Mark Naison: All over the nation, stories abound of classrooms becoming zones of extreme stress, with teachers and students displaying symptoms of anxiety, rage ,and depression in response to the new demands.
Mark Naison: For me, anti-racism was something I wanted to live in real time and space with real people, not just pursued as an abstract principle, and I wanted my anti-racism to connect me to Black people rather than separate me from them.
Mark Naison: I thought it might be appropriate to momentarily drop my Junkyard Dog/Badass Teacher persona and offer some positive ideas about how to improve our educational system.
Funding Prisoner Education: Prison now is for poor people who have broken laws that rich people are almost never jailed for.
Socialism and Liberty — In the US today, policies that are egalitarian in intent often become the opposite in implementation.
Freedom of Speech — Never has intimidation and the suppression of free speech become so epidemic in school districts throughout the nation.
Mark Naison: We have now had six years of strong support for Charters from the Obama Administration, backed up by Race to the Top money. It is time to ask some hard questions.
Teaching Careers –School Reformers are making a systematic effort to drive the best veteran teachers out of the profession.
Common Core Standards — If we don’t change course fast, we are going to lose a generation of people of incredible talents.
Mark Naison: Your education policies will leave as much a blemish on your Presidency as the Vietnam War did on the Presidency of Lyndon Johnson.
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
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.
Mark Naison: More and more, the schools in poor and working class neighborhoods are filled with young teachers who don’t live in those communities, don’t know anything about their histories, and stay only a few years.