Cyber Monday: Stock Up on Social Justice Resources for Educators

As online capitalism goes into overdrive today, put some social justice into your Cyber Monday purchases!Get 40% off all book and subscription orders from Rethinking Schools. Go to and USE CODE: CMK17B(Enter at checkout. Valid only through 11/27/2017).

Linda Christensen on the second edition of Reading, Writing, and Rising Up, what role the classroom played in revision, and what needs to change in how we teach

Rethinking Schools published Linda Christensen’s Reading, Writing, and Rising Up in 2000. The original book was based on Linda’s first 20 years in the classroom at Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon. Since then, Linda’s work has been recognized as an essential resource for integrating social justice into language arts classrooms. She followed the first […]

The Dyett Hunger Strike for Education Justice in Chicago

Open Letter to Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan The hunger strike in Chicago by parents and their allies at Dyett High School in the Bronzeville neighborhood has passed Day 31. Despite the recent announcement from Chicago Public Schools officials that Dyett will reopen as a school with a focus on the arts, parent and community […]

Back-to-School Note From Our Director of Operations & Development

Dear Friends, My partner has been a public school teacher for the better part of the last 16 years. Every year at this time, he gets preoccupied with the emotional, mental, and physical work of getting ready to start the school year. Over time, this focused preparation has become more and more marked by anxiety. […]

Teaching to Change the World

Teaching to Change the World by Carolyn Shea | Reposted from The Evergreen Magazine Rethinking Schools Note: Wayne Au is a Rethinking Schools editor and author. In 2014 he edited the second edition of Rethinking Multicultural Education and in 2012 he co-edited Pencils Down: Rethinking High Stakes Testing and Accountability in Public School. In January 2013, […]

The Koch Brothers Sneak into School

How Right-wing Billionaires Seek to Shape the Social Studies Curriculum By Bill Bigelow This month in Boston, thousands of teachers will gather for the annual National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) conference. Two non-teachers will be there, too: Charles and David Koch, the notorious right-wing billionaires. Well, the Kochs won’t be there in person, […]

Teaching in Black and White: Fall Issue is Live

Table of Contents COVER THEME FREE Black Like Me By Renée Watson A poem—and the history behind it—about being invisible, yet stereotyped, as an African American student bused to a predominantly white school. FREE Dear White Teacher By Chrysanthius Lathan An African American middle school teacher calls on white teachers to think before they routinely […]

Guns and the Southern Freedom Struggle: What’s Missing When We Teach About Nonviolence

by Charles E. Cobb Reposted from: Zinn Education Project Morning strategy session, Greenwood. From left: John Lewis (SNCC), unidentified boy, Mateo “Flukie” Suarez (CORE), Jerome Smith (CORE), Dave Dennis (CORE). (Photo: This country is bad with its history. Pieces of history that could help us think more clearly about today’s movements for social change are often […]

This Changes Everything Writing Retreat

Rethinking Schools and the Zinn Education Project are partnering with an exciting project: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. This “multi-platform” project includes the new book by Naomi Klein (No Logo, The Shock Doctrine), a feature documentary inspired by the book, and an ambitious outreach strategy to share the ideas behind these works with […]

“The Library That Target Built” and other articles from our Summer Issue

“The Library that Target Built,” by teacher-librarian Rachel Cloues, reveals what happened when Target donated a library “makeover” to a San Francisco elementary school: the district’s anti-branding policy wasn’t enough to keep the students from being engulfed by corporate messaging. Rethinking Schools’ summer 2014 issue, “Targeting Books and Films.”  asks how are media affecting students, and […]

Educating the Gates Foundation

June 26, Rethinking Schools editor Wayne Au spoke at a Seattle rally protesting the role of the Gates Foundation in public education: “Educating the Gates Foundation.” The rally was sponsored by Washington BATS (Bad-Ass Teachers) and Washington Save Our Schools. This is the speech he delivered at the rally.  Educating the Gates Foundation Rally Remarks […]

What’s in a name

Perhaps you’ve followed the controversy around the name of the NFL team Washington “Redskins.”  They have faced a lot of pressure, and rightly so, to ditch the offensive name. Sadly, the team owner Dan Snyder has vowed never to change the name, and NFL officials have only recently agreed to talks with Native communities. (Here’s […]

Spotlight on Dyan Watson

Dyan Watson joined the Rethinking Schools team as an editorial associate last year. You’ve probably noticed her wonderful articles in the magazine: “What Do You Mean When You Say Urban” (fall 2011) and “A Message from a Black Mom to Her Son” (spring 2012). What you may not realize is that she co-edited our new […]

The Real Irish American Story

Saint Patrick’s Day is approaching, so it’s time for the all-too-brief attention that media and schools pay to Irish American history. Rethinking Schools editor Bill Bigelow has a new article posted at the Huffington Post, “The Real Irish American Story Not Taught in Schools.” Bigelow writes: “Wear green on St. Patrick’s Day or get pinched.” […]

Michelle Alexander on The New Jim Crow and the school-to-prison pipeline

by Jody Sokolower Last spring I went to hear Michelle Alexander, the dynamic author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. She spoke to an overflow audience at a primarily African American church. We were transfixed as she described how difficult it had been for her, as a civil rights […]

Taking Teacher Quality Seriously: A Collaborative Approach to Teacher Evaluation

Next spring, we will release the book, Pencils Down: Rethinking High-Stakes Testing and Accountability in Public Schools, edited by Wayne Au and Melissa Bollow Tempel. The following original essay by Rethinking Schools editor Stan Karp will be included in the book. In it, Stan discusses some of the problems with the current conversations around teacher […]

Children’s Literature for the 99%

by Elizabeth Marshall Children’s literature is inherently political, whether it upholds social and economic inequality or resists it. For educators, the Occupy Wall Street movement offers an opportunity to think about children’s and young adult books that deal with issues of equality and economic justice. What kinds of stories do adults tell children about social […]

From the Archives: “Rethinking Thanksgiving: Myths & Misgivings”

Teacher educator Vera Stenhouse wrote “Rethinking Thanksgiving: Myths and Misgivings” for us for our Fall 2009 issue of the magazine. It’s reprinted below with a new introduction from Vera. For a parent’s perspective on the coming holiday, download “Why I’m Not Thankful for Thanksgiving” (PDF) by Michael Dorris, published in our newest book Rethinking Popular […]

A Letter in Support of CTU President Karen Lewis

A few right wing bloggers have been highly critical of the talk that Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis gave at the Northwest Teaching for Social Justice conference, and they are pressuring her to resign. Rethinking Schools was a sponsor of the conference, and our curriculum editor Bill Bigelow served on the conference planning committee. […]

No One Said Transforming Unions Was Easy

by Stephanie Walters It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. I think that’s how many people would describe life as a teacher union staffer these days. Minus the best part, of course. Don’t get me wrong, I know that folks like me, who understand the importance of unions, recognize that […]