer grabbing an African-American student by the neck last fall, and an officer manhandling a black teenage girl in McKinney Texas.
Sunday night's stirring BET speech put Jesse Williams' activism on the front burner, but this obviously wasn't the start of anything for him.
Vox has a nice roundup of issues and moments he's spoken out. The Times has a transcript of the speech. He's a board member of the Advancement Project, which bills itself as a "next generation national civil rights organization."
But that's not all. He's the son of educators, was a teacher himself. He grew up in Chicago and worked at a Philadelphia charter school after graduating from Temple, according to his biography. Wikipedia says he taught for six years.
“I loved being a teacher. It’s the best thing I have ever done. My favorite job ever. I miss it every day,” says Williams in The Guardian (Jesse Williams: I am not going to participate in celebrity culture.)
I haven't been able to find out which schools he taught at, or which schools he attended.
There's a small but growing group of white education folks out there who are identifying themselves as "woke," by which they mean they are aware of structural inequalities and racism (and presumably working against these things).
But I'm not sure that employing the term is a good thing for white folks to do, much as they might be tempted. And I'm especially unsure that it's a good thing for white men to do, given all the privileges and blind spots that come along with being white and male.
The question of being white and woke came up recently on Twitter, thanks to Jonas Chartock expression discomfort with the spread of the term:
It's also been a topic of debate since Justin Timberlake got slammed for his well-intended but clueless response to Jesse Williams' amazing BET speech Sunday night (while you were probably watching Game Of Thrones and I was watching soccer).
The reason, in simple terms, that white folks probably shouldn't use the term is that using "woke" seems like blatant appropriation of a term that people of color in the #BlackLivesMatter movement are using, which is in itself a form of racism.
How can you be a "woke" white person if using the term suggests that you aren't?
So what's a good alternative if you're a white person who thinks s/he "gets it"? There are a few out there to consider, including ally, aspiring ally, and anti-racist. I like the last term the most because it's the most explicit.
If the numbers of white people who are concerned and active about racism are going to grow, then they will likely need an identifier (and maybe even an affinity group) of their own.
The work matters more than the identifier, of course, but I hope it's not "woke."
Related reading: Earning the ‘Woke’ Badge (Amanda Hess in the NYT), Daily Dot (Black Twitter lists the woke white people invited to their cookout), The Cut (Macklemore Is All of My Woke Ex-Boyfriends)
Lucinda Rosenfeld's new novel, Class, is scheduled to come out in a few months, but we're already starting to hear about it this summer.
According to the Amazon blurb, the book focuses on "idealistic forty-something Karen Kipple" who sends her kid to an integrated Brooklyn school.
"But when a troubled student from a nearby housing project begins bullying children in Ruby's class, the distant social and economic issues Karen has always claimed to care about so passionately feel uncomfortably close to home."
Sounds interesting -- if also perhaps stereotypical. But perhaps that's the point. Anyway, can't wait to read it.
Meantime, Rosenfeld is on a panel tonight at 7 with Nikole Hannah-Jones and Rebecca Carroll.
Crossed fingers they'll talk about the UWS parents who are trying to block school integration, along with the Brooklyn situation.
You can watch the livestream here.
In case you missed it Sunday night, here's an AJ+ video clip from Jesse Williams' impassioned speech honoring organizers, students, activists at the BET Awards show.
"We’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind, while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil."
Read the whole thing here.
There aren't a lot of African Americans who live on the Upper West Side...We were sad to learn that, you know? I would like more diversity, but we chose to move to this place because we put the quality of the education at a higher value.
-- An unnamed UWS parent in this Gothamist piece (UWS Parents Fight Proposal To Relocate School)
The youngest victim in Orlando, Akyra Monet Murray, had just graduated from high school in Philadelphia. NPR interviewed her family and friends about what happened to her that night. Warning -- explicit and heartbreaking.
Still buzzing over the Sunday Tony awards show? Me, too. Check out the show performances if you missed any here, or click the link above and watch some of the NYC high school kids who've been attending the show and performing for Lin Manuel-Miranda as part of what Scholastic's Wayne D'Orio dubbed "Hamilton 101." It's pretty cool to watch them. The video is about a half-hour long.
City on Fire, Garth Risk Hallberg (M, 30s, no book dust jacket, perched on edge of his seat, Brown NB) pic.twitter.com/9gk5zS5cOq— CoverSpy CHI (@CoverSpyCHI) March 24, 2016
A long novel about mid-1970s New York City, this book features a key subplot about a Southern-born college graduate brought north to teach at an elite and nearly all-white private girls' school in Manhattan.
