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Alan Singer
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Alan Singer is a social studies educator in the Department of Teaching, Literacy and Leadership at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York and the editor of Social Science Docket (a joint publication of the New York and New Jersey Councils for Social Studies). He taught at a number of secondary schools in New York City, including Franklin K. Lane High School and Edward R. Murrow High School. He is the author of Education Flashpoints: Fighting for America's Schools (Routledge, 2014) which is based on his award winning Huffington Post blogs, Teaching to Learn, Learning to Teach: A Handbook for Secondary School Teachers (Routledge, 2013), Social Studies For Secondary Schools, 3rd Edition (Routledge, 2008), New York and Slavery, Time to Teach the Truth (SUNY, 2008), and Teaching Global History (Routledge, 2011). All opinions expressed in these blogs are my own.

Entries by Alan Singer

Cuomo and New York State Continue to Fail Minority Youth

(1) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 9:12 AM

Politicians whine. Politicians bluster. Politicians blame. New York State Governor Andy Cuomo does it with the worst of them, especially when it comes to education. It is easy to blame teachers; but it is much harder to take responsibility for your own failures and the failure of state...

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NJ Parents and Teachers Say "NO!" to PARCC Common Core Tests

(5) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 2:51 PM

New Jersey parents and teachers are up in arms in a campaign against new state Pearson designed PARCC exams supposedly aligned with the national Common Core standards. NJ Kids and Families, a coalition that includes NJEA, the New Jersey Education Association, is sponsoring a...

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Students Tell Mayor de Blasio, Turn Off the Metal Detectors!

(46) Comments | Posted February 23, 2015 | 2:25 PM

Petition on Change.org: Put an end to metal detectors in public schools

Dear Mayor de Blasio,

You ordered the police to stop "stop and frisk". Now we want you to end the use of metal detectors to scan students entering public schools.

The majority of students in...

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Why Teens Become Terrorists and What Schools Can Do

(16) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 11:47 AM

Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was nineteen years old when he and his older brother set off the bombs killing three people and injuring over 250 at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Tsarnaev was born in the former Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan in a...

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In Gentrified Brooklyn, Where Will Ordinary People Live?

(13) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 1:56 PM

Gentrification may bring Starbucks to a formerly underserved community, but it also brings devastation for people who are displaced when rents skyrocket and they can no longer afford to live in old neighborhoods. There are now ten Starbucks in Brooklyn and counting.

Sometimes gentrification comes with new luxury housing construction....

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Pearson and Testing Buddies Try to Shut the Barn Door (But the Info Is Already Out)

(20) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 10:12 AM

In response to one of my recent posts on Common Core and high-stakes assessments, I received an email asking, "Why are Pearson tests so bad?"

The short answer to this question is actually provided by the now defunct Pearson Foundation on their "Five Things I've Learned" website. Pearson Foundation...

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Let's Rank Everybody

(30) Comments | Posted February 2, 2015 | 8:55 AM

Because of the miracle of data collection and computer algorithms (don't ask me what an algorithm is but your computer knows) we can now track everyone's performance and take appropriate action to get rid of incompetence. Politicians like Andrew Cuomo and Arne Duncan are very excited about doing this for...

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Arne and Barack Target Schools of Education

(21) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 2:02 PM

Congress is Republican. ISIS is on the march. Common Core and high-stakes testing are under attack. The Affordable Health Care Act may be torpedoed by the Supreme Court. Arne Duncan and Barack Obama evidently need a softer opponent to pad their legacy. The hapless Knicks were probably not available for...

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Cuomo's War Against Teachