Soul of a black/Latino teacher

José Luis Vilson, a middle-school math teacher in New York City (and a blogger), writes about race, class, and education in This Is Not A Test.

“The heart of education lies in the relationship between teacher and student,” writes Leo Casey in a review in Dissent. “This Is Not A Test bears witness to the enduring vitality of that relationship.”

Vilson grew up in a poor “drug-tainted” neighborhood in the city, earned a computer science degree and became a math teacher for black and brown students.

He faces the challenges of his students’ poverty, troubled families and violent neighborhoods. He also copes with incompetent administrators. At one point, a supervisor “threatened him with an unsatisfactory evaluation not because of his teaching, but because she disliked the aesthetics of his classroom bulletin board.”

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  1. Kbeards says:

    Hi Joanne,
    Can you tell me why Illinois state does not accept basic tests from other states. I passed the Cbest, California basic education skills test. I moved to Illinois with hopes of continuing my profession as a speech / language specialist, but now I am told I must pass another basic skills test and take a content area test. I have been licensed in three different states to provide speech therapy to special needs students and doing so for over 25 years. Why do I have go through this testing again?