Sunday, January 9, 2011

Rethinking Schools

Check it all out at

The winter issue of Rethinking Schools, now online at, is packed with articles to fuel the grassroots movement to defend and transform our public schools. Here's a sampling:

One of the scariest attacks on teachers this year links our salaries and job security to student test scores. It sounds so reasonable to people who don't know anything about it. Need ammunition for a school board meeting or the PTA? In "Neither Fair Nor Accurate: Research-Based Reasons Why High-Stakes Tests Should Not Be Used to Evaluate Teachers" Wayne Au offers six clear explanations why "value-added measurements" don't make sense for teacher assessment.
Fight back with great teaching: In Bill Bigelow's "If There Is No Struggle . . ." Teaching a People's History of the Abolition Movement, a role play lets students "become" members of the American Anti-Slavery Society and grapple with the strategic dilemmas of this pivotal U.S. social movement.

As the tragic suicides of lesbian, gay, and transgender youth mount, it is clear we need schools that are safe for students and teachers to be who they are. In "'My Teacher Is a Lesbian': Coming Out at School," Jody Sokolower details her own experiences coming out as a middle and high school teacher and explores questions like: Why, when, and how does it make sense to come out as a teacher? How can you protect yourself? What can straight teachers do as allies?
Our editorial takes on the impact of the escalating anti-immigrant climate, and calls for "Every School a Sanctuary."

This issue of Rethinking Schools also includes two significant investigative reports on Waiting for "Superman": "Superhero School Reform Heading Your Way: Now Playing in Newark, N.J.," by Stan Karp, and Barbara Miner's "The Ultimate $uperpower: Supersized Dollars Drive Waiting for 'Superman' Agenda."
and much, much more. . . .