There’s much that we as educators can do to combat gun violence and get guns out of our schools. One of our roles as teachers is to guide students to examine the roots of an issue. When we talk about the Bill of Rights and the roots of the Second Amendment, we can expose the popular mythology that surrounds it — that this is somehow about individuals resisting government oppression — and lay out its true intent: to defend and deepen white supremacy. We must also lead the charge against programs like the NRA's Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program that normalize guns and gun violence and we should develop curriculum that looks like Linda Christensen’s important lesson “Trayvon Martin and My Students” that examines the killing of Martin and contrasts comments by President Barack Obama and Cornel West to help students develop their own narratives and critical analysis of the intersections of race and gun violence.
Rethinking Bilingual Education is an exciting new collection of articles about bringing students’ home languages into our classrooms.
For almost two decades, teachers have looked to Reading, Writing, and Rising Up as a trusted text to integrate social justice teaching in language arts classrooms.
Teaching is a lifelong challenge, but the first few years in the classroom are typically a teacher’s hardest.
Volume 32, No. 4 — Summer 2018
A Turning Point for Our Schools?
The wave of struggles sweeping through the United States are more than “red state” revolts. They are rebellions against the austerity and privatization that has been driving federal and state economic policy for decades. The dynamics and political landscape are different in each state. However, almost all of the states where statewide actions have occurred are right-to-work states, which have seen the steepest cuts in school funding and sharpest erosion of teacher pay and benefits. These states are less likely to have collective bargaining rights and local district contracts. This puts more focus on state budgets and state decisions about healthcare and pensions, and encourages statewide action focused on the legislature. Consequently, many of the walkouts have been more akin to mass political protests seeking broad changes in public policy. But other common factors underlying these grassroots protests are likely to keep rebellion spreading to “purple” states like Colorado (where there was a walkout in April) and North Carolina (May) and beyond. Almost everywhere in “red states” and “blue states” alike, budget and tax policy has been used to erode social services, shrink public space, undermine union power, and transfer wealth upward, all the while making the lives of working people harder.
Bob Peterson analyzes the Janus decision's impact on teacher unions, talks with union leaders from across the country about how they are responding to it, and argues that the damage of the decision can be countered through the upsurge of progressive activism engendered by the victory of Donald Trump.