History + Politics

“I think they threw a book at a Negro student in a study hall”: What we might learn from the Clinton 12 (1956)

It’s been just sixty years since twelve students of color in Clinton, Tennessee were integrated into high school with their…

19th Century Philosopher Nails “Personalized” Learning Cold

Anyone who has worked in a university or school knows that tingly feeling one gets when the business needs of…

Protecting Public Schools…from the Vatican?

As public education spread in 19th century cities, many feared that private interests were trying to undermine schools’ public purpose.  In particular, the…

UVA Law Professor Breaks Down School Desegregation and Why It’s About Way More than Schools

Watch Professor Risa Goluboff at UVA discuss Brown v. Board of Education in plain English. In particular, note how she argues…

What Alabama Teaches Us about the Complexity of State Control of Education

A colleague recently remarked to me that federally funded education reform had created a “pressure cooker” environment for teachers and…

Rerouted the Pipeline? Now Rebuild the Schools.

Native Americans have the lowest graduation rate than any other demographic. Period.  Their schools have been systematically neglected for decades.…

Teaching a 6-year-old the Meaning of Hate

It was 1960 when Ruby Bridges became a symbol for desegregation in the country.  Following Brown v. Board of Education–the…

The Little Rock 9 and Limits of Education

In 1957, nine students of color in Little Rock, Arkansas were escorted into schools by presidential order and under the…

That Time the Supreme Court Had to Make States Provide Equal Education to All

So, a little over six decades ago, in 1954, the Supreme Court ruled that public schools in the United States…

Ben Franklin Wanted a Useful and Ornamental Education for the Young

A quarter century before the thirteen colonies declared their independence, Ben Franklin printed a pamphlet (1749) in which he proposed…

Good Education Inspires the Soul, says John Adams

Ten years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams penned a diary entry in which he briefly…

Those Are Bullet Holes in the Children’s School

This picture shows students in Iraq attending school, the bullet holes in the building a heartbreaking reminder of the risks…

This 1950 Instructional Film on “Dining Together” Might Just Save Your Thanksgiving

I don’t know who made these films, but there are many of them online.  Called “instructional” or “educational” films, you can…

How Hamilton Nudged Washington on Education in 1796

As he composed his farewell address, President George Washington enlisted feedback from one Alexander Hamilton (before his Broadway fame, obviously).…

Let Sam Seaborn Remind Us All What Education is Worth

I once remarked to a friend that we might do well to require students to watch the entirety of West…

Before You Write Off the Common Core Completely, Try Taking THIS 8th Grade Exam

When you talk with others about education, it’s not uncommon to hear them refer to the glory days of education…
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