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Sunday, November 13, 2016

After the Election: A To-Do List | Cult of Pedagogy

After the Election: A To-Do List | Cult of Pedagogy:

After the Election: A To-Do List

Since the election results were announced, I haven’t mentioned them in any public forum. I was too overwhelmed, and I didn’t want to muddy the waters here; I wanted to stay focused on teaching.
But everywhere I look, the waters are plenty muddy. Over the past five days, the pain I’m hearing in the voices of friends, family members, and total strangers online, the acts of hate and violence I’m seeing on the news, they’re not letting up. And not using this platform to share my thoughts would be cowardly. It would be lazy. It would also be a wasted opportunity: Most of my readers are educators, people who will shape the next generation. So if I can influence those teachers in any way, I have a responsibility to give it my best shot.
I’d like to propose a few ideas for things educators can do to move us forward in a way that’s healing and productive.
Let me be clear: I’m not talking about moving ON, dismissing what has happened, or “getting over it.” I have seen too much heartbreak, confusion and fear this week—on both sides—to suggest we move on. I’m talking about forward motion, the work we have ahead of us.

What Teachers Can Do Now

Although this list is directed at teachers, I believe it’s also relevant for parents and anyone else who works with children, teens, or college students. In some places, I have provided links to good resources that can help. If you have other suggestions, please let me know in the comments.

1. Keep building relationships with and between your students.

If this election has taught us anything, it’s that a whole lot of us don’t trust each other. This division pushes us more deeply into our own corners, which only exacerbates the problem. The more we can do to make our classrooms places where real people know and trust one another, where we learn each other’s stories and uncover the things we have in common, the better we’ll get at embracing our differences.
So look for opportunities to build these relationships: On days when you can opt to show a video or play a game, go with the game. If a student seems troubled, but you’re busy, try to find five minutes to talk to him anyway. When you have extra time at the end of a class period, chat with students instead of catching up on email. All those little moments will add up.
Here are a few other resources from this site that can help:

2. Practice and teach respectful disagreement.

We have to learn new ways of talking with people who disagree with us. The skills are nothing new, but so many of us are completely out of practice when it comes to thoughtful discourse. It can be taught. And we need to provide students with plenty of practice in speaking honestly about their opinions without being insulting.
These resources would be a good place to start:
Respectful TalkThis Teaching Channel video shows how one teacher works with her students on having calm, respectful conversations with clear discussion guidelines and support materials.
The Big List of Class Discussion StrategiesAny of the activities on this list will give students practice in healthy discourse.

3. Strengthen your approach to bullying, racism, and other acts of hate.

Recent acts of violence and hate scare me to death, and those are just the ones that made the news. Obviously, this is a bigger problem than I can handle in a single bullet point, but these two resources struck me as worth sharing, because each one addresses the problem from an angle I don’t often see.
5 Ways to Disrupt RacismAlthough the strategies presented in this video are intended for acts of racism, they would be just as effective in any situation where a bystander witnesses an act of aggression or bullying.

How to Develop a School Culture that Helps Curb BullyingThis article approaches the problem of bullying holistically. It explains why zero-tolerance policies are After the Election: A To-Do List | Cult of Pedagogy:




Baltimore, MD – NAACP National President and CEO Cornell William Brooks issued the following statement regarding the results of the 2016 presidential election:
Even as we extend our congratulations to President-Elect Donald J. Trump, the NAACP, as America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, must bluntly note that the 2016 campaign has regularized racism, standardized anti-Semitism, de-exceptionalized xenophobia and mainstreamed misogyny. Voter suppression, as the courts have declared, has too become rampant and routine.

From the day that General George Washington accepted the people’s charge to become their first commander-in-chief, to the day that we elected Barack Obama as our country’s first African-American president, America has come together to ensure a peaceful transition of power. This most recent presidential election must meet this distinctly American standard. President-Elect Trump’s victory speech avoided a divisive tone and thus invoked this standard.
During this critical period of transition, we are now calling upon the next president to speak and act with the moral clarity necessary to silence the dog-whistle racial politics that have characterized recent months and have left many of our fellow citizens snarling at one another in anger and even whimpering in fear. The more than 120 million Americans who cast ballots in this election – as well as the more than 100 million more eligible voters who declined to vote – deserve no less.

The NAACP stands ready to work with a new administration to realize the racial justice concerns that not only compelled millions of people to go to the polls on Election Day but also inspired millions to protest in the streets in the preceding days and months. Depending upon the new administration’s fidelity to America’s ideals of liberty and the NAACP’s agenda for justice, we will either be at its side or in its face. We will not let this election distract or dissuade us; the NAACP will continue to stand strong at the frontlines, advocating for voting rights, criminal justice reform and equality for all.   

