Journal of Educational Controversy

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

July 4th, the Declaration of Independence, and Immigration

 
July 4th, the Declaration of Independence, and Immigration
 
I am not sure what it means to celebrate the 4th of July.  My town celebrates the 4th with the usual family activities in the parks and the fireworks over the bay in the evening.    I do not mean to minimize family times, but we seem to be missing the whole point.  I have long imagined such celebrations to include a day of citizen seminars in libraries, bookstores, parks and homes all over the country where citizens actually read and discuss some the founding documents and their implication to current events.  What an inspiring education for our children. 
 
Well, I decided this morning to actually read the Declaration of Independence before the evening’s firework display.   All of us are familiar with the moving words from the beginning of the document:
 
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.


But I wonder how many of us actually have read the entire document.   So I decided to read more about the grievances that were enumerated and found this rather interesting one against King George III:
 
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither…
 
Apparently King George III was also concerned about immigration of non-British Europeans who would not be sufficiently loyal to the crown.  It looks like it was Germans especially that were the target in those days.
 
So here is my suggestion (which will never be a reality but I make it anyway as a candle in the dark). Let’s take some time today to actually read and discuss this document.   It seems the founders were finding such immigration policies to be a grievance and an affront to freedom loving people.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Congressional Hearing on HR 40 on Reparations: Testimony by Ta-Nehisi Coates


Congressional Hearing on HR 40 on Reparations: Testimony by Ta-Nehisi Coates

As we continue to work on our upcoming issue of the Journal of Educational Controversy on “The Ethics of Memory: What Does it Mean to Apologize for Historic Wrongs,” recent events have caught up with our efforts.  On June 19th, the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties conducted a hearing on HR 40. - Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act? Among those who testified before the committee was Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose influential 2014 article “The Case for Reparations” in The Atlantic revived the issue of reparations for slavery and its legacy.  Below is the transcript of his testimony.

 
Testimony by Ta-Nehisi Coates before the House Subcommittee on HR 40

Yesterday, when I asked about reparations, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered a familiar reply. America should not be held liable for something that happened 150 years ago, since none of us currently alive are responsible. This rebuttal proffers a strange theory of governance that American accounts are somehow bound by the lifetime of its generations. But well into the century the United States was still paying out pensions to the heirs of Civil War soldiers. We honor treaties that date back some 200 years despite no one being alive who signed those treaties.

Many of us would love to be taxed for the things we are solely and individually responsible for. But we are American citizens, and thus bound to a collective enterprise that extends beyond our individual and personal reach. It would seem ridiculous to dispute invocations of the founders, or the Greatest Generation, on the basis of a lack of membership in either group. We recognize our lineage as a generational trust, as inheritance and the real dilemma posed by reparations is just that: a dilemma of inheritance. It’s impossible to imagine America without the inheritance of slavery.

As historian Ed Baptiste has written, enslavement “shaped every crucial aspect of the economy and politics” of America, so that by 1836 more than $600 million, almost half of the economic activity in the United States, derived directly or indirectly from the cotton produced by the million-odd slaves. By the time the enslaved were emancipated, they comprised the largest single asset in America: $3 billion in 1860 dollars, more than all the other assets in the country combined.

The method of cultivating this asset was neither gentle cajoling nor persuasion, but torture, rape, and child trafficking. Enslavement reigned for 250 years on these shores. When it ended, this country could have extended its hallowed principles — life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — to all, regardless of color. But America had other principles in mind. And so, for a century after the Civil War, black people were subjected to a relentless campaign of terror, a campaign that extended well into the lifetime of Majority Leader McConnell.

It is tempting to divorce this modern campaign of terror, of plunder, from enslavement, but the logic of enslavement, of white supremacy, respects no such borders, and the god of bondage was lustful and begat many heirs. Coup d’états and convict leasing. Vagrancy laws and debt peonage. Redlining and racist G.I. bills. Poll taxes and state-sponsored terrorism.

We grant that Mr. McConnell was not alive for Appomattox. But he was alive for the electrocution of George Stinney. He was alive for the blinding of Isaac Woodard. He was alive to witness kleptocracy in his native Alabama and a regime premised on electoral theft. Majority Leader McConnell cited civil rights legislation yesterday, as well he should, because he was alive to witness the harassment, jailing, and betrayal of those responsible for that legislation by a government sworn to protect them. He was alive for the redlining of Chicago and the looting of black homeowners of some $4 billion. Victims of that plunder are very much alive today. I am sure they’d love a word with the majority leader.

