Home > Archives > Volume 24 - Issue 1, Fall 2009
Volume 24 Number 1

School Leadership for Tough Times
It takes more than a brilliant teacher or two to ensure that our youth leave school with the skills, confidence, and critical consciousness to be productive and thoughtful participants in the world. It takes vibrant school communities with strong, visionary leadership. The fall issue of Rethinking Schools shines a light on the possibilities when principals and superintendents buck the trend toward testing and standardization:

Another Path Is Possible: Two Chicago Principals Keep an Eye on What Matters
by Gregory Michie
Two neighborhood schools find their way, thriving on collaboration and commitment to a shared vision. By the author of Holler If You Hear Me: The Education of a Teacher and His Students.

Big City Superintendents: Dictatorship or Democracy? Lessons from Paulo Freire
by Bob Peterson
Did you know Paulo Freire was once superintendent of schools in São Paulo, Brazil? Rethinking Schools editor and 5th grade teacher Bob Peterson describes how the world-famous author of Pedagogy of the Oppressed put his theories into practice in a poverty-stricken urban school district.

Editorial: Where Is Our Community Organizer-in-Chief?
by the editors of Rethinking Schools
There is a disturbing overlap between Obama’s educational policies and those of George W. Bush. The nation’s schools don’t need an entrepreneur-in-chief; we need national leadership that supports critical thinking, educating the whole child, and democratic participation from the ground up.

Trolling for Stories: Lessons from Our Lives
by Linda Christensen
Editor’s note: This article is a chapter in Linda Christensen’s new Rethinking Schools book, Teaching for Joy and Justice: Re-imagining the Language Arts Classroom. If you are inspired by this article to troll for stories, the book includes student examples and additional materials.

When the Gender Boxes Don't Fit
by Ericka Sokolower-Shain
The first day of high school is hard enough. Walking down the halls, trying to find my next class, surrounded by a sea of people who looked hundreds of years older, I felt like I had a red blinking sign over my head that flashed “freshman” every five seconds.

As a Mom and a Teacher...
by Jody Sokolower

Exile Has Its Place: A High School Principal Reflects on School Discipline
by T. Elijah Hawkes

Stenciling Dissent: A Student Project Draws on the Language of the Street
by Andrew Reed
Political graffiti engages students in the history of protest for social justice.

The Debate over Differentiated Pay: The Devil Is in the Details
by Barbara Miner
These days everyone has an opinion about how teachers should get paid. Investigative reporter Barbara Miner goes beyond the rhetoric to explore trends and conflicting perspectives on alternative pay structures.

Rethinking Thanksgiving: Myths and Misgivings
by Vera L. Stenhouse
Elementary school celebrations play an enormous role in perpetuating the myth of the "first Thanksgiving." Just in time for this year’s holiday, a teacher preparation instructor describes how and why she guides new teachers toward a more historically accurate approach.

Short Stuff

Good Stuff
by Herb Kohl
Wounding and Healing

ResourcesOur picks for books, websites, and other resources for social justice educators