John Piazza (CA) and John Bracey (MA) not only share the same first name. They also are at the forefront of change in the Latin world in the U.S. We all know Bracey’s riveting story of being an oak in a storm in his building (understatement) over recent years, but Piazza’s is pretty much the same. Piazza sent me this yesterday and if I weren’t so old I would have done a cartwheel:
Hi Ben – exciting news. Just had my follow-up meeting from my first observation with my new administration. I am on cloud nine. She is a long time ESL teacher, and she knows the politics of my school, and she is committed to equity. In short, she gets it, and today’s meeting confirmed this. My evaluation basically said that I was not doing enough work in the target language, at higher levels on Blooms taxonomy. I said I was more than happy to oblige, but what about the traditional expectations as well as the AP exam and my traditional college who teaches it? She told me that those are no longer our priorities, because they are not best practices in language teaching, and they exclude most students. As for the privileged parents and my colleague, she told me not to worry about them. In other words I’ve been given marching orders, and I have been given protection, without qualification. There will certainly be bumps on this road, especially while I am graduating out the legacy students. But this is very exciting, and represents the next step forward for me. The chaos and strife that have occurred on my campus, have also resulted in a renewed commitment by the administration to equitable practices in all classes at all levels. No school administrator anywhere in this country can any longer afford to ignore the direct connection between exclusive pedagogy and the perpetuation of racist institutional practices. I would recommend that any CI teacher who is facing resistance call out their school’s commitment to equity.
Sorry if this email has turned into a rant, but it’s a joyful rant. I have just been launched into a holiday week with a massive tailwind. So I’m shifting into a 53×12 of gratitude and getting as much out of this as I can. I know you’ll understand.
Admins don’t actually read the research. They don’t have time. If or when they do read it, they do not really grasp it. How could