Rann Miller: Teaching Critical Race Theory Is About Liberating All of Us

Rann Miller: Teaching Critical Race Theory Is About Liberating All of Us Rann Miller writes for The Progressive about the importance of lessons on race and racism. And it all starts with this jaw-dropping quote. “Helping kids of color to feel they belong has a negative effect on white, Christian, or conservative kids,” Mary Beeman, the campaign manager for a Republican school board candidate in Connecticut, said in October. Beeman’s comments were made during a virtual forum on the subject of c

Ban What You Want, We're Still Teaching Our Students the Truth About Our Country

Much of the rhetoric concerning critical race theory (CRT) has come from politicians and parents, many of whom are white. Missouri serves as an example. But educators have offered some commentary as well. Nine out of 10 teachers never taught CRT in their classrooms. Thankfully, both the National Educational Association and the American Federation of Teachers both pledged to defend teachers facing legal action for teaching CRT or anything “related” to it. I say “related” because “The 1619 Projec

Rann Miller: When States Take Over School Districts, the Community Loses

ImpactED, an evaluation and research center at the University of Pennsylvania, recently released a report finding that Camden public school students in grades three-to-eight have narrowed the proficiency gap in both math and reading since the 2014-15 school year, when the Camden City School District was taken over by the state of New Jersey under then-Governor Chris Christie. The report also makes mention that since 2014, student proficiency in both math and reading has nearly doubled.

Black Kids Don't Need a "Messiah." They Need More Black Male Teachers.

I recently saw a tweet that cautioned Black folks to divest from the “Black Male Educator as the Messiah” myth in education and it got me thinking; is there a messiah myth about Black male educators in education circles? The answer depends on who you ask. I can say from personal experience that my Black-maleness was welcomed in schools by both Black and white educators alike, but for different reasons. Black educators welcomed my presence because my presence could serve as another model for Bl

Rann Miller: Public service or protests for Black lives?

On April 20, a verdict was rendered: Derek Chauvin, guilty on all three counts for the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May of last year. Floyd’s family — and, by extension, Black America — saw the system hold a police officer accountable for killing a Black person. The verdict is a modicum of justice at best, and an anomaly at worst. Sadly, the work of fighting police brutality is far from over. While we continue to hope for justice concerning the murders of Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, Anthony Thompson Jr. and Ma’Khia Bryant, we’ve yet to receive it. As an educator, I find that what makes these murders particularly tragic is the ages of the victims: 20, 13, 17 and 16, respectively.

Every Educator Must Decide Whether They Work for the System or for Students

So, you want to teach REAL history … You’re a teacher. Maybe you’re even a history teacher. But truth is, you didn’t learn much other than white supremacy propaganda during your formal education. But you’ve gotten a taste of truth. You’ve heard the terms white supremacy, systemic racism, and institutional racism. You’ve discovered the Tulsa Race Massacre, the Underground Railroad that led to Mexico, and Juneteenth. You want to teach that history, the marginalized voices who can attest to that

5 Tips to Rid Your School Faculty of Racists

The insurrection of January 6, 2021 was a dark day in our nation’s history. What makes it even darker is that public servants took part in the dysfunction. In attendance that day were police officers, firefighters and even educators among our industry. As it pertains to leaders in these industries, I applaud them for investigating and potentially removing these individuals. But these leaders should be equally concerned with rooting out the racists hiding in plain sight in offices, patrolling th

States want to prevent schools from telling the truth about racism in America. Here’s what educators can do about it.

States want to prevent schools from telling the truth about racism in America. Here’s what educators can do about it. It’s not enough to quote Martin Luther King Jr. and point to stories of Black success. At least half a dozen states have introduced legislation to prevent the teaching of Critical Race Theory in schools. Educators in states where such bills become law would be blocked from teaching about the racist roots of Western society, generally, and the United States, specifically, and ho

5 Tips to Rid Your School Faculty of Racists

The insurrection of January 6, 2021 was a dark day in our nation’s history. What makes it even darker is that public servants took part in the dysfunction. In attendance that day were police officers, firefighters and even educators among our industry. As it pertains to leaders in these industries, I applaud them for investigating and potentially removing these individuals. But these leaders should be equally concerned with rooting out the racists hiding in plain sight in offices, patrolling th

Black Principals Can Serve as a Bridge To Get More Black Teachers Into the Classroom

The research is clear on the impact of Black teachers on Black student achievement. Black students who have had at least one Black teacher are more likely to graduate from high school, attend college and are less likely to drop out of school. Black students are also less likely to be disciplined at the hands of a Black teacher. But what about Black principals; what does the research say about their impact on Black students? A recently released report may provide us with some new insights. A Wa

Schools Must Hire More Black Teachers

A recent article from New Jersey news outlet NJ.com provided fresh evidence for something we’ve known for years: Black students nationwide are disciplined more often than other kids. During the 2013-2014 school year (the most recent for which state data are available), Black students made up only 16% of New Jersey’s student population but represented 44% of all students suspended. Black students also accounted for much higher rates of school expulsions.

Three (Ignorant) Arguments Used to Ban Critical Race Theory

To understand the legislative attacks on Critical Race Theory (CRT) that aim to make teaching CRT in schools—including concepts like white supremacy, systemic racism, and the like—illegal, don’t get caught up on the legislators. We know who and what they are. Rather, put your attention on their constituents; white folks who appear friendly, but remain ignorant. They are satisfied with maintaining the status quo of their place in society. They can tolerate people thriving in society but not at

Schools Must Hire More Black Teachers

Black children are disciplined more than others. Past inquiries into this phenomenon have discovered zero-tolerance policies, a lack of school counselors, and an increase in police presence at schools. They have also identified an underutilized solution: Hire more Black teachers. Black students who have at least one Black teacher have much better outcomes. They are more likely to graduate from high school, attend college and are less likely to drop out of school. Black students are also less li

Schools Must Hire More Black Teachers to Help Students Succeed

A recent article from New Jersey news outlet NJ.com provided fresh evidence for something we’ve known for years: Black students nationwide are disciplined more often than other kids. During the 2013-2014 school year (the most recent for which state data are available), Black students made up only 16 percent of New Jersey’s student population but represented 44 percent of all students suspended. Black students also accounted for much higher rates of school expulsions.

Here's How Student Curiosity Can Advance Racial Justice...If Teachers Just Let It Happen

Curiosity is oftentimes the beginning of learning. When we’re curious, we begin to ask questions. Our questions prompt us to investigate, and our investigations lead to a destination. Sometimes, the destination leads us to a firm conclusion that satisfies our curiosity by answering our original (or newly formed) questions. But sometimes, the destination we reach only offers us more questions. Maybe someone is curious about why some people can afford to live in big expensive houses and others

Students Don't Just Study Black History, They Are Black History

Educators: Are you aware that this month is Black History Month? Have you asked your students, specifically your Black students, what they’d like to see and/or do for Black History Month? Or, do you plan on doing the least; that is reading brief bios of famous Black people during morning announcements, putting posters on the walls of the school and/or hosting pot luck with staff, students and families—whereby Black people are in charge of cooking the food (doing the work as usual)? This year, B

Students Don't Just Study Black History, They Are Black History

Educators: Are you aware that this is Black History Month? Have you asked your students, specifically your Black students, what they’d like to see and/or do for Black History Month? Or, do you plan on doing the least; that is reading brief bios of famous Black people during morning announcements, putting posters on the walls of the school and/or hosting a pot luck with staff, students and families—whereby Black people are in charge of cooking the food (doing the work as usual)?

For Some Teachers, Black Lives Only Matter Conditionally

For Many Teachers, Black Lives Only Matter Conditionally What your history textbook says about your priorities When I was first assigned to teach U.S. history nearly a decade ago during my second year as a social studies teacher, my first stop was to a Black-owned bookstore around the corner from where I taught. A month before the school year began, I had decided that I couldn't use the old course textbook. It was the same sort of Eurocentric textbook from which I was taught U.S. history as

OP-ED: Schools must hire more black teachers

A recent article from New Jersey news outlet NJ.com provided fresh evidence for something we’ve known for years: black students nationwide are disciplined more often than other kids. During the 2013-14 school year (the most recent for which state data are available), black students made up only 16% of New Jersey’s student population but represented 44% of all students suspended. Black students also accounted for much higher rates of school expulsions. Past inquiries into this phenomenon have f
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