This is Not a Test: A Narrative on Race, Class and Education

Jose Vilson. Haymarket (Consortium, dist.), $16 trade paper (228p) ISBN 978-1-60846-370-1
Both stirring and enlightening, this account proposes the attempts to force students into classifiable groups through testing are not just crippling their ability to learn but denying them a critical component of development: identity. Titled after his own rousing poem, delivered at the first Save Our Schools March in 2011, Vilson, an educational rabble rouser and middle-school math teacher, presents a narratively-driven analysis of what so-called educational reformers have gotten and continue to get wrong about teachers and students. With eloquence and passion, Vilson traces the path of his own relationship to public education, first as a mixed-race student, then as a novice teacher, and finally as a controversial, yet widely respected, blogger at TheJoseVilson.com. Amidst his own story, he delivers precisely executed critiques of No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, Common Core, school choice, and other Trojan horses for what he calls "educational deform." Vilson delivers a resounding shout against educational policy for exhibiting rampant cultural illiteracy, and sounds a galvanizing rallying cry for teachers and students to make their voices the most rather than least considered in future developments. (May.)
Reviewed on: 10/13/2014
Release date: 05/01/2014
Ebook - 220 pages - 978-1-60846-428-9
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