What they know, what this committee must know, is that while emancipation deadbolted the door against the bandits of America, Jim Crow wedged the windows wide open. And that is the thing about Senator McConnell’s “something”: It was 150 years ago. And it was right now.

The typical black family in this country has one-tenth the wealth of the typical white family. Black women die in childbirth at four times the rate of white women. And there is, of course, the shame of this land of the free boasting the largest prison population on the planet, of which the descendants of the enslaved make up the largest share.

The matter of reparations is one of making amends and direct redress, but it is also a question of citizenship. In H.R. 40, this body has a chance to both make good on its 2009 apology for enslavement, and reject fair-weather patriotism, to say that this nation is both its credits and debits. That if Thomas Jefferson matters, so does Sally Hemings. That if D-Day matters, so does Black Wall Street. That if Valley Forge matters, so does Fort Pillow.

Because the question really is not whether we’ll be tied to the somethings of our past, but whether we are courageous enough to be tied to the whole of them. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

As Journal Prepares for its Next Theme on “The Ethics of Memory,” Western Washington University Awards Honorary Degree to Former Student and Decorated Veteran Incarcerated with Japanese Americans during World War II


 Western Washington University Awards Honorary Degree to Former Student and Decorated Veteran Incarcerated with Japanese Americans during World War II

by Mary Gallagher, Office of Communications and Marketing

Two black and white photos: Left, Japanese Americans boarded a bus parked in front of James Okubo's family home, beginning their forced removal in 1942.  Right, a portrait of James Okubo


Western Washington University will award a posthumous honorary bachelor’s degree at spring commencement Saturday, June 15 to James K. Okubo, a Medal of Honor recipient and former Western Washington College of Education student who was unable to finish his degree because his family was incarcerated during World War II along with about 120,000 West Coast residents of Japanese ancestry.
The degree will be presented at commencement Saturday, June 15, at 8:45 a.m. Tickets are required to attend the ceremony, which will also be livestreamed at www.ustream.tv/channel/wwu-live-events1
After leaving Western in 1942, Okubo enlisted in the U.S. Army and was a medic with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, one of the most decorated units in U.S. military history. He was awarded a Silver Star for saving the lives of fellow soldiers under heavy fire in France in 1944, and received a Medal of Honor in 2000.
Okubo passed away in 1967. His children, William and Anne, and other members of their family are expected to attend the ceremony to accept the degree on behalf of their father.
James Okubo was born in Anacortes, grew up in Bellingham and graduated from Bellingham High School. His parents Kenzo and Fuyu Okubo, ran the Sunrise Café on Holly Street. He came to Western Washington College of Education with dreams of becoming a dentist; he was a popular student and a member of the ski club. But in spring 1942, Okubo and his family were forced to leave their well-established lives and join other Bellingham residents of Japanese descent – citizens and non-citizens alike -- for incarceration at the Tule Lake War Relocation Center in California.
In May of 1943, Okubo enlisted in the Army, and was assigned as a medic in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, all-Nisei squad of second-generation Japanese Americans who would become legendary. During a daring rescue of a U.S. Army battalion trapped behind enemy lines in eastern France during World War II in October 1944, Okubo dodged grenades and heavy fire to crawl 150 yards to carry wounded men to safety, and personally treated 17 fellow soldiers. Days later, he ran through machine gun fire to rescue a comrade from a burning tank, saving his life. In 1945, Okubo’s superiors nominated him for a Medal of Honor, but he received the Silver Star, perhaps because of a mistaken belief it was the highest honor available to a medic.
After the war, Okubo settled in the Detroit area, became a dentist and a faculty member at the University of Detroit Dental School. He died in a car crash at age 46 on a family ski trip in 1967.
 In the late 1990s, the military records of Asian American World War II veterans came under closer scrutiny amid concerns they had not received full recognition for their valor. Okubo was posthumously granted the Medal of Honor by President Clinton in 2000 for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his live above and beyond the call of duty.” His wife, Nobuyo “Nobi” Okubo, attended the ceremony at the White House. Since then, Okubo has been honored in other ways: Wounded soldiers now live in the Okubo Barracks at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, and military families receive care at the Okubo Family Medical and Dental Complex at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.
WWU staff members Carole Teshima, an administrative services manager in Woodring College of Education, and Mark Okinaka, a senior academic budget and finance analyst, first submitted Okubo’s name for receiving the honorary degree after learning that Okubo appears to be the only full-time student forced to leave Western during World War II due to the incarceration of Japanese Americans. Teshima has also researched the histories of established local residents who were sent to the prison camps – and found no evidence anyone ever returned to Whatcom County.

