Last week’s guest blog post by Long Island teacher Mark Jackett garnered much attention; over 105 comments were exchanged in the Facebook thread. It is my experience, coupled with my reflection on the experience, that prompted me to write this post today. To me, as a Black teacher with a platform, it is imperative that… Continue reading White Privilege and White Fragility: A Dangerous By-Product of Hiring Majority-White Teachers.
Mark Jackett is a high school special education teacher on Long Island. He lives in Port Jefferson with his wife, two daughters, two cats, and eight chickens. It’s not easy being Black in one of Suffolk County’s big, predominantly white high schools. So when one of the handful of Black students at the high school… Continue reading A White Teacher Starts a Black Lives Matter Club in a Trump-Friendly Long Island District. What Happens Next?
“Study of N.Y. Schools Finds Wide Racial, Ethnic Disparities in Advanced High School Courses.” That’s the alarming headline that recently captured my attention, based on unpublished state Education Department data from the 2016-2017 school year analyzed by the New York Equity Coalition. The Coalition comprises the State Business Council, the New York Urban League, Albany… Continue reading “I Thought I Was Taking Algebra But It Was Really Pre-Algebra”: the Racial and Ethnic Gap in New York’s Gateway Courses
Are you old enough to remember Lily Tomlin’s character Ernestine the telephone operator in the old show “Laugh-In”? This was the era when AT&T was a monopoly — no Sprint or Verizon on the horizon — and Ernestine’s tagline when she answered a call was “We don’t care. We don’t have to.” I thought of… Continue reading Paging Ernestine: Long Island Opt-Outers Don’t Care About Standardized Tests Because They Don’t Have To.
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.
I grew up on Long Island. My entire education from kindergarten through graduate school was facilitated in schools on Long Island. I live on Long Island still. It is fair to say that Long Island, with all of its pervasive racially, socially, and economic-segregated neighborhoods and schools, is not only a part of New York… Continue reading More Police Presence In Our Schools Is NOT The Answer!
I wrote a post last week that got just as much praise as it did condemnation. The negative responses took me somewhat by surprise. I thought my message of reverence and thanks to my high school teachers — who were, with the exception of one, all white — for holding me to the same high… Continue reading White Teachers Tend To Have Consistently Lower Expectations of Their Black and Brown Students
Let me get personal and tell you a little bit about me: in particular, what sparked my passion for educational equity and commitment to giving disenfranchised children a shot at success. When I took 11th grade English with Mr. Frank McHugh at Elmont Memorial Senior High and we read D.H. Lawrence’s “Sons and Lovers,” I knew… Continue reading A NYC Teacher Gets Up Close and Personal