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What’s On Your Book Shelf?: The Importance of Diversity in Classroom Libraries

I was allotted some funds for the purpose of further developing my classroom library. Books are my happy place so I was overjoyed! I set out on the task with the express purpose of not only getting books that met the varying reading levels of my students, but also books that represented the cultures of… Continue reading What’s On Your Book Shelf?: The Importance of Diversity in Classroom Libraries

School Choice

It’s Not My Kid’s Job To Make Your Kid’s Educational Experience Better

The big buzz word in New York City education is: Diversity. On October 26, 2017, yet another plan was announced, this time promising to bring diversity to Lower Manhattan’s District 1. District 1 is already a choice district, in that families are not limited to a local zoned school, but can apply to any school… Continue reading It’s Not My Kid’s Job To Make Your Kid’s Educational Experience Better

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Black Children Are Not Allowed To Be Children

Black children are not allowed to be children. They are perceived by mainstream America, from out of the womb, as being armed, dangerous, and suspicious. They are constantly scrutinized, chastised, and over-managed. How many Black parents have had to sit their young Black child down and explain to them how to conduct themselves in public,… Continue reading Black Children Are Not Allowed To Be Children

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You Call These “Public” Schools? Unconscionable Segregation in NYC’s Specialized High Schools

Segregation won another round in New York City’s most elite “public” schools. The admission numbers are out and they are pathetic. Black and Latino children make up 67.6 percent of the students in NYC schools, yet only 10 percent of the students were admitted to the selective high schools. And get this, only one—yes one—Black… Continue reading You Call These “Public” Schools? Unconscionable Segregation in NYC’s Specialized High Schools

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How Do I Help My Children Feel Pride in their Heritage in the Face of Ignorance?

(This is a story told to me by a devastated friend, struggling to make sense of this new America. He wishes to remain anonymous.) “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” This is far from the truth: I did not know racism until I came to this great country.… Continue reading How Do I Help My Children Feel Pride in their Heritage in the Face of Ignorance?

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Cui Bono: Who Really Benefits From Dual Language Education?

Late last year I wrote about how the Upper West Side rezoning plan intended to desegregate a handful of elementary schools could end up resegregating them in a new way through the addition of a Gifted & Talented program to PS 191, currently serving over 70% Black, Hispanic, and Free Lunch students. Bringing in a G&T… Continue reading Cui Bono: Who Really Benefits From Dual Language Education?

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Children of the Hidden: How Mass Incarceration is Affecting Students of Color

I think that every family member of someone who’s imprisoned can attest to the loneliness and frustration that typifies this type of family dynamic. Children of incarcerated parents have an especially difficult road to walk. As a wife of a man who’s incarcerated, I have chosen to voluntarily incarcerate myself in many ways. The children… Continue reading Children of the Hidden: How Mass Incarceration is Affecting Students of Color

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“As a Teacher of Color, I’m Experiencing Racism from Students and that’s Not Okay”: A Facebook Chat on the “Trump Effect”

After Trump Jr. suggested [in a recent article*] that women who “can’t handle” workplace sexual harassment should “just quit” – he offered this solution: “You should go maybe teach kindergarten,” he said. 😵 Are teachers not part of the workforce?! 😤 Are we not professionals!?😡 I am tagging you because I genuinely want you to weigh… Continue reading “As a Teacher of Color, I’m Experiencing Racism from Students and that’s Not Okay”: A Facebook Chat on the “Trump Effect”

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Letters from John: Hiding in Plain Sight

This is Part 4 of my series “Letters from John.” In Part I, I wrote, “I’m in a beautifully loving marriage to John Dukes, a man who is truly one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. My husband is also incarcerated. During our friendship, courtship, and marriage, John and I… Continue reading Letters from John: Hiding in Plain Sight