Friday, May 17, 2019

On the 65th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the Journal of Educational Controversy Reflects Upon and Continues the Conversation


May 17th marks the 65th anniversary of the landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, that brought state-sanctioned segregation in our nation’s public schools to an end.  Still, today’s reality reveals that schools remain more segregated than at any time since 1968.  And most disturbing, at recent senate hearings, over two dozen judicial nominees nominated by President Trump declined to even answer the question on whether the Brown decision had been properly decided.  (“Trump judicial nominees decline to endorse Brown v. Board under Senate questioning,” New York Times, May 16, 2019)

Over the years, the Journal of Educational Controversy has published articles that have tried to create a national dialogue on the struggle of African Americans in the quest for equity and the justice.   Three issues in particular addressed directly some of these concerns.

Volume 2, Number 1 (2007) Jonathan Kozol's Nation of Shame Forty Years Later
            In this issue, dedicated to Jonathan Kozol who had just published his latest book, The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America, and who wrote the prologue to the issue, we sought to examine the various forces that impede or distract from the realization of the nation’s struggle for equal educational opportunity. At the time of its publication, the U.S. Supreme Court was about to examine Seattle’s school policies that aimed at promoting greater integration in its schools. We devoted a special section to the case, PICS v Seattle School District, in which we first talked about Seattle's past struggles for desegregation within the history of segregated housing patterns and restricted covenants.  Following our historical account, we offered opposing legal positions as well as opposing views of school administrators including the story of Principal David Engle who resigned his position in opposition to the decision.  Notably, the principals of 17 other high schools in Seattle wrote a public letter in support of Engle’s action.  A video of an interview with the author is also found on the journal’s website.  

Later, we published two issues that examined specific topics and movements.

Volume 7, Number 1 (2012) The School-to-Prison Pipeline
In this issue, we examined a national trend in which school policies and practices were increasingly resulting in criminalizing students rather than educating them. Statistics indicated that the number of suspensions, expulsions, dropouts or “pushouts,” and juvenile justice confinements is growing.  Moreover, this trend has had a disproportionate impact on students of color. We invited authors to examine the policy implications, the political ramifications, and the causes and possible solutions to this problem as well as a look at what these policies are teaching our students.

Volume 12, Number 1 (2017) Black Lives Matter and the Education Industrial Complex 
In this issue, we turned to a contemporary social movement and examined the way the Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted the deep roots of institutionalized racism in the United States.  Starting with the fundamental question, Do Black Lives Matter in the U.S. Education Industrial Complex?, the issue sought to explore the various questions raised by Black Lives Matter in relation to U.S. educational institutions, policies, and practices. The questions included the status of schools as institutions of control and sites of reproduction of racist ideology, the possibility of schools as sites of liberationist  transformation, the institutional history of schools alongside the development of institutional racism, the institutional response of schools to incidents of racial violence, the history of black studies programs in relation to black liberation movements, and the appropriation and sanitizing of terms like diversity and multiculturalism.

Our upcoming issue will be on the theme: The Ethics of Memory: What Does it Mean to Apologize for Historical Wrongs (Volume 14)
While the theme will look at multiple dimensions of the question, we also wanted to include a reexamination of affirmative action since the U.S. Supreme Court will once again revisit the topic.

One of the goals of our journal is to provide a continuing conversation on these issues, returning to them within a different context, and opening a new perspective on the way we ask the question. 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

REMINDER: Deadline for Manuscripts -- June 30, 2019



REMINDER - DEADLINE FOR MANUSCRIPTS -- JUNE 30. 2019

We are pleased to announce the theme for the 2019 issue of the Journal of Educational Controversy.

NEW CALL FOR PAPERS

Volume 14, 2019

Theme: The Ethics of Memory: What Does it Mean to Apologize for Historical Wrongs

