Black lives can’t matter if black minds don’t

A recent report by The Education Trust – West, called Black Minds Matter, calls out the problem California is having with graduating black students who are ready for college or a career after high school. That organization’s executive director, Ryan Smith, writes in Ed Week about the issue: Among California’s many racial and ethnic groups, Black …

The ghosts in Minneapolis’ “progressive” machine

Last year Nekima Levy-Pounds told me that conditions in the Twin Cities were ripe for it to be another Ferguson. I disagreed. The people in power here control their people with a smug brand of I-know-what’s-best-for-you liberalism, and the people under their boot often seem too docile to resist. A year later, I’m proven wrong. For …

Occupiers in the hood

For the past week a determined mass of community activists have held down an encampment around Minneapolis’ 4th precinct police headquarters in protest of the officer involved shooting and killing of Jamar Clark, a black man who witnesses say was unarmed and handcuffed on the ground when he was shot. There is a dramatic contrast between the …

You can’t address the ‘achievement’ gap by ignoring Eurocentrism in education

Last night protestors seized the a meeting of the Minneapolis board of education over the district’s contract with a Utah-based publisher of Reading Horizons, a reading curriculum that has become controversial after parents and teachers called some of its materials ‘offensive.” At issue are depictions of native people, like ‘Lazy Lucy,’ that readers found racially backward. …

The unmentionable oppression

On the sixth day of creation God empowered Eve and Adam with naming the animals. Hey, that flying thing, we’ll call that a bird. It’s an ancient lesson in the power of naming conventions, one political people and school reformers have learned well. As people who fight over education and how to define the education world, we …