That doesn't make it an education book, and at nearly 1,000 pages it's not exactly a quick read, but if you're an educationista looking for an excuse to read about the birth of punk, the near-bankruptcy of NYC, and proto-terrorism, it's all you need :-)
What's on *your* summer reading list, and what's its slender connection to education?
Related posts: Best Of 2015: Two Education Books Make The List; Best Titles To Help White Teachers, Parents, Reporters Understand Race; An Anthropological Look At School Fundraising; New Yorker Writer's Year Embedded In High School English; 'Confessions Of A Headmaster'.
Check out Scholastic Administrator editor Wayne D'Orio's new piece about how Hamilton teamed with two nonprofits to immerse high school students in American history'—and challenge them to create their own performances.
"Thirteen teams of 11th graders from around New York City are waiting anxiously in the wings to perform their own two-minute pieces on events or people from the birth of our country. “Welcome to the best day of the year for us here at the Richard Rodgers: EduHam,” says an enthusiastic Miranda as he looks out on a theater packed entirely with high school students. After the student performances, the high schoolers will see Hamilton, culminating their immersion in the life and times of the “10-dollar founding father without a father.”
When you have people coming from all different neighborhoods to come to school together, they have no reason or way to get to know each other unless you sort of rip the top off the school and say the school is going to be the community.
- Community Roots Charter School Co-Founder Allison Keil in WNYC (How One Brooklyn Charter School Integrates With Intention)
"Special correspondent Yasmeen Qureshi of Education Week has the story. It’s part of our weekly education series, Making the Grade."
Schoolkids suggest naming a building after Banksy, and the mysterious artist reacted with a bit of controversial artwork. See more including video of kids' reactions here.
We like to think of the spelling bee as a lovely example of students memorizing crazy words and smiling, but as this Vine from last week "Cold Game At The Spelling Bee" shows, sometimes the real world's not such a fairy tale. #edgifs
Here's this year's New Yorker graduation cover, showing a member of the class of 2016 at commencement and one of his predecessors in the same image. Or see the 1952 version.
Some of the advice is a bit dated, and -- it has to be said -- Ryan Gosling may no longer be the heartthrob he once was -- but it's still good stuff. Anyone else remember "Hey, New Teacher"?
That's Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of "Hamilton," speaking at the UPenn graduation ceremony last weekend. It's a line from the show, which a foundation is sending thousands of NYC high school kids to see this Spring.
Hidden in the new LA Times story about a West LA transgender elementary school student is a 2007 ABC segment about Jazz, who was born as a boy. It seems like it's cut off at the end. Anyone know the update?
Good Morning America covers the program to bring NYC kids in to see the Broadway show -- and do some performing of their own.
"When you don't know the answer but have to give it a try anyway."
From Monday's Mathletics National Championship, which was broadcast on ESPN.
I am bound and determined to bring GIFs and short videos to education-land, and here's a good start to the week I think. Via TIME magazine.
There's something moving about these and other pictures of President Bush and his team, and the kids he's visiting.
Here's Seth Myers talking about Teacher Appreciation Week and the Detroit teachers sick-out. Via Valeria Strauss. Meantime, Chicago teachers seem to be backing off their move towards a second strike.
Watch some snippets from a Chicago play about a closing school that seems to take place in a teachers' lounger (The Last Days of a Chicago Public School) via WNYC.
I didn't hate finale of "Togetherness" as much as some folks -- or for the same reasons -- but the show certainly was a reminder that we should all be careful for what we wish for.
With "Togetherness," I think I may have finally learned my lesson.
For years, I've been hectoring my friends about the need for more and better depictions of schools in popular media, and celebrating the appearance of education wherever it might show up ("Parenthood," anyone?).
But Season Two of "Togetherness" got deeply into the issue as a major plotline, and it was disappointing to see how superficial and unrealistic the result turned out to be.
In Salon (The empty charter school dream), Sonia Saraiya traces the show from Season One to Season Two in ways that I find familiar. "For a show that can be so self-aware about marital dynamics and Hollywood culture, the charter school subplot is a glaring blind spot, one that is given more and more screentime as the season progresses."
There were moments during Season Two that rang true: the uncomfortably fancy charter school fundraiser, the hilariously cliche'd curriculum (except it should have been a "forest" school , no?), the over-educated and clueless white parents thinking that creating and running a school is a lot easier than it is.
But this recap (Everything Changes) makes clear how ridiculous things get by the end: "Michelle gets an idea to save the school: an educational theater show that is built by the kids. All they need to do is … tear everything down and rebuild it under the guidance of Sophie. Cut to the construction montage."