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What Should Teachers Know About How Mass Incarceration Intersects With The Classroom?

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?

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Letters from John: My Educational Autobiography

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

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How Deeply Do You Think About Language?

“I’m having a hard time getting through this because of the language. The constant referral to incarcerated individuals as inmates speaks to the inhumane vantage point from which they are viewed by society. Imagine if we all were forever referred to by the result of our worst decision in life?” This was my response to… Continue reading How Deeply Do You Think About Language?

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After Eight Years of Teaching, I Wonder How Long I Can Keep Going

I love teaching. I’ve wanted to be a teacher since my junior year of high school. Till this day, my teachers, outside of my family and friends, have had the biggest influence on my life and my pursuit of self-actualization. I still keep in touch with many of my teachers and professors — that’s how… Continue reading After Eight Years of Teaching, I Wonder How Long I Can Keep Going

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Black Boys and Academic Excellence: An Unlikely Match In The Minds of Too Many Teachers

He didn’t want to participate in the spelling bee to begin with. The shock everyone blatantly displayed about the fact that he was a runner-up in his class spelling bee had rubbed him the wrong way and added to an already unfortunate situation. He wasn’t accustomed to the academic spotlight. He’d never been acknowledged for… Continue reading Black Boys and Academic Excellence: An Unlikely Match In The Minds of Too Many Teachers

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The School-To-Prison-Pipeline Is Real, Whether Your White Privilege Allows You To Believe It Or Not.

There is a diabolical, direct, orchestrated attack at work against poor, inner-city children of color. They are not being prepped for college- and career-readiness. Instead, Black and Brown children, especially those who reside in certain zip codes, are being prepared to supply free labor to the prison-industrial complex. I wrote these words as the introduction… Continue reading The School-To-Prison-Pipeline Is Real, Whether Your White Privilege Allows You To Believe It Or Not.

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More Police Presence In Our Schools Is NOT The Answer!

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!

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Hidden Among Us: Identifying and Supporting Students With An Incarcerated Parent

Imagine you are a young person whose parent is in prison. How does that impact you as you walk into school, interact with peers and teachers, and sit down to learn? What makes you feel safe and connected? Five million U.S. children are living this experience. How can we better serve them? What other students… Continue reading Hidden Among Us: Identifying and Supporting Students With An Incarcerated Parent

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Why Do Our Schools Look Like Prisons? What Is This Doing To Our Students?

I was walking into work today and a colleague of mine began exchanging small talk. She knows that my husband John is incarcerated and was kind enough to ask me how he was doing. I told her that, all things considered, he’s doing really well and that I was excited to see and spend time… Continue reading Why Do Our Schools Look Like Prisons? What Is This Doing To Our Students?