To apologize for a wrong committed can imply any number of things: that one has committed a wrong against another, that the wrong was done intentionally, that one committed the wrong with malice, that one is consciously aware of doing the wrong, that one has remorse, that one is seeking to right the wrong, that one feels a sense of guilt over committing the wrong,  and/or that one is seeking redemption and reconciliation.  But what does it mean for a state to apologize for an historical wrong that was committed long before its present members were born, but who may still continue to derive benefits from that wrong? Recently, a university chancellor apologized for her university's role in past racial injustices and acknowledged the “profound injustices of slavery” as she sought to reconcile the past with the present and the future. College protests around confederate statues stir conflicts between arguments over historical injustices and historical heritage.   Historical figures who laid the foundation for the enlightenment principles embedded in the founding documents are found wanting in the ethics of historical memory and identity. And the Supreme Court’s current reconsideration of affirmative action brings the issues back into the legal domain, as courts grapple with how to redress the effects of slavery and Jim Crow on educational opportunity. Alternatively, authors may find that the conceptual framework that embeds our question carries certain assumptions that ignores a framework that would center experiences like the Japanese-American internment camps or the Native American Boarding Schools rather than foregrounding them.  Would placing the experiences of those who have been wronged central to our inquiry change the very way we pose the problem.  How does the very notion of apology even look from the perspective of those who have suffered these wrongs? Words and their meanings have histories and continue through lived experiences that are named and experienced differently.  For instance, racialized and other marginalized communities often refer to ‘wronged’ as historically and generationally traumatic—perhaps a different metaphor that communicates suffering is needed?   In the midst of what is often highly contentious confrontations, this issue of the journal is seeking articles that can bring moral clarification and rigorous discernment to the topic.

Deadline for Manuscripts: June 30, 2019

Monday, March 18, 2019

Author Brian Schultz on the Second Edition of his book, Spectacular Things Happen Along the Way: Lessons from an Urban Classroom


In a time of endless policies that attempt to commodify and standardize educational practices, it is refreshing to read a book that reminds us of the deeply personal and relational nature of teaching.  The book, Spectacular Things Happen Along the Way: Lessons from an Urban Classroom,” by Brian Schultz is now in its second edition so we invited Brian to inform our readers about the content of his latest edition. 

Shortly before the publication of his first edition, Brian had published an article in our journal called “Living Savage Inequalities: Room 405’s Fight for Equity in Schooling,” where he first set forth his experiences teaching in an urban classroom that was to become the focus for his upcoming book.  A discussion of that article generated a rejoinder by Sherick A. Hughes entitled, “Toward a Critical Race Pedagogy of Hope: A Rejoinder to Brian Schultz.”  

Because of the importance of his book, the journal subsequently published two reviews of the book when it first came out.  One was by Carl A. Grant entitled, “Revealing Truths in a Troubled Time: A CounterNarrative,” and the other by Paula Johnson.

Brian has been on the editorial board of the Journal of Educational Controversy since its inception in 2006.  He is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Teacher Education at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Prior to joining the faculty at Miami, Brian was the Bernard J. Brommel Distinguished Research Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Inquiry & Curriculum Studies at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.

Below is Brian’s description of the second edition of his book.

Brian Schultz on the Tenth Anniversary Second Edition of Spectacular Things Happen along the Way: Lessons from an Urban Classroom
The original book remains as it was originally published 10 years ago documenting how I as a teacher, alongside my 5th-grade students, co-created a curriculum based on the students’ needs, interests, and questions. Engaging with my students, who were mostly from a Chicago housing project, we develop an emergent and authentic curriculum based on what is most important to the 5th-graders—replacing their dilapidated school. As it was in the original edition, it details me as teacher in an urban school and his students juxtaposed against the powerful and entrenched bureaucracy of Chicago’s public education system.

This 10th anniversary edition adds new material on both the front and back end. In so doing, I examine how school reform continues to fail students in urban contexts, reflect on my teaching and writing from a decade ago, and offers updates on students and what became of the school. My reflections, and the ongoing insights of the students have a lot to teach us both from when they were young people and now as young adults. In the new material at the beginning, I push back on narratives of city kids, push back on common definitions of curriculum, and push back on my own storytelling. In the new materials at the end, I provide how this story fits into the neoliberal, corporatized school reform pervasive across the country and in particular in Chicago, provide updates on the school and the land where the school once stood, and provide and complicate updates on the students from Room 405. Also there is a new foreword by Pedro Noguera, “A Lesson for Teachers on Making Choices and Making a Difference" and a new afterword by Sonia Nieto, “On Teaching with Hope and Humility.”

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Tinker Turns 50 Today – A Compilation of Articles on Student Rights from the Journal of Educational Controversy


Today marks the 50th  anniversary of the  landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Tinker v. Des Moines, that helped define the constitutional rights of students in the public schools.  The Journal of Educational Controversy has published a number of articles on the topic over the years.
Below is a list of articles previously published in the journal.
 
