Volume 19, No.1

Fall 2004

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  • Standardizing Imperialism

    By Christine Sleeter

    A look at how California’s standards discourage students from looking critically at U.S. foreign policy, and implicitly teach imperialism.

  • Measuring Water with Justice

    A multidisciplinary lesson that explores water issues

    By Bob Peterson

    A multidisciplinary lesson helps elementary students explore the economics, science, and politics of one of the world’s most precious resources.

  • Sweatshop Accounting

    A high school teacher shares lessons on economic justice with his business education students

    By Larry Steele

    A high school teacher shares lessons on economic justice with his business-education students.

  • Editorial: A Nation at Risk

    By the editors of Rethinking Schools

    The Bush administration needs to be taken to task, both for the counterproductive and misnamed No Child Left Behind act and for the Iraq war, which threatens to siphon off more of our country’s resources and kill more of our students.

  • The No Child Left Behind Test

    Since today’s education policymakers seem to love this format, Rethinking Schools presents a multiple-choice test on NCLB that unlike most multiple choice tests, this one has some educational value.

  • Leaving Children Behind

    By Micaela Rubalcava

    At first glance this elementary school would make a great ad for the No Child Left Behind act. But beneath the orderly classrooms and good test scores, the author senses great tension among the kids. At recess, students share insights about what NCLB is doing to them, and what makes school meaningful.

  • No Child Left Untested: The NCLB Zone

    Where "highly qualified" can mean low-quality teaching

    By Wayne Au

    Au takes a trip to a strange world — this one, unfortunately — where “highly qualified” can mean low-quality teaching.”

  • Voucher Supporters Attack Kerry

    By Barbara Miner

    Why are pro-voucher organizations running anti-Kerry ads in African-American communities in swing states?

  • Making History

    John Kerry speaks out on Vietnam, 1971

    By the Editors of Rethinking Schools

    John Kerry’s groundbreaking 1971 speech against the Vietnam War can be a useful teaching tool.

  • Poetry

    By Lise Spangenthal

    A middle-school teacher shares her reaction to the underperforming” label.”

  • Blowing the Whistle on The Texas Miracle

    An Interview with Robert Kimball by Catherine Capellaro

    Rethinking Schools’ managing editor interviews the man who shined a spotlight on the dropout scandal in Houston. A former dropout himself, Kimball describes the retaliation he has suffered for poking holes in empty education reforms, and describes his continuing battle against institutional racism in education.

  • Student Voices 19.1

    By Andréa Yancey

    The next generation of soldiers?

  • The Power of First-Person

    By Herbert Kohl

    Most educational writing is done in the abstract third person, as if there were no writer present. But the authors of two new books, I Am a Pencil and The Big Picture, write […]

  • Action Education: Rethinking Schools Lauded for Post 9-11 Curriculum

    By Catherine Capellaro

    Rethinking Schools founder and editor Bob Peterson traveled to Washington, D.C. recently to receive an award for innovative approaches to teaching material related to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. “Our […]

  • Action Education: Chicago Social Justice Curriculum Fair

    Hundreds of teachers will gather in Chicago on Saturday, November 20 to share teaching ideas, lessons, and resources on teaching for social justice. This 4th annual social justice curriculum fair […]

  • Action Education: On The Front Line in Minnesota’s Social Studies War

    By Paul Spies

    In early September 2003, the Minnesota Department of Education released a first draft of new K-12 social studies standards for public comment. As a parent and former social studies teacher, […]

  • NCLB Petition Grows

    FairTest, a Cambridge-based activist organization, has gathered nearly 1,000 signatures on an online petition calling for an overhaul of the federal No Child Left Behind act (NCLB). “FairTest plans to […]

  • Q/A – My students don’t bring back their homework. Should I keep assigning it?

    First ask yourself some questions: Why are you giving homework? Is there a school policy, or is it up to the teacher? In many places it is a timeworn tradition […]

  • Q/A – I hate the textbook I’ve been given to use. What do I do?

    By Rita Tenorio

    In order to present students with multiple perspectives on any topic, it is likely that you will need more than one resource. Part of the challenge in becoming a social […]

  • Q/A – What Do I Do When I Realize I’ve Made a Mistake With a Child?

    Since you are a person and not some trained robot, chances are that you will make mistakes, such as losing your cool, for example, and saying something that you really […]

  • Left Behind?

    By Wayne Au

    Many Children Left Behind: How the No Child Left Behind Act Is Damaging Our Children and Our Schools, Deborah Meier and George Wood eds. (Beacon Press, 2004). 152 pp. $13. […]

  • Picture Perfect

    A perfect prompt for talking about images of women in the media

    By Terry Burant

    Picture Perfect. PicturePerfect Productions. Video. 40 minutes. Produced and directed by Carol Tizzano. 216-297-0622. ctano1311@sbcglobal.net While I hate to admit this in Rethinking Schools, I subscribe to Glamour. I watch my weight. I […]

  • Supersize Me

    By Wayne Au

    Supersize Me. Heart Sharp Video. 96 minutes. Directed by Morgan Spurlock. DVD or VHS. That there are more than 30,000 McDonald’s restaurants worldwide came as no surprise to me. That there […]

  • Sample of Proposed Standards

    Kindergarten:Introduction to Social StudiesStrand: Famous AmericansStandard: The student will recognize people who contributed to U.S. history.Benchmark: Students will know people associated with national holidays and figures from various cultural back-grounds, including, but […]

  • Sources/References for The NCLB Test

    Sources and References for “The NCLB Test”(Listed by question number and, where appropriate, by answer letter) by Stan Karp “Questions & Answers On NCLB” U.S. Department Of Education Website http://www.ed.gov/nclb/accountability/schools/accountability.html […]

  • Voices From The Classoom — Some Samples

    “I’m a young man but sometimes in school I feel like I’m a grandma in a hurricane. At the end of the day I walk home and sit down on […]

  • The New Teacher Book: Where We Might Begin

    By William Ayers

    Charles Dickens published Hard Times in London in 1854. I’ll do the math for you — that’s 150 years ago. In the opening paragraphs Dickens transports his readers into the fraught world […]

  • The New Teacher Book: How to Teach Controversial Content and Not Get Fired

    By Kelley Dawson Salas

    A classmate in my master’s degree program explained to our class: “I really want to talk with my students about why it’s wrong to discriminate against gay people. I had […]

  • Dialogue Poem

    This poem is described in the article “Measuring Water with Justice” by Bob Peterson We are eleven-year-old girls. I get my water in my house. We are eleven-year-old girls. I get my […]

  • Teaching Ideas: Antiwar Speech

    Student activities for use with John Kerry's 1971 speech against the Vietnam War.

    By Bill Bigelow

    Click here to read the complete text of Kerry’s speech. Before they read the speech, ask students what they know about John Kerry’s and George Bush’s service during the Vietnam War: […]