Home > Archives > Volume 12 - Issue 2, Winter 1997/98
Volume 12 Number 2

The Criminalization of Youth
By William Ayers
Lawmakers and the mass media are spinning horror stories about hordes of young "superpredators"roving our nation's streets, and are using these tales to push draconian new laws that punish more and more children as if they were adults. A look at the current trend, and a plea for more rational approaches to young offenders.

The Evolution of Creationism
By Leon Lynn
The lead article of a Rethinking Schools special report about right-wing efforts to dress up religious dogma as pseudo-science, keep the theory of evolution out of U.S. schools, and wipe away the separation between church and state.

Creationists Push Pseudo-Science Text
By Leon Lynn
It looks like a science textbook, but "Of Pandas and People" is really a creationist treatise masquerading as a legitimate discussion of scientific theories. An examination of "Pandas" and some of the objections to it raised by legitimate scientists and educators.

One Town's Battle Over Creationism
By Leon Lynn
The struggles over evolution and creationism in Louisville, Ohio, where a retired teacher has called in the American Civil Liberties Union to keep a right-wing Christian school board member from injecting his religious beliefs into the school curriculum.

What's a Teacher to Do?An interview with Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, who offers some perspective on why creationism persists and how teachers can cope with it.

Resources on Evolution and CreationismA collection of books, organizations and World Wide Web sites that offer information and guidance on dealing with creationism.

Canadian Teachers Strike
By Ellen Michelson
Coverage of the issues that prompted 126,000 elementary and secondary school teachers to walk off the job in October and November 1997.

MPS Admissions Policy Rewards Privilege
A Rethinking Schools Editorial
Milwaukee public high schools can now set admissions standards -- and some of the more popular schools have already drawn up restrictive requirements that will keep all but the best students out. This disastrous policy will create a two-tiered education system, pitting the haves against the have-nots, unless parents, teachers, administrators, and community residents organize to overturn it.

'You Gotta Be Hard' - A Teacher Reflects on Kids and Gangs
By Greg Michie
In this excerpt from his recently completed manuscript "Holler if You Hear Me," Chicago teacher Michie recalls his first encounters with young gang members, his frustrations at dealing with the destructive influences of gangs, and the importance of learning to look past gang affiliations and reach out to the young people who belong to them.

Banned in Jersey, Welcomed on Broadway
By Stan Karp
When teacher Maria Sweeney's 4th-grade class in Ridgewood, NJ wrote an original play about sweatshops that make products for Nike and Disney, school officials deemed it"inappropriate for children" and banned its performance at the school. Here's how the students ended up bringing their play to a real Broadway theater for a glorious one-night stand instead.

'We Know More Than You Think'Excerpts from letters sent to the school principal by some of Sweeney's students after the play was canceled.

'And Ya Don't Stop' -- Using Hip Hop in the Language Arts Classroom
By Wayne Wah Kwai Au
How teachers can harness this powerful form of cultural communication.

Digging in the Crates: Hip Hop in Teaching -- A Resource ListA selection of hip hop music and related resources suitable for classroom use.

'Let Your Motto Be Resistance' -- The Real Lesson of Amistad
By Ronald Bailey
Hollywood has never let the real lessons of history get in the way of a good story, and Steven Spielberg's film about the 1839 slave revolt is no exception. An examination of the true story of Amistad, and a reflection on the issue of "who owns history."

What Happened to Local Control?
By David Tyack
Excerpts from a speech by the Stanford University professor on what he terms "a lost opportunity in American education: the power of local control to link public schools more firmly to their communities."

Where I'm From
By Linda Christensen
How students can be encouraged to share their personal lives in the classroom as part of a rich writing curriculum. Includes specific notes on teaching procedure.

Protests Target Sweatshop Labor
By Phyllis Sides
A look at protests around the country on sweatshop conditions and child labor.

A Must Buy and a Good Tale
By Herbert Kohl
Reviews of two books: "The New Press Guide to Multicultural Resources for Young Readers," edited by Daphne Muse, and "Adopted by Indians: A True Story," by Thomas Jefferson Mayfield.