1.      Strossen, Nadine and Larner, Daniel (2006) "Keeping The Constitution Inside The Schoolhouse Gate - Students' Rights Thirty Years After Tinker V. Des Moines Independent Community School District," Journal of Educational Controversy: Vol. 1 : No. 1 , Article 4.
Available at:
https://cedar.wwu.edu/jec/vol1/iss1/4
 
2.      Hilden, Julie (2006) "How Judge Alito Applied the First Amendment on Campus: His Important Decision On a Public School's Anti-Harassment Policy," Journal of Educational Controversy: Vol. 1 : No. 1 , Article 6.  Available at: https://cedar.wwu.edu/jec/vol1/iss1/6
 
3.      Caplan, Aaron H. (2008) "Visions of Public Education In Morse v. Frederick," Journal of Educational Controversy: Vol. 3 : No. 1 , Article 21.   Available at: https://cedar.wwu.edu/jec/vol3/iss1/21
 
4.      Roberts, Nathan M. (2008) "“Bong Hits 4 Jesus”: Have Students' First Amendment Rights to Free Speech Been Changed After Morse v. Frederick?," Journal of Educational Controversy: Vol. 3 : No. 1 , Article 22.   Available at: https://cedar.wwu.edu/jec/vol3/iss1/22
 
Our special issue on the “School to Prison Pipeline" also examined civil liberty and civil rights implications.  The editorial below provides a description of the issue.
Kasprisin, Lorraine (2013) "The School-to-Prison Pipeline: A Civil Rights and a Civil Liberty Issue," Journal of Educational Controversy: Vol. 7 : No. 1 , Article 1.   Available at: https://cedar.wwu.edu/jec/vol7/iss1/1
  
See also our links to videos (interviews and forums) on our journal’s website. 
See especially:
INTERVIEWS FROM AUTHORS TALK LINK:
APRIL 30, 2008 - INTERVIEW WITH AARON CAPLAN, Staff Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union, Washington, Loyola Law School, California on the Morse v. Frederick case.
FORUMS FROM PUBLIC FORUMS LINK:
2018 - 19th Annual Educational Law and Social Justice Forum, May 31, 2018.  Topic: Speech and Protest in Public Schools with Speaker, Vanessa Hernandez, Youth Policy Director, ACLU of Washington
2009 - 11th Annual Educational Law and Social Justice Forum,  April 29, 2009 -  ACLU staff attorney Rose Spidell discusses "The School to Prison Pipeline."
2008 - 10th Annual Educational Law and Social Justice Forum, April 30, 2008, “Democracy and Student Rights” with Aaron Caplan, Staff Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union—Washington.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Wisdom from the World’s Faiths and Traditions for 2019


Welcome back to our blog for the New Year.  We once again begin the new year with the wisdom from the different faith traditions.  The Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, an organization that we have featured on our blog on different occasions, has shared with us a list of their resolutions drawn from the many traditions that make up our community.  Have your students ponder their meaning and check out the Tanenbaum resources and programs for teachers and principals at https://tanenbaum.org/programs/education/  We thank them for allowing us to share this with our readers. 

SHARED VISIONS
FOR 2019, TANENBAUM RESOLVES...


To Be Open Minded and Kind
Baha’i
Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirt of friendliness and fellowship.  

Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, Bishárát
 

To Express Love
Buddhism
Radiate boundless love towards the entire world.  Buddha

 

To Embrace Trust by Rejecting Fear
Christianity
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.  Isaiah 12:2

 

To Speak Truth
Hinduism
Truth cannot be suppressed and always is the ultimate victor.  Yajur Veda

 

To Practice the Best within Our Traditions
Islam
A man once asked the Prophet what was the best thing in Islam, and the latter replied, "It is to feed the hungry and to give the greeting of peace both to those one knows and to those one does not know."  Hadith of Bukhari
 
To Manifest Nonviolence
Jainism
Subvert anger by forgiveness.  Samanasuttan 136

 

To Educate Ourselves and Others by Confronting Fake News Head-On
Judaism
The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out. Proverbs 18:15
 
To Honor Earth
Native American Wisdom:
When a man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard.  Lakota Proverb

 
To Create Community
Shinto
Regard heaven as your father, earth as your mother, and all things as your brothers and sisters.  Oracle of the Kami of Atsuta

 
To Listen Deeply and Understand Others
Sikhism
To act without understanding is to lose the treasure of this human life.  Sri Guru Granth Sahib

 
To Be Grateful- Always!
Taoism
Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.  Lao Tzu