This election comes as a surprise to many, an affirmation to some and a rejection to others, and yet it is also a defining moment for the NAACP and the nation. Let us come together as a country – come together with the principled and practical unity that the needs of our nation and the need to govern demand.
Our beauty as a country shines brighter than the ugliness of this election. It is up to all of us to reveal the beauty of who we are as a people as we yet see the possibilities of the nation we can become. 
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas here.


Invisible Children: Raised in the US, struggling in Mexico | 89.3 KPCC

Invisible Children: Raised in the US, struggling in Mexico | 89.3 KPCC:

Invisible Children: Raised in the US, struggling in Mexico

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Part of our series exploring how the U.S. will educate the nearly 5 million students who are learning English.
Children and teenagers of Mexican descent make up one of the fastest-growing populations in the nation's public schools.
That's a well-known statistic, but less known is that, in the last eight years, an nearly 500,000 of these children have returned to Mexico with their families. Nine out of 10 are U.S. citizens because they were born in the U.S. That's according to Mexican and U.S. government figures compiled by researchers with the University of California system, and the Civil Rights Project at UCLA.
These families have returned to Mexico because of the economic downturn in the U.S. Many others were deported and had no choice but to take their U.S.-born children with them.
Whatever the reason, Mexican schools have been caught off guard, totally unprepared to receive them. Researchers with the U-C Mexico Initiative say these students will in all likelihood travel back and forth between both countries so schools on both sides of the border need to work together to make sure they get a quality education.
In Mexican schools, the single-biggest problem these U.S.-born children and teenagers face is that they can't read or write in Spanish. In the U.S. schools they previously attended, many lacked the academic English they needed to do well. They're often labeled "English Language Learners" or ELLs.
Patricia Gandara, co-chair of the Civil Rights Project, has been tracking these students in both countries. She says both the U.S. and Mexico struggle with these transient students, and she says Mexican schools can learn a lot from educators who work with these kids in this country.
Gandara and others call these children Los Invisibles: the Invisible Ones.
She organized a bi-national symposium in Mexico City recently to discuss the latest research about these children and how best to educate them.
You say this has become an urgent issue for both the U.S. and Mexico. Why?
First of all, people on both sides of the border don't realize this many children have returned to Mexico from the U.S. Massive deportations and the economic downturn from 2007 to 2009 were big contributors to this. Jobs just dried up, so families went back with their kids. About 450,000 have enrolled in schools in Mexico that we know of. We don't know how many are not enrolled because not all have access to schools.
The fact that most of these students can't read or write in Spanish is just one hurdle. Their parents don't know how to navigate Mexico's education system. Mexican schools often don't accept transcripts from U.S. schools. They don't evaluate U.S.-born children in English, their primary language. At least that's what you and your fellow researchers have documented. But your research points to a bigger problem that makes it hard for U.S. born Mexican students to receive the help they need.
Mexico, not unlike the U.S, also has very segregated schooling and segregated communities. Most indigenous children, for example, grow up [in isolated communities] where the government is not trying to integrate them into the mainstream. The humiliation they experience in school is part of the humiliation indigenous people experience in other walks of life in Mexico. [Now,] there's discrimination targeting Mexican kids who've returned from the U.S., because they don't speak Spanish.
At the bi-national conference you helped organize in Mexico City, researchers talked about best practices and what both the U.S. and Mexico can learn from each other in addressing the needs of these transient students. But aren't there big differences in how each country approaches language minority students?
One big difference in terms of how schools in the U.S. and Mexico deal with language minorities seems pretty glaring. In Mexican schools, the goal is to transition children as quickly as possible to Spanish fluency — because it's the only language that matters. We've tried to estimate the percentage of classroom teachers in Mexico who speak English at a level that they can communicate with these [U.S.-born] kids, and found that fewer than 5 percent in public schools across [Mexico] can communicate with these children.
In the U.S., we don't accept the idea that children come to us as blank slates. [Immigrant] children know a lot, but they know it in their primary language, not English. We want to build on their primary language and not start from zero.
Also, in the U.S., the English-only, "sink or swim" approach has slowly given way to dual-language programs and bilingual education. Parents today see the value of teaching children to speak, read and write in Spanish and English. But only if it's done right. Poor quality programs can do more damage than good.
Finally, you worry that schools in Mexico have been too slow in developing new programs and policies to help these students. So what are you and your bi-national group of researchers recommending that Mexican schools do?
Number One: Schools need to welcome parents and help them understand how the [Mexican] system works and how they can support their children. Many of these families arrive with tremendous needs that hinder parents' ability to support their children. Second, schools need to fully assess what children know in their primary language. Too often, a child's knowledge is discarded because its in another language. Educators in both Mexico and the U.S. have to understand that young people who've been educated in both countries can be our future. Whether your primary language is English or Spanish or you live in Mexico or the U.S., we can't afford to lose these children. Its a social and economic loss.
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Invisible Children: Raised in the US, struggling in Mexico | 89.3 KPCC:

