It’s June 2nd and for the past few weeks I’ve attended and seen photos and videos of many graduations from Pre-K through graduate school. No matter the grade level, the excitement is always way up there. As a Black woman and educator, graduations of Black students are exceptionally important to me for each graduate who… Continue reading Vocational Degrees: Educational Decency or Destruction?
It’s just about the end of this school year and, as I reflect upon what worked and what didn’t in preparation for next year, I am faced with the unfortunate truth that a lot of my students — my Black students, in particular – are being recommended or mandated to attend summer school. While I’m… Continue reading Black Students, Teachers, and Community Are In A Perpetual State of Emergency.
Growing up in my home, education was pushed as the most important resource to obtain. My parents reminded me repeatedly that I was already born with two strikes against me — being a female and being Black. They prepared me for the harsh yet true reality that although I was smart and did exceptionally well… Continue reading This Is How We Damage Our Black Students’ Prospects
CNN recently reported about yet another culturally insensitive assignment given to students in an eighth-grade U.S. history class at a charter school in Texas. There, students were told to complete an assignment on the “positive aspects” and “negative aspects” of the life of slaves, giving a “balanced view.” This assignment wreaks of micro-aggressive and racist… Continue reading Schools Are Some of The Most Racist Places on Earth
It’s over 50 years since the historic Supreme Court vote that ushered integration into public schools into the public school system of United States of America. Yet in 2018 rich white people are still up in arms about the mere mention of allocating seats in their segregated schools for minority children. They didn’t want our… Continue reading So Let Me Get This Straight: If Black Kids Come to a School, the School is Going to Automatically Fail?
According to CNN, “a Texas charter school is apologizing after a teacher gave an assignment to an eighth grade American History class, asking students to list the positive aspects of slavery.” As outraged as I am, I wish I could write that what happened at Great Hearts Monte Vista School is an isolated incident —… Continue reading The First Step towards Achieving Educational Equity for Black Students Must Be Hiring More Black Teachers
It’s been a week since New York State students in grades three through eight took their English Language Arts exams. As the dust settles and the tests get scored, it becomes more and more evident to me — and I venture to safely say for many other educators — that this standardized test has become… Continue reading The NYS ELA Exam: What’s Working? What’s Not?
In 1951, a class action suit was filed against the Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. The plaintiffs were thirteen Topeka parents on behalf of their 20 children. What a strong example of parental engagement this landmark case models for us, right? This case… Continue reading Have We Made Any Progress Since Brown v. Board of Ed? Not In My Experience.
Our guest today is Whitney Q. Hollins. She is a special educator in the NYC DOE, a Research Assistant at We Got Us Now and a doctoral student at C.U.N.Y. Graduate Center. Whitney and I do advocacy work together and what struck me most about her when we first met was her sharp mind. She’s… Continue reading What Should Teachers Know About How Mass Incarceration Intersects With The Classroom?
This is a guest blog from my husband, John Dukes. You’ve read his writing before in an ongoing series here at NYST entitled “Letters from John.” Throughout the series, John speaks poignantly, passionately, and truthfully about his journey along the school-to-prison pipeline. John is currently incarcerated and is enrolled in Mercy College. He had an assignment… Continue reading Letters from John: My Educational Autobiography