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Invitation to our Readers


As we come to the end of 2018, we are preparing for future issues of the Journal of Educational Controversy.  We invite our readers to share with us the controversial issues they would like to see covered in the years ahead.  You can send your thoughts here on the blog or write us at CEP e-Journal CEP.e-Journal@wwu.edu
We have started to publish our latest issue of the Journal of Educational Controversy on the theme, “The Complexity of Collaboration: Personal Stories from a School and College Partnership.”  We will be publishing the articles incrementally for this issue.  So far, we have two articles and three videos up on our journal’s website.  Keep returning to see the latest articles that are published.
Finally, remember the June 30, 2019 deadline for our next upcoming issue of the journal on the theme, “The Ethics of Memory: What Does it Mean to Apologize for Historical Wrongs.”  See full description below.
Our best wishes for the new year to our readers across the world. 


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

New Call for Papers: The Ethics of Memory: What Does it Mean to Apologize for Historical Wrongs


We are pleased to announce the theme for the 2019 issue of the Journal of Educational Controversy.

NEW CALL FOR PAPERS

Volume 14, 2019

Theme: The Ethics of Memory: What Does it Mean to Apologize for Historical Wrongs

To apologize for a wrong committed can imply any number of things: that one has committed a wrong against another, that the wrong was done intentionally, that one committed the wrong with malice, that one is consciously aware of doing the wrong, that one has remorse, that one is seeking to right the wrong, that one feels a sense of guilt over committing the wrong,  and/or that one is seeking redemption and reconciliation.  But what does it mean for a state to apologize for an historical wrong that was committed long before its present members were born, but who may still continue to derive benefits from that wrong? Recently, a university chancellor apologized for her university's role in past racial injustices and acknowledged the “profound injustices of slavery” as she sought to reconcile the past with the present and the future. College protests around confederate statues stir conflicts between arguments over historical injustices and historical heritage.   Historical figures who laid the foundation for the enlightenment principles embedded in the founding documents are found wanting in the ethics of historical memory and identity. And the Supreme Court’s current reconsideration of affirmative action brings the issues back into the legal domain, as courts grapple with how to redress the effects of slavery and Jim Crow on educational opportunity. Alternatively, authors may find that the conceptual framework that embeds our question carries certain assumptions that ignores a framework that would center experiences like the Japanese-American internment camps or the Native American Boarding Schools rather than foregrounding them.  Would placing the experiences of those who have been wronged central to our inquiry change the very way we pose the problem.  How does the very notion of apology even look from the perspective of those who have suffered these wrongs? Words and their meanings have histories and continue through lived experiences that are named and experienced differently.  For instance, racialized and other marginalized communities often refer to ‘wronged’ as historically and generationally traumatic—perhaps a different metaphor that communicates suffering is needed?   In the midst of what is often highly contentious confrontations, this issue of the journal is seeking articles that can bring moral clarification and rigorous discernment to the topic.

Deadline for Manuscripts: June 30, 2019

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Recovered Voice of Ella Higginson to be Recognized at Celebration on November 2nd


Editor:  Readers will recall our earlier post entitled, “Meet Me at the Intersection of Lost Voices and Education: The Ella Higginson Project.”  The author, Professor Laura Laffrado, an English professor at Western Washington University and a JEC editorial board member, had just published her new book, Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature. Her book raised an important question for our readers to ponder.  What other writers need to be recovered in the literary canon and why have they been lost? 
On November 2nd a special reception to celebrate the installation of a bronze bust honoring Ella Higginson will be held in Western Libraries Reading Room from 4-6pm.

Below is the announcement of the event.  For an insightful look at the life of Ella Higginson, read Professor’s Laffrado’s earlier post at: http://journalofeducationalcontroversy.blogspot.com/2015/07/who-was-ella-higginson-award-winning.html


Ella Higginson celebration at Western Libraries set for Nov. 2
 
 

A special reception to celebrate the installation of a bronze bust honoring celebrated Pacific Northwest author Ella Rhoads Higginson will be held on Friday, Nov.2, from 4-6 p.m. The reception will take place in the Western Libraries Reading Room, (Wilson Library 4th Floor Central) and will include refreshments and live music.

At the turn of the 20th century, Higginson was the most influential Pacific Northwest literary writer in the U.S.  Among her many honors and awards, she was named the first Poet Laureate of Washington state in 1931. However, like many women writers after World War I, over time Higginson and her writings fell into obscurity. 