Ed Notes Online: After You Finish Demonstrating and Mourning, Start Reading and Analyzing

Ed Notes Online: After You Finish Demonstrating and Mourning, Start Reading and Analyzing:

After You Finish Demonstrating and Mourning, Start Reading and Analyzing

Image result for Start Reading and Analyzing

There is so much info an election analysis coming in I can't keep up with it or even read it all. A bunch comes from the relentless work of Michael Fiorillo.

There are attacks on people who supported Trump, attacks on the Dems, attacks on Clinton, people who defend the people who did vote for Trump, attacks on those who didn't vote for Clinton but went 3rd party or didn't vote at all, attacks on people who did vote for Clinton (from the left), defenses of some of the ideas Trump put out, and more. So I am compiling stuff for those who want to delve in, with more coming in a follow-up.

I'm trying to find a political path and it often comes down to class vs. identity politics, the latter being used to go after Trump people for being white supremacists and white privileged. My instinct is to build some bridges between the Bernies and the Trumpies for the future. I know people need to vent. The demos do not help build bridges, but so be it for now.

Last night I was hanging with political colleagues since the 70s. One pointed out that even if Bernie was the candidate and lost he would not have spent the campaign attacking Trump but raising issues and he would have left a movement in place. With Hillary we are left with picking up the pieces. All we can do from our perch is keep focusing on the work in the union. Imagine if the UFT/AFT had opened things up for Bernie to get traction. But our union leaders don't want a movement because they are threatened by it and are at base neo-liberals.

The interesting intersection of Trump and Bernie is where they attack the neo-liberal agenda. We need to keep finding these intersections. By the way, most of the Trump disaffected voters (vs the rock-ribbed Republicans) liked Bernie and respected him. A Bernie movement can bring them back but not if they are under constant attack as being ignorant racists.

Here goes. Have fun!

Democrats have occupied the White House for 16 of the last 24 years, and for four of those years had control of both houses of Congress. But in that time they failed to reverse the decline in working-class wages and economic security. Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama ardently pushed for free trade agreements without providing millions of blue-collar workers who thereby lost their jobs means of getting new ones that paid at least as well...

Trump, Empathy and Epistemic Closure | The American Conservative

The Inconvenient Truth Behind Donald Trump’s Victory | RIA

The charts say almost everything about the election...

Very long video clip, but if you just listen to Blyth (who predicted a Trump victory in May) between roughly the 11 and 18 minute marks, you'll hear a very succinct and global explanation for Trump's win...

Democrats once represented the working class. Not any more | Robert Reich | Opinion | The Guardian

How Letting Bankers Off the Hook May Have Tipped the Election - The New York Times

Hillary can thank Obama for this one, though it's doubtful she'd have acted any differently had she been in the White House...

 Ed Notes Online: After You Finish Demonstrating and Mourning, Start Reading and Analyzing:

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Special Take a Breather Edition + Catch up with CURMUDGUCATION

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Special Take a Breather Edition:

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Special Take a Breather Edition 


Man, I just can't. I've been reading election-related stuff all week, and either you have, too, or you have given up. Either way, you don't need any more. So let's just take a break, for a few moments, before we wade back into it again.

Gunhild Carling is a musical prodigy from Sweden.

Genius duet between Astaire and Eleanor Powell, the unfairly forgotten Queen of Tap. Fun to watch Astaire work on equal footing with a female partner. "Begin the Beguine" is one more superior song by Cole Porter.

Sorry-- no video, but the performance is too good to pass up. Another genius love song from Cole Porter, who was, of course, gay. Funny, but his love songs have worked just fine for heterosexual wooing, too.

Bill Robinson was just one of many great American performers whose career was held down by segregation and Jim Crow. Shirley temple movies became one of the main ways that white audiences learned about him. But this scene, and others like it, were cut in the South because audiences didn't want to see Robinson and Temple hold hands.

Rita Moreno is one of the only twelve EGOT winners in the world, and this clip never gets old. It's a simple throwaway bit, and yet she manages to sing and act the crap out of it.

