Since I co-authored a number of articles and chapters in the early 2000s–including the most popular “Why Revitalize Grammar?” (2003, English Journal), “Grammar Rant Analysis” (2006, English Journal), and Grammar Rants (Heinemann, 2011)–I have been exploring the ways in which grammar instruction in the USA is based on bigotry. In the years since, I have… Read More »Teaching Standard English is Racist
Yesterday we witnessed the first violent insurrection against the United States government since the US Civil War. It was led by a cult leader who managed to get himself elected President of the United States, and he activated it when he lost his re-election bid. Yesterday was President Trump’s SECOND attempt at a violent insurrection.… Read More »Is the United States of America Already Over?
In a democracy, the real goal of education is to help students develop themselves into knowledgeable, critically thoughtful, and action-oriented citizens. That means it is our job as teachers to educate our students to live their best futures for themselves and those around them. Good teachers know that we don’t have all the answers to… Read More »Are You Educating Citizens for a Democratic Future, or Preparing Livestock for Slaughter?
No one can deny the United States is in transition. We are moving either toward an autocracy or toward a renewed democracy. While most of us in education probably hope for the later, most of us acknowledge the momentum of the former. What I’m not sure most teachers realize is that some of this is… Read More »Why Personal Politics Belong in the Classroom: 3 Reasons and a Caution
Traditional colleges/universities are conservative, even risk-averse institutions desperately preserving their prestige (and market share). The open market of for-profit education is a risk-fueled financial orgy desperately trying to be taken seriously. Both have ethical and organizational problems, which is why neither is succeeding in truly innovating the practices of higher education. What real innovation requires… Read More »Innovating the Traditional College, University Right Now
As a teacher educator–that is, someone who teaches would-be teachers at the college level and leads teacher certification programs–I have always been leery of students who become teachers because they like imposing rules. I’ve had would-be teachers say, in front of an entire class, that they enjoy correcting people’s grammar and pointing out errors on… Read More »If Teachers Are Natural Rule-Followers, That’s a Problem
Letter from the SUNY Deans of Education to the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York
My fellow and sister Deans of Education in the SUNY system sent the following letter in response to the SUNY Charter Schools Institute’s plans to permit teachers with virtually no qualifications to be appointed as “certified” teachers. See below the letter for links to the regulation change and a public comment link where you can… Read More »Letter from the SUNY Deans of Education to the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York
Since before the Common Core State Standards were just a flicker in David Coleman’s eyes, education reformers with no experience as public school teachers have been trying–within increasing success–to impose their ideas onto public schools. Many working educators, particularly teachers who work constantly with students, wonder how those without any experience doing the job could… Read More »To Ed Policy-Makers: Take the Danza Challenge
Many newer teachers and non-specialists believe that above all else, teachers should be objective when they grade student writing. That is, they should grade based on fact, not bias. After all, this kind of thinking goes, isn’t it wrong to judge student work subjectively, bringing one’s own thoughts, beliefs, and perspectives to bear on student… Read More »Grading Student Writing Objectively: A Myth and a Trap
Check out this post I published on the Writers Who Care website. Is Your Child Getting a Good Writing Education? Four Questions to Ask Your Child