Higginson was a close friend of Western’s founding librarian Mabel Zoe Wilson, and her papers were ultimately deposited in the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies at Western Libraries.  Dr. Laura Laffrado of Western’s English Department conducted extensive research about Higginson in the Western Libraries Heritage Resources collections, which led to the publication of her recent book, Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature. 
As part of Laffrado’s work to restore recognition of Higginson as a significant voice in American Literature, she raised donations from generous  faculty, staff, students, friends of Western, and friends of Pacific Northwest women writers to fund the creation of the Higginson bust. The bust will be installed near the north entrance of Wilson Library, across from the portrait of Mabel Zoe Wilson.
“I am thrilled that this beautiful bronze bust will have a home in the foyer of Wilson Library, and am so pleased that Ella Higginson’s connection to Western and the Western Libraries is being recognized and celebrated,” said Laffrado.
For more information, please contact Laura Laffrado (Laura.Laffrado@wwu.edu  (360) 650-2886).
Photo of Ella Higginson courtesy of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Free book on “Teaching for Black Lives” Available for Teachers in Seattle Public Schools


We are passing on some information from our friends at Rethinking Schools:

We've got some great news about Teaching for Black Lives — Grammy award-winning artist Macklemore and 3-time NFL pro bowler Michael Bennett have teamed up to purchase a copy of Teaching for Black Lives for every social studies and language arts teacher in Seattle Public Schools.

We're hoping that this model can be replicated in other cities throughout the United States and are hoping you can help:

1) Share this blog post with your networks: rethinkingschoolsblog.com/2018/09/18/wow-exciting-news-about-teaching-for-black-lives/

2) Share this Facebook post and Twitter post on social media (feel free to tag your favorite artist or athlete to do a similar action in another city 😀).
 

We also encourage readers to check out our current issue of the Journal of Educational Controversy on the theme, “Black Lives Matter and the Education Industrial Complex.”  https://cedar.wwu.edu/jec/

Monday, September 10, 2018

Journal Expanding Pool of Reviewers

The Journal of Educational Controversy is expanding its pool of reviewers.  We are also seeking additional copyeditors.  If you are interested, e-mail your resume and letter of interest to: cep-ejournal@wwu.edu

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

"Speech and Protest in Public Schools" Video Now Online


The journal's 19th Annual Educational Law and Social Justice Forum on May 31, 2018 featured a special talk on “Speech and Protest in Public Schools” by Vanessa Hernandez, an attorney and Youth Policy Director of the ACLU of Washington.  Her lecture was videotaped and is now online on the website of the Journal of Educational Controversy.  Readers can find it on the link to "Public Forums" on the journal's site at:  https://cedar.wwu.edu/jec/ or go directly to: https://cedar.wwu.edu/jec/public_forums.html  A temporary link is also part of our revolving videos above on this page.

The lecture covered a wide range of topics.  The speaker discussed the law around student and teacher speech and protest in K-12 schools.  In particular, the talk focused on emerging issues around student protest, student clubs, the relationship between First Amendment and antidiscrimination protections, teachers’ use of social media and teacher and student engagement in political activity outside of school hours. 

The event was cosponsored by both the Journal of Educational Controversy and the Center of Education, Equity and Diversity at Western Washington University.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Immigration and the 4th of July


I am not sure what it means to celebrate the 4th of July.  My town celebrates the 4th with the usual family activities in the parks and the fireworks over the bay in the evening.    I do not mean to minimize family times, but we seem to be missing the whole point.  I have long imagined such celebrations to include a day of citizen seminars in libraries, bookstores, parks and homes all over the country where citizens actually read and discuss some the founding documents and their implication to current events.  What an inspiring education for our children. 

Well, I decided this morning to actually read the Declaration of Independence before the evening’s firework display.   All of us are familiar with the moving words from the beginning of the document:


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.


But I wonder how many of us actually have read the entire document.   So I decided to read more about the grievances that were enumerated and found this rather interesting one against King George III:


He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither…


Apparently King George III was also concerned about immigration of non-British Europeans who would not be sufficiently loyal to the crown.  It looks like it was Germans especially that were the target in those days.

