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.
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.
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
Mark Naison: If you rotate teachers in and out of schools at a dizzying rate and create pressures that drive them out of the profession after a few years, you will destroy the relationship building component that is at the heart of great teaching.
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.
Mark Naison: If you think something is crazy and wrong, and believe that to the core of your being, say so even if no one around you is willing to support you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mark Naison: Race to the Top redistributes income and not in a good way. Why has this ambitious education reform effort become an economic engine in reverse for poor and working class families.
Mark Naison: School reform, as it is being implemented today, destabilizes poor communities and inflicts a regimen of test prep on the nation’s children which destroys their joy of learning but the policy makers are buffered from the consequences of the decisions they make for other people’s children.