Volume 25, No.4

Summer 2011

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  • Declassified – Struggle for Existence (We Used to Eat Lunch Together)

    Students fight to perform their rewrite of Antigone

    By Brian Pickett

    Declassified is a student-created play about a NYC school closure. When administrators try to shut the play down, a viral protest lets the show go on.

  • Scholastic Inc – Pushing Coal

    A 4th-grade curriculum lies through omission

    By Bill Bigelow

    Rethinking Schools exposes links between Scholastic and the coal industry. Three days later, Scholastic promises to stop distributing pro-coal curriculum.

  • Tiger Moms and the Model Minority Myth

    By Helen Gym

    The media splash around Amy Chuas writings about Chinese mothers exploits Asian stereotypes, exacerbating racial tensions and creating additional obstacles for vulnerable youth.

  • Te Tremble – An Unnatural Disaster

    A trial role play probes the roots of devastation in Haiti

    By Adam Sanchez

    Who was responsible for the enormous impact of the earthquake in Haiti? High school students use a mock trial to explore the economic, social, and political background to the tragedy.

  • Early Childhood Military Education?

    By Ann Pelo

    The U.S. military advocates for early childhood education, but for all the wrong reasons.

  • My Failing School

    By Wanda Caine

    A faculty boat trip becomes a metaphor for a school condemned to closure.

  • Testing What Matters Least

    What we learned when we took the Praxis Reading Specialist Test

    By Maika Yeigh, Andie Cunningham, Ruth Shagoury

    Teacher educators are disturbed by the implications of the high-stakes test for literacy specialists.

  • Shhh!! No Opinions in the Library

    By Amanda Vender

    IndyKidsand kids’ right to an independent press. A current events magazine for young people, written from a social justice perspective, has to fight for space in public libraries.

  • Teaching for Hope and Activism

    By the editors of Rethinking Schools

    How do we bring the fight to protect and transform public schools into our classrooms? How do we connect our classrooms to the struggles in the streets? As the crisis over public education escalates, activist teachers are experimenting with new approaches.

  • Teaching and Learning in the Midst of the Wisconsin Uprising

    By Kate Lyman

    A Madison elementary school teacher returns from occupying the Capitol to help her students put the events in context and decide how they want to participate.

  • Teaching Budget Cuts to Third Graders

    By Dale Weiss

    A Milwaukee 3rd-grade teacher uses Martin’s Big Words to explain that social change can take a very long time.

  • This Is What Solidarity Looks Like

    By the editors of Rethinking Schools

    All of us have learned some lessons about the meaning of solidarity from the recent events in Wisconsin. Gov. Scott Walker’s so-called “budget repair bill” was a draconian assault on workers’ rights and unions. He followed this with what the Wisconsin education superintendent called “the greatest state cut to education since the Great Depression” and […]

  • Reshaping the American Dream

    Lessons from Detroit

    By Greg Smith

    The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century

    By Grace Lee Boggs with Scott Kurashige

  • Short Stuff 25.4

    Peterson Elected Head of Milwaukee Teachers’ Union Bob Peterson, a founding editor and board president of Rethinking Schools, was recently elected president of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association, capping a campaign waged in the midst of occupations, sick-outs, legislative recall campaigns, and constant mobilizations in the city and across the state. “I want to help […]

  • What’s in a Name?

    By Kathy Xiong

    The Name Jar By Yangsook Choi(Random House Children’s Books, 2003) I teach in an ethnically, culturally, religiously, and linguistically diverse public school district, so it’s important to me to encourage children from the very first day of school to take pride in who they are and to embrace their differences. Every year, I begin building […]

  • Letters to the Editors 25.4

    Anti-Teacher Climate Intensifies Bullying Waiting in my car to pick up my sons from middle school, I turn off the windshield wipers, lower the windows, and silence the engine. As students spill out noisily from the building, teachers emerge to mitigate madness and direct traffic. Yet adolescent screams of “you faggot” and “f-ing gaywood” are […]

  • Save Our Schools

    By Anthony Cody

    Washington, D.C.March and Rally • Sat., July 30 Pre-March Conference • July 28-29 Post-March Next Steps • July 31 If America needs to reform its public schools, why aren’t public school teachers, students, and families leading the education reform movement? We are the ones most familiar with the problems with our current school system. Why aren’t our voices […]