ED ALERT: Fighting Manufactured Chaos in Puerto Rico’s Public Schools

By Mercedes Martínez and Jia Lee August 13 marked the first day of school for more than 319,000 students and 22,000 teachers in Puerto Rico. But instead of feeling prepared to start strong a year after Hurricane Maria, school communities across the island braced themselves for the manufactured mess to come. Governor Ricardo Rosselló, in […]

Bill Ayers on Arne Duncan’s How Schools Work

By Bill Ayers If you pick up Arne Duncan’s How Schools Work hoping to learn something about, well, unsurprisingly I suppose, about “how schools work,” you’ll be sorely disappointed. There’s no policy prescription here, no substantive analysis whatsoever, and no actual accounts or examples of how schools work. Instead we’re treated to random stories that […]

Wow! Exciting News About Teaching for Black Lives

Teaching for Black Lives has been earning rave reviews since it was released just a few months ago, and today we’re honored to announce that Grammy award-winning artist Macklemore and 3-time NFL Pro Bowler Michael Bennett have teamed up to purchase and distribute copies to every middle and high school social studies and language arts […]

A Hurricane in the Classroom: Inside the Schools Ensnared in Puerto Rico’s Privatization Fever — and How Its Teachers Are Fighting Back

[SPECIAL REPORT: Education “reformers” are using the disaster in Puerto Rico to close hundreds of public schools and convert much of the school system to charters. But teachers, parents, and students are fighting back. Update July 23, 2018: Since this story was written, Puerto Rico Superior Court Judge Iris González declared part of the sweeping education reform […]

Guns Out of Our Schools, Propaganda Out of Our Classrooms

By the editors of Rethinking Schools Just a week after 14 students and three staff members were murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February, President Donald Trump predictably — and enthusiastically — endorsed the National Rifle Association’s prescription for school shootings and our nation’s gun violence epidemic: more guns and […]

Keeping Kids Safe — at the Border and in Our Classrooms

By the editors of Rethinking Schools Kina, the 6-year-old daughter of one of our editors, walked into the living room when the TV was on last week and saw a visual of children huddled under mylar blankets. “What are those kids doing in there?” she asked. “Are they in jail?” Our editor, her mom, explained […]

Transforming Teacher Unions in a Post-Janus World

By Bob Peterson “I’m from Wisconsin, I’m from your future!” I start off my speech. Despite my love of science fiction, I’m not talking to sci-fi fans. I’m talking to teacher and other public sector activists at a conference in New York City on the future of labor and public institutions.   “My future, your […]

Puerto Rican Teachers and Students Protest Budget Cuts and Privatization on May Day

By Kate Aronoff In a May Day event largely overlooked by mainland U.S. media, strikers representing various unions, opposition parties, and social movements all converged on San Juan’s banking district, known as “Milla De Ora” (the Golden Mile) for a national strike. Pushing back against a slew of austerity measures being unveiled by the Washington-appointed […]

Making People’s History in Arizona: Educators Rise Up

By Sarah Giddings My house has recently become muddled with protest signs, event flyers, red T-shirts, and simply, chaos. How it came to this point resides in the story of how I decided to volunteer to be a liaison for the #RedForEd grassroots movement in Arizona. I decided to move to Arizona from British Columbia, […]

Teachers Can Respond to Trump’s Racial Hatred with Empathy and Inquiry

By the Editors of Rethinking Schools By now, most of us have read of Trump’s vile and racist comments of last Thursday. We all have a moral obligation to speak out against the sentiments uttered by the president, to reject the cruel policies he champions through such sentiments, and demand forthright opposition to his words […]

Overcoming Hate in our Backyards

By Mica Pollock Hate speech and harassment have spiked nationwide since the 2016 election. They’ve spiked in our own backyards, too — requiring each community to counteract hate proactively. We can counter hate at our dinner tables; we can do it via our religious organizations. I suggest we counter hate particularly where we most come […]

Backpack Full of Cash: New Documentary Narrated by Matt Damon Explores School Privatization

[wpvideo GdAT7xFr]By Barbara Miner Like many supporters of public education, Sarah Mondale and Vera Aronow had become increasingly concerned in the last decade about the attacks on public schools and teachers. They decided to do something about it. The result, five years in the making, is their recently released documentary, Backpack Full of Cash. “Everyone […]

Christopher Columbus: No Monuments for Murderers

By Bill Bigelow A New York Times article, following the white supremacist demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the murder of anti-racist activist Heather Heyer, described the growing calls to remove monuments that celebrate the Confederacy. The article went on to cite some who balk, however, when “the symbolism is far murkier, like Christopher Columbus.” But there is […]

Taking the Fight Against White Supremacy Into Schools

[This important article from Rethinking Schools editor Adam Sanchez was first published by the Zinn Education Project (where Adam works developing curriculum and organizing) and Common Dreams. We are republishing it now because the fall issue of our magazine — which has five cover stories and an editorial focusing on Making Black Lives Matter in […]

The Role Students and Educators Played Before NFL Players Protested on Sunday

[This article first appeared in The Progressive in October 2016. We’re republishing it following Sunday’s unprecedented protests in the National Football League to highlight the role that students and educators played leading up to this moment. We also want to highlight the newest issue of Rethinking Schools magazine, which has five cover stories and and an […]

800,000 Reasons To Teach About DACA

Resources for Explaining the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program to Elementary School Students By Grace Cornell Gonzales “It just kind of sucks. I mean, going to college and getting financial aid are difficult. And I’m having a lot of trouble finding jobs. I’ve been here basically my whole life. And Yahaira was born here, […]

Outrage — and Resources for Teachers — After the Trump Administration Ends DACA

By Ari Bloomekatz Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was once dubbed a “champion of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant extremists” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, announced Tuesday that the Trump administration was rescinding DACA, an Obama-era program that allowed hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth to live in the United States without the constant threat of […]

Victory for Mexican American Studies in Arizona: An Interview with Curtis Acosta

In 2010, state lawmakers in Arizona passed legislation that banned courses that “promote resentment toward a race or class of people.” But the legislation was, in reality, specifically targeting a Mexican American Studies program that started decades ago after Black and Latino students filed a desegregation lawsuit. While Tucson initially kept the Mexican American Studies […]

Para los educadores después de Charlottesville: Enseñando en la era de Trump

Después del horrible despliegue de violencia y odio en Charlottesville el pasado fin de semana (11-13 de Agosto), que fue alimentado por la supremacía blanca, muchos maestros se han acercado a Rethinking Schools para preguntar acerca de estrategias sobre las cuales pensar y contextualizar nuestro papel como educadores en este momento. Es importante que los […]