So here is my suggestion (which will never be a reality but I make it anyway as a candle in the dark). Let’s take some time today to actually read and discuss this document and perhaps relate it to the PowerPoint by Dr. Warren Blumenfeld that I featured in the post below on “Immigration as ‘Racial’ Policy” as a beginning.   It seems the founders were finding such immigration policies to be a grievance and an affront to freedom loving people.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Dr. Warren Blumenfeld’s PowerPoint Presentation on “Immigration as ‘Racial’ Policy”


For educators looking for a larger historical, political and social context within which to discuss the current issues surrounding immigration, see the link to Dr. Warren J. Blumenfeld’s PowerPoint presentation below. Dr. Blumenfeld places current issues in U.S. immigration policies in an historical context in the PowerPoint: “Immigration as ‘Racial’ Policy.”  His presentation highlights the long racial basis and animus that underlies so much of our immigration policy from its beginnings. One theme that runs through Dr. Blumenfeld’s presentation is our notion of the “other” and how we as a nation have reacted to those who are seen as the “other.”

Dr. Blumenfeld writes: “Though politicians and members of their constituencies argue immigration policy from seemingly infinite perspectives and sides, one point stands clear and definite: decisions as to who can enter this country and who can eventually gain citizenship status generally depends on issues of 'race', for U.S. immigration systems reflect and serve as the country’s official 'racial' policies.”

 Here is a link to the PowerPoint presentation:


For a written description, see:

 

Educators: Please share how you are raising these issues in your own classroom and schools.

 

Friday, June 1, 2018

To All Those Who Would Be Teachers: Advice from Mandy Manning, 2018 National Teacher of the Year


Editor: We invited Mandy Manning, the 2018 National Teacher of the Year, to offer some advice to our students who are preparing to become teachers at the Woodring College of Education at Western Washington University.  We share her advice to all who would be teachers.  Thank you Mandy!
 

 

Advice for Teacher Candidates at Western Washington University

Mandy Manning

2018 National Teacher of the Year

 

 As future teachers, you are embarking on a career with true impact. With every student who passes through your classroom, you are influencing the future.

 
I’ll never forget my first day in my own classroom in Spearman, Texas. I was teaching theatre and communications in a small rural school. Walking into that classroom the first day, I felt completely unprepared and unqualified. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure how to follow the teacher’s guide for the communications curriculum.

 
As soon as I met my students, though, I knew I’d found my place. On that first day, I looked at my class and I realized I wasn’t just there to teach communications and theatre. I was there to teach students, and those students came in all shapes and sizes and personalities. No matter how lost I felt, I knew I’d do anything to help my students grow academically and as people.

 
It took nearly half of my career—10 of my 19-years in the classroom—to realize that I did know what I was doing from that very first day.

 
I don’t want you to have to wait that long, so here is my advice for being the best teacher you can be:
 

1.     Get to know your students. Don’t just know them as learners, but know them as individual human beings. Find out what interests them, what they do outside of school, and learn about their home lives. It is only through knowledge of students that you will know how to teach them. Not only will you be able to tailor your lessons to the needs of your students, but your students will also know you care about them. Veteran educator Rita Pierson tells us in her TED Talk, “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” You must show students you care about them in order for them to care about what you are teaching them. Moreover, use that knowledge of students to always do what’s best for them in your instruction, even when that means being a bit rebellious and adjusting the prescribed curriculum to meet the needs of the students in your classroom.

 
Also, give your students the chance to get to know their peers and connect with one another. This will help to build community in your classroom and create a safe learning environment where all students feel valued.
 

2.     Open your doors. We have a tendency to get comfortable in our classrooms, because we know we can control that environment and that we have an impact there, student-by-student. It’s our space. But, our impact shouldn’t stay only within our classroom walls. Our impact can stretch so much further if we open our doors and invite others in—community members, parents, school board members, district leaders, legislators and fellow teachers. We must also seek opportunities to observe other educators and educational environments. As educators we have much to teach our students, our colleagues, and our communities. On the flip side, we have just as much to learn and we must seek that knowledge through our colleagues and through experiences that challenge our perceptions.
 

3.     Join professional education associations, locally, statewide, and nationally. Not only have education associations provided me with some of the very best professional development, they also have helped me find my tribe - the group of people with whom I connect and can lean on for support throughout my career.
 

Education associations strive to recognize teachers as the professionals we are and give us the space to share our ideas and our perspectives. Our voice matters in the association. Most importantly, a single voice does not always bring the changes we need to see in our classrooms, schools, districts or states. Oftentimes it takes a collective voice. Education associations are that collective voice to amplify our ideas to impact policies that in turn impact our classrooms.

 
As you look out at your classroom of students on your first day, you will see the hope and potential on each of their faces. This is your purpose and your impact as a teacher: to help students see their own potential, to provide them tools and skills to meet that potential, and to guide them in creating a plan to achieve their dreams. No matter what anxiety you might be feeling that first day, remember it is our honor and our privilege as educators to shape the future, one student at a time.