Take Sides for the Earth and Teach Climate Justice

TEACHING CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS As we celebrate Earth Day, we invite you to join us in taking sides for the Earth by teaching climate justice and becoming part of the #TeachClimateJustice movement with our book,  A People’s Curriculum for the Earth by Bill Bigelow and Tim Swinehart. The book is an infinitely useful collection […]

Rhythm & Resistance: New Book and Spring Magazine

Rhythm and Resistance This month, Rethinking Schools publishes Rhythm and Resistance: Teaching Poetry for Social Justice, edited by Linda Christensen and Dyan Watson. Our spring issue features three articles from this new book. At a time when the regime of standardized testing is squeezing poetry and narrative, social studies and the arts out of the […]

“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 […]

Links we liked this week: May 4, 2014

Oops!  We scheduled this to post on Saturday, but something went awry. Now we’re a few days late, but we think these links are still worth a look.  We like sharing interesting news, insightful opinions, activist victories, and actionable curriculum via Facebook, Twitter, and of course through our magazine and books. We thought why not […]

Links we liked this week: April 20, 2014

We like sharing interesting news, insightful opinions, activist victories, and actionable curriculum via Facebook, Twitter, and of course through our magazine and books. We thought why not collect some of our favorites ideas, opinions, and stories in one place each week. It gives you a peek at what piques our interest, and gives us the opportunity […]

Sixty Years After Brown: “Segregation Forever”?

We recently learned of an interview by Democracy Now! with journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, who discusses the segregation that persists in public schools around the United States.  Watch a brief segment here: You can watch the full interview at the Democracy Now! website. Nearly 60 years after the Civil Rights Act and Brown v. Board of Education decision, Hannah-Jones […]

Rethinking Multicultural Education: Teaching for Racial and Cultural Justice

by Wayne Au This post is an excerpt from the introduction to our new and expanded 2nd edition of Rethinking Multicultural Education: Teaching for Racial and Cultural Justice published just last week.    Rethinking Multicultural Education: Teaching for Racial and Cultural Justice, second edition, has been a long time coming. Over its almost 30 years of […]

“The Agitator” at Rethinking Schools

Helen Gym is a member of the Rethinking Schools editorial board, but that is only one of many hats she wears in her life as a mom, spouse, educator, and not-to-be-reckoned-with activist in Philadelphia.  The  Philadelphia Magazine recently ran this article about Helen, and the anecdote that best captures Helen’s passion and impact is this: […]

“Why We Banned Legos” and other resources for teaching about markets and capitalism

This holiday season, teach a lesson that helps your students question our society’s focus on material goods, and pushes back against the relentless messages to find happiness through consumption. Here are some Rethinking Schools articles and lessons that nurture a critical lens when examining the market forces that underpin so much of what needs changing […]

What’s good for Bill Gates is bad for public schools… and Microsoft, too

by David Morris Editor’s note:  This news has been making the rounds in education activist circles, and we wanted to further amplify this important message. Turns out corporate style reform isn’t just bad for schools, it’s bad for corporations. Schools have a lot to learn from business about how to improve performance, declared Bill Gates in an Op […]

Of Mice and Marginalization

We “soft-launched” our fall issue on our website over the weekend.  Perhaps you already checked it out, or if you’re a subscriber, you have the magazine in hand already.  If you haven’t seen it, here are a few highlights. We are proud of this issue, and we hope you enjoy reading it! “Of Mice and […]

The Trouble with Common Core

On Friday, Rethinking Schools editor Stan Karp delivered a speech “The Trouble with Common Core” to Portland area parents, educators, administrators, elected officials, among others.  (See our summer editorial with the same title.) Watch and share.

Join the critical conversation on edTPA

We’re pleased to announce that the summer issue of Rethinking Schools magazine features a special forum with three perspectives on edTPA, the high-stakes test for new teachers that is being piloted in teacher education programs around the country. We know edTPA is an issue of great interest to everyone in the field of education as […]

Layoffs and School Closures in Philadelphia

Below we preview our Action Education column from our Summer issue, about the massive school closings in Philadelphia. Helen Gym, a Rethinking Schools editor, is a parent and long-time activist in Philadelphia who has been one of the leaders of the movement to save public schools. On June 7, after the magazine went to press, […]

Mexican American Studies Lives On

If you have seen the remarkable film Precious Knowledge, about the Mexican American Studies (MAS) program in Tucson, you’ll remember Curtis Acosta, the caring and charismatic high school language arts teacher. Despite its well-documented accomplishments and success in reaching historically marginalized students, Arizona politicians set out to destroy Tucson’s MAS program—through House Bill 2281, which singled […]

Scrap the MAP International Day of Solidarity on May 1

As you are no doubt aware, increasingly powerful corporate interests are attempting to reduce teaching and learning to what’s on a standardized test.  We have all seen these tests be used to punish students, discipline teachers, withhold funds from our schools, and even close schools down. However, a movement of parents, students, and teachers has been […]

Reclaim AERA: Protest Arne Duncan Speech

By Ann Berlak For the first time since I can remember some members of the American Educational Research Association (AERA)—the largest association of educators and educational researchers in the world—are taking a public stand at AERA’s annual meeting in San Francisco against the corporatization, standardization and privatization of education. Sadly, the leadership of AERA has invited Arne […]

Lessons from the Atlanta testing scandal

Bob Peterson, a Rethinking Schools founding editor and president of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association, reflects on the Atlanta testing scandal and the lessons we might learn from it.  This post was previously published at Bob’s own blog “Public Education: This is what democracy looks like.”  Friday’s indictment of 35 Atlanta educators for a massive testing scandal […]

Charter Schools and the Future of Public Education

It’s time to refocus public policy on providing excellent public schools for all. by Stan Karp Previously published in the NJEA Review, March 2013. Somewhere along the way, nearly every teacher dreams of starting a school. I know I did. More than once during the 30 years I taught English and journalism to high school […]

Leading Educators Support Teacher Test Boycott

In a public statement released today, more than sixty educators and researchers [UPDATE: now 130+], including some of the most well-respected figures in the field of education, pledged support for the boycott of the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test initiated by the teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle, calling the action a “blow […]

Proud to be a Garfield Bulldog

by Wayne Au On the afternoon of Thursday, January 10th, a group of about 15 teachers stood together in the front of room 206 at Garfield High School in Seattle, Washington. News cameras and audio recorders from local media outlets crowded the podium as reporters, students, colleagues, and supporters listened closely. The teachers at Garfield […]

The fight against privatization continues. This time in Philadelphia

Recently Philadelphia school parents and the local chapter of the NAACP filed a complaint with the City Ethics Board alleging that a major foundation and the Boston Consulting Group had engaged in lobbying the School District of Philadelphia around major policy issues such as school closings and charter expansion. The complaint centered around the fact […]

Crenshaw High and the Battle Over School Reform

A recent Education Week article reported that between 2009 and 2011, 3,700 public schools in the US were closed. Reuters reported that school closings in 2010-11 were up 60% from ten years earlier.  The current wave of school closings is part of a bipartisan corporate reform assault on public education, especially in communities serving poor communities of color. The […]

Won’t Back Down won’t be real about school reform

Thinking about seeing a movie this weekend?  Take our advice and avoid Won’t Back Down. Below, Helen Gym, a Rethinking Schools editorial associate and parent activist in Philadelphia, shares why.  Her commentary was first published at The Philadelphia Public School Notebook.  Won’t Back Down won’t be real about school reform by Helen Gym Last week I attended […]