BATS, Diane Ravitch, and Bill DeBlasio’s Victory

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Mark Naison: Although education was not the only area where DeBlasio sought to sharply distinguish himself from his predecessor, opposition to excessive testing and school closings , and support for pre-school and after school programs, were pivots of his winning formula

Melissa Tomlinson’s “Rosa Parks” Moment

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Mark Naison: Think about what just happened. A public school teacher, Melissa Tomlinson, with no name recognition and no official position has, through courage and force of intellect, made herself a major figure in public discourse about education policy.

The Making of an Education Catastrophe

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Mark Naison: Here’s how a college professor whose field is African American history discovered that public schools and public school teachers were under attack and decided to step forward in defense of both.

Urban School Closings

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Mark Naison: More than 3,000 people will lose their jobs as a result of the latest round of School Closings in Philadelphia, more than 80 percent of them Black

On Test Scores and Poverty

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Mark Naison: The wealthy send their children to private schools with few tests and a huge emphasis on the arts; the poor and the rapidly shrinking middle class send their children to stripped-down test factories with beaten down and demoralized teachers.

Zimmerman Goes Free: Thoughts on Saturday’s Verdict

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Mark Naison: There was no mutual understanding on that fateful night in Florida. If George Zimmerman had been more respectful, and more tolerant, and more secure, Trayvon Martin would have survived that encounter and lived a productive life.

Closing Public Schools to Build Luxury Housing

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Mark Naison – Approximately 1/6 of all apartments in this city are used as “pied at terres” (part time residences) for wealthy people from other countries and we want to close public schools to give them more.

Mentors, Not Tests, Move Young People Out of Poverty

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Mark Naison: Virtually everyone I interviewed who was able to move from a working class childhood to professional status had someone invest large amounts of time and energy in expanding their “cultural capital” by building their self confidence as well as their skills.

Figthing for the Life of Public Education

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Mark Naison: As I watch the teaching profession be destroyed before my eyes, through bi-partisan initiatives that are difficult to fight, I am filled with anger. I hate what is going on, and will fight it with every ounce of my energy, but as a historian, I am hardly surprised.

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