In the News

Marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in the classroom

Published on August 23, 2013 in

By NCSS SmartBrief

The 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, a pivotal moment in U.S. history, is Aug. 28. Bill Fletcher Jr., an author, activist and senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., offers lesson ideas, such as comparing the text of the speech given by Martin Luther King Jr. with video clips, plus examining other speeches of the day. "We can all do justice to this anniversary by asking the right questions and providing the actual historical context in which the 1963 March unfolded," Fletcher writes in this blog post. The Huffington Post/The Blog


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Teaching the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

Published on August 22, 2013 in

By Anthony Rebora

Next Wednesday, Aug. 28, marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the monumental 1963 civil rights event at which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Commemorative events, including rallies and panel discussions, are being held over the next several days. On the day of the anniversary, President Obama is scheduled to address the nation from the very spot on which King delivered his speech.

Many of the events, according to reports, are intended not simply to celebrate the original march but to draw much-needed inspiration and lessons from it in the face of continued racial disparities and injustices.

For teachers looking to bring this historical moment to the classroom, a number of organizations are providing resources.

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Censorship Backfire: Surge of Interest in Zinn’s ‘People’s History’

Published on August 14, 2013 in

After revelations former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels sought to ban classic work, public interest soars

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer
Public demand for Howard Zinn's classic book A People's History of the United States is surging, something likely to make former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels none too happy.In July, the Associated Press revealed that Daniels, who is now president of Purdue University, sought to ban the works of Howard Zinn from Indiana classrooms.But since his "anti-Howard Zinn witch-hunt" has been exposed, Zinn's People's History has become "a hot read at libraries" in the state, the South Bend Tribune reports.

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Mountain View High School Teacher Recognized For History Essay

Published on June 30, 2013 in

by Anne Donofrio-Holter

Mountain View High School history teacher Chris Lewis was recognized last week for his essay on “how a people’s history is being taught, how teachers were introduced to the work of author Howard Zinn, and how students are responding to learning a more complete version of U.S. history,” along with how he implements the works Zinn in his classroom.

“The Zinn Education Project website has allowed me to find lesson plans and activities that help my students interact with challenging information,” said Lewis.  “What impressed me most about the lesson was the engagement required by students.  They had to interact at a high level of critical thinking.”

Lewis’ class recently held a Socratic seminar discussion of “The Coming Revolt of the Guard,” in “A People’s History of the United States,” centering around Zinn’s prediction for the future of America where students assessed the impact of small revolutions and evaluated Zinn’s proposal that it will be the disgruntled middle class that will rebel against the current system.

“Students are analyzing the ways in which the American Dream has changed over time and how the definition changes depending on the lens through which it is viewed,” said Lewis.  “I want students to see that the so called “dream” was different for the Puritans as they fled religious persecution, different for African Americans during the Civil Rights movement and different for those that live below the poverty line in today’s world.”

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Award-Winning Mexican American Studies Director Fired Amid Protests

Published on May 9, 2012 in
By ICTMN Staff After being called “one of the most influential educators in the 20th century” by the Zinn Education Project, Sean Arce, director of the Tucson Unified School District’s banned Mexican American Studies (MAS) program, was fired. On April 2, Arce was named the recipient of the 2012 Myles Horton Education Award for Teaching People’s History, an award given to honor “those who promote democracy through education by ensuring that students have the knowledge and skills to be informed and active participants in their communities, country, and the world,” says the Zinn Education Project website.
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TUSD dropping its director of Mexican American Studies

Published on April 4, 2012 in

By Alexis Huicochea | Photo by Benjie Sanders

The Tucson Unified School District will not be renewing the contract for Sean Arce, the director of its Mexican American Studies program.

TUSD Superintendent John Pedicone would not comment on why the decision was made, saying only that the Governing Board was "not willing to renew his contract for a number of reasons."

National award granted

The news of the change in leadership comes as Arce is being honored by a national education group for his work.

The Zinn Education Project selected Arce to receive the 2012 Myles Horton Award for Teaching People's History.

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Arizona Teacher Embodies Educational Spirit of Howard Zinn

Published on April 3, 2012 in

Tucson's Mexican American Studies Director Sean Arce Wins National Zinn Education Award

By Jeff Biggers

While the Daily Show brilliantly reminded millions of viewers last night of the disgraceful racist elements behind the attack on Tucson's acclaimed and now outlawed Mexican American Studies program, educators across the nation recalled a teaching moment. Sean Arce was director of the now outlawed Mexican American Studies program in Tuscon.

Over a half century ago, facing a similar segregationist campaign to shut down the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee, famous for its pioneering desegregation and civil rights efforts, folk school co-founder Myles Horton informed his rabid foes: "A school is an idea, and you can't padlock an idea."

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