Volume 35, No. 3


The spring issue of Rethinking Schools has a cover story that features one union’s journey toward disability justice and has a special “Educators Speak Out” section uplifting the voices of special education teachers, students, and parents. There’s also an editorial about the centennial of the Tulsa Massacre that argues for the need for reparations. Rethinking Schools editor Jesse Hagopian also has an obituary of the late Karen Lewis and editor Linda Christensen has an important article about teaching the “unbound” essay. The labor writer Sarah Jaffe has a piece about how some social justice teachers have reinvented the pandemic classroom and there’s a wonderful article about how educators can teach a people’s history of the March on Washington. And that’s just the beginning, there’s so much more!

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  • Tulsa and the Fight for Reparations

    By the editors of Rethinking Schools

    On May 31, 1921, white mobs terrorized the Black community of Greenwood in North Tulsa, Oklahoma. Known as Black Wall Street, the area teemed with prosperous businesses and cultural sites. […]

  • Dear Educators, It Is Time to Fight for Asian America

    By Wayne Au and Moé Yonamine

    Although the increase in anti-Asian attacks has been hard for all of us, the murderous killing spree in Atlanta had our families, our youth, and our communities spiraling. From a […]

  • Karen Lewis Struck a Blow for Justice

    By Jesse Hagopian

    When Karen Lewis, the past president of the Chicago Teachers Union, succumbed to a long battle with brain cancer on Feb. 8, 2021, we lost one of the greatest freedom […]

  • Biden’s Broken Promise: Time to Opt Out!

    By Denisha Jones

    On Dec. 14, 2019, I asked President Joe Biden a question about standardized testing. Seeking the Democratic nomination, he had joined other presidential candidates at a Public Education Forum hosted […]

  • Activists Mobilize for Waivers and Opt Outs as Biden Mandates Tests

    By Stan Karp

    One month after taking office, the Biden administration faced its first major education policy test. It failed miserably.  Despite a campaign promise to end standardized testing in public schools (See […]

  • The Story of One Union’s Journey Toward Disability Justice

    Expanding Our Beliefs and Demands for Inclusive Education

    By Emma Fialka-Feldman

    I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. In the early 1990s, my family fought to have my brother Micah, who had been labeled with an intellectual disability with needs […]

  • Special Education Teachers, Students, and Parents Speak Out

    We asked a group of teachers, parents, and students to share an important moment or story related to their role in special education during the pandemic. Here’s what they shared . . .

    By Zo Clement, Fabian Rivera Segarra, Mercedes N. Muñoz, Joseph R. Passi, Faith Ann Douglas, Monise Seward, Saili S. Kulkarni, Samuel Bland, Monica Gonzalez, Justice McDonald, Carson Chodos, and Sophia Johansson

    Some Students Are FlyingBy Zo Clement I have been continually amazed at the resilience of my students during the pandemic. As an 8th-grade inclusion teacher in Washington, D.C., my scholars […]

  • To Find What Works in the Virtual Classroom, Many Teachers Are Adapting Old Strategies

    By Sarah Jaffe

    Matt Reed, a teacher at Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon, was worried about one of his 9th-grade students. Portland Public Schools, he explained, had been all-remote since March 13, […]

  • Essay Unbound

    Opening the Canon of Literary Analysis

    By Linda Christensen

    Christensen argues that the tight reliance on the format of the literary analysis hinders students’ imaginations, and that they should instead write “unbound” essays of risk-taking and experimentation.

  • Teaching A People’s History of the March on Washington

    By Jessica Lovaas and Adam Sanchez

    Nearly every child in the United States learns about Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The March on Washington, where King delivered this speech, is one of […]

  • “We’re Just People Who Don’t Want to Be Killed”

    By Tina Starks

    A piece of our worth was stolen on Jan. 6, 2021. A mob brandishing the flag of the Confederacy as well as the campaign flags of the outgoing president stormed […]

  • Necessary Trouble

    Bringing the Climate Disobedience Movement into Our Classrooms

    By Ursula Wolfe-Rocca

    Wolfe-Rocca describes her mixer around the “Valve Turners,” a group of climate disobedience activists who put their bodies on the line to stop the harm of pipelines.

  • Spring 2021: Our picks for books, videos, websites, and other social justice education resources.

    Website One Out of Five: Disability History and Pride ProjectDesigned by the Washington State Governor’s Office of the Education Ombuds in partnership with Rooted in Rights, Adina Rosenberg, and Sarah Arveybit.ly/One_Out_of_Five […]

  • Teaching the Green New Deal: The Prequel

    By Suzanna Kassouf, Matt Reed, Tim Swinehart, Ursula Wolfe-Rocca, and Bill Bigelow

    In an article introducing the student-friendly short video, A Message from the Future, about life after the Green New Deal, Naomi Klein points out: Almost every vision of the future […]

  • To the Alumni Class of First Semester, 2020:

    By Julia Kirkpatrick

    To the class that never was You exist only as ghost children, and I to you a ghost teacher.Do I know you?What did you look like, behind your black Zoom square? What […]