If CNN's Chicagoland profiled this Chicago Public Schools teacher

I watched episodes 2, 3, and 4 of CNN’s original series Chicagoland with disappointment.  I made that clear in all three commentaries.  After my first post about the show, through a tweet, one of the Chicagoland Twitter accounts invited me to join a live chat.  My response?  “Thanks but I’m teaching in an unsensationalized Chicago public... Read more »

Teachers should not be Facebook friends with students

A New Hampshire substitute teacher lost her job because she would not unfriend over 250 students on Facebook.  Stevens High School officials gave the 79-year-old substitute Carol Thebarge an ultimatum after another teacher was charged for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old student.  According a the New Hampshire Valley News, Thebarge posted on her Facebook account: “It... Read more »

When a Chicago Public Schools teacher swears in class

I admit it. On Thursday, March 27, out of frustration in my 7th period AP English Language class, I said to my class of 32 juniors, “I’m sick of this shit!  You’re being passive aggressive.  Stop it!  Yes—I.  Said.  ‘Shit.’”  Not my proudest moment in an 18-year teaching career. The following day, after I entered... Read more »

Will Google doodle Cesar Chavez again on March 31?

Will Google doodle Cesar Chavez again on March 31?
Last year, March 31, Cesar Chavez Day, fell on Sunday–on Easter.  Google’s doodle that day was an image of the labor leader.  I rarely wake up early on Sunday, but that day, I happened to.  Pleasantly shocked by the image, I quickly wrote the post below.  By the time I left morning mass last Easter,... Read more »

The Chicago stories CNN's Chicagoland ignored

Chicagoans know violence.  We see the mugshots on TV.  Tonight, in CNN’s original series Chicagoland episode 4 “Second Chances,” we saw Chicago leaders and celebrities trying to turn around young lives with mentoring–as if it were this simple.  Tomorrow, cubicle conversations will end: “If only troubled black youth had more mentors . . .  If... Read more »

CNN's Chicagoland makes white Chicagoans look good

As a native Chicagoan, I watched “Fireworks,” episode 3 of CNN’s original series Chicagoland, and waited to learn something new about my city.  Despite the hype and high acclaim, Chicagoland—once again—failed to capture an accurate Chicago story. What bothered me most about tonight’s episode is that the new adults celebrated in episode 3, all the new... Read more »

CNN's Chicagoland does no good for Chicago Public Schools students

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in a conversation about Chicago Public Schools with a group that learned about our schools mainly through the media.  No one in the audience ever attended CPS school.  Most were white.  Most were affluent.  Most were honest about their perception of our schools when I asked.  “CPS schools... Read more »

Northwestern University hosts "Bittersweet" exhibit about bracero guest worker program

Northwestern University hosts "Bittersweet" exhibit about bracero guest worker program
The Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibit “Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964” will be on display at Northwestern University through March 28 at the Dittmar Gallery on the first floor of Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, on the Evanston campus. Initiated in August 1942, the Bracero Program grew out of a series of agreements between the... Read more »

Chicago Public Schools CEO responds to teacher's open letter about the Latino Advisory Committee

On Thursday night, I posted an open letter to Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and the Latino Advisory Committee.  Today, I opened my work email and found Byrd-Bennett’s response to me.  I will definitely use this opportunity to continue the dialogue.  I also hope other CPS teachers speak up about the concerns the Latino... Read more »

An open letter to Chicago Public Schools CEO and the Latino Advisory Committee

As Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennet and the Latino Advisory Committee prepare for their second meeting next week, I share this feedback to emphasize that, in order to fulfill its purpose of increasing engagement with the Latino community and enhancing the educational success of Latino students , the committee must include CPS teachers as regular... Read more »