In the News

Inclusive Education Is Under Attack — But These Teachers Aren’t Backing Down

Published on April 12, 2024 in
The Zinn Education Project’s annual Teach Truth Day of Action, organized throughout the country by ZEP members, brings an increasing number of people together — educators, parents, and community members — to learn about threats to public education and why it matters if curricula are restricted, books are banned, and progressive dissent is silenced. The goal, of course, is to build grassroots opposition to right-wing attacks and support educators.
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Crackdown on Palestine in Education Goes Far Beyond Universities

Published on January 5, 2024 in
The backlash against Palestine in education isn't just happening in universities. There have also been dozens of educators disciplined at primary and secondary schools across the United States for teaching about the Israeli attack on Gaza. “We’re seeing McCarthy-era levels of repression, not just at universities, but at the K–12 level,” Zinn Education Project co-director Deborah Menkart told Mondoweiss. “Historically we’ve seen that people in power understand the potential impact of young people thinking critically and looking through the lens of history.”
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Teachers Wrestle With How to Discuss January 6 With Students

Published on January 2, 2024 in
The Zinn Education Project, a website with downloadable lessons and articles about history topics, calls Jan. 6 “an attack on the United States Capitol by an armed white supremacist mob, determined to block the democratic process” and suggests teachers note examples of white mob violence against Black Americans in the Reconstruction era. Among the suggestions is a link to a lesson that guides students on how to design their own reparations bill “to help them reflect on what a path toward justice might look like today.”
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How Teachers Can Talk About the Israel-Hamas Conflict

Published on November 22, 2023 in

While the Israel-Palestine conflict has always been a difficult subject for educators, the recent adoption of policies in some states that limit conversations on topics such as race has added to teachers’ fears about discussing such contested issues, said Deborah Menkart, co-director of the Zinn Education Project, a collaboration between progressive nonprofits Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change.

Those concerns notwithstanding, her colleague Mimi Eisen, program manager at the Zinn Education Project, said teachers can seek to have substantive conversations that, for example, explain the differences between Judaism and Zionism, and between Palestinian people and groups like Hamas.

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Into the Mix Podcast — Libraries Off-limits: Examining Florida’s book bans

Published on September 27, 2023 in
In this episode of the Into the Mix podcast, host and writer Ashley C. Ford examines ongoing book bans in Florida and governor Ron DeSantis’ attempts to silence marginalized voices in Florida classrooms. Ford talks to Andrea Phillips, an elementary school teacher, and Jesse Hagopian, Rethinking Schools editor and Zinn Education Project staff member. “This debate really isn’t about obscenity at all,” Hagopian said. “Education is such a powerful force and it can help young people understand themselves and that can help them transform society, or it can be used to create conformity and impose authority and train young people to believe that they should accept the current inequalities.”
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Many U.S. Schools Aren’t Teaching About Climate Change. Students Aren’t Happy About That.

Published on September 24, 2023 in

Despite the vast majority of parents and members of the public supporting climate change education, the scrutiny has had a chilling effect on some teachers’ and schools’ willingness to address it.

It’s become “a kind of curricular hot potato,” said Bill Bigelow, a former social studies teacher and co-director at the Zinn Education Project who has helped edit and write climate education lessons. Adequate climate education, he said, necessitates coverage in not just science classes but subjects ranging from history to language arts. Yet this interdisciplinary relevance makes it especially dicey. “The standards that states and school districts and teachers adhere to lag behind the consciousness of the crisis,” he said.

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Textbooks Still Aren’t Teaching the Climate Crisis

Published on September 15, 2023 in
“The corporate textbooks that the kids get largely ignore the crisis. They either fail to educate the kids about the climate catastrophe, or they relegate it to the last pages of the book,” says Jesse Hagopian, who has taught in Seattle public schools for over 20 years, and also works for the Zinn Education Project, which recently published a Climate Crisis Timeline showing the very strong links between slavery, colonialism, racial capitalism, and climate change.
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Howard Zinn at 101: Needed Now More Than Ever

Published on August 21, 2023 in
Conservatives have made headway on censorship; since the fall of 2021, PEN America has tracked more than 4,000 efforts to ban books — including several by Zinn — dealing with race, gender identity, and sexuality from libraries and schoolrooms. . . . But progressives are also mobilizing and groups including the Zinn Education Project, Red, Wine and Blue, PEN America, the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Library Association, and Honest Education Action and Leadership Together/Race Forward, are pushing back and organizing teach-ins, teacher trainings, and study groups in support of academic freedom and public education.
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