Linda Ronstadt was a pop queen back in the day (still love her Pirates of Penzance work). Her great-grandfather was a German engineer who moved to Mexico and raised a family there. Later in her career, Ronstandt embraced the music of her heritage. Sadly, I learned while sifting through her clips, Ronstadt retired from music because of Parkinson's

Admit it. You used to listen to this all the time. I am not generally a huge guitar fan, but Carlos Santana is the shit, and he makes the thing just sing. In the hands of anyone else, the lick that anchors this tune would be just a strong of notes. And the solo-- it's a treat to hear someone really turn it out like this for a simple Top 40 hit.

Cab Calloway was rock and roll before it was rock and roll, and whenever I want to cheer up, I go back to Nicholas Brother clips.

I'll be back next week with real reading to do. In the meantime, hug a loved one and gather your strength.
CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Special Take a Breather Edition:


Uganda Shuts Down For-Profit Ed Provider
We can get so focused on the USA aspects of reformsterism that we forget how much privatization is being exported. Take, for instance, the export of some of our worst, most developmentally-inappropriate ideas to schools in Ecuador. But one of the thriving edu-exports has been the business of selling school-in-a-can t9o nations in Africa. Bridge Academies are one such edu-business , founded by a no
Principled Bullies
At the end of this seemingly endless week (perhaps it just seems linger because I've spent so little of it sleeping), what I most treasure are people of principle. And I'm going to ask you to do something for me here, because if you get mad and check out in the middle of this piece, you are going to miss the point. One of the most striking and disappointing things about many Trump supporters has b

NOV 11

Education's Trumpian Crystal Ball
Today's new cottage industry is Trumpian predictive activities-- what will he do, what will happen next, what will he decide about My Favorite Issue. This is a bit of a fool's game-- on the one hand, Trump has told us pretty clearly what he's going to do, and on the other hand, this is a man who feels no particular obligation to think about what he says before he speaks or stay true to it once it

NOV 10

Will Trump Kill the Core
Apparently one more side effect of Trumpocracy will be the revival of half-baked, ill-informed writing and bloviating about Common Core. Let me do my part to add to that. Trump has, of course, promised to rid the world of Common Core, even though he has no idea what it is, what's in it, how it works, or how it is implemented. This may well actually happen when pigs fly. But this is the perfect cue
The Racist Dinner Party
Many of my Trump-voting friends are genuinely baffled and upset at being called racist, sexist, bigoted by association. "Really, not about race," they say about their vote. Let me try to explain, as I often do, with a story. You are an American of Ostrogoth ancestry. You and your wife and children are going to a neighbor's house for Thanksgiving dinner. You're pretty pumped. Out on the sidewalk yo

NOV 09

A Lesson from 11/9
I am still crawling out of the festering dung hole that is the 2016 Presidential election. There is an awful lot to unpack and learn and understand going forward. But there are good lessons from last night as well: * In Massachusetts, the charter school early Christmas bill that was supposed to open the floodgates to endless charter paydays-- well, that bill was squashed like a bug . Gov. Charlie
Making the Team
I only recently encountered this article from back in February, but it has really stuck with me. It has nothing at all to do directly with education, but it has everything to do with education. Charles Duhigg's "What Google Learned from Its Quest To Build the Perfect Team " was part of a package of articles about "reimagining the office," but there is of course a whole world of teams, including th

NOV 08

Teaching in Trump's America
And let's face it-- we had to face the prospect of a Trumpified America whether he won tonight or not. Now it's just that much more real, more powerful. And I still have to go to school and teach in it (especially now that my retirement fund is worth about $1.50). I teach 11th grade English, which means it's my job to teach about American literature and the culture that it reflects. This has alway

NOV 07

Democracy vs. Money
Perhaps the most striking thing about the many, many elections going on around the country (honest, the Presidency is not the only thing up for a vote) is the huge amount of money being invested in so many of these races. * In Massachusetts, an extraordinary amount of dark, out-of-state money has been spent to open the market for more charter entrepreneurs to come in and make a buck revitalize edu

NOV 06

Digital Natives Are Lost
I have had this conversation a thousand thousand times with people of my own generation, people who don't actually work with students. They will be going on about their own computer illiteracy and waxing rhapsodic about the super-duper skills of the young generation, the digital natives. "You don't understand," I'll tell them. "The vast majority of my students don't know jack about modern technolo
ICYMI: Almost Election Day (11/6)
Good lord, this ugly mess is almost over and we can move on to the ugly aftermath. In the meantime, here are some things to read. Don't forget to share the ones you like-- remember, only good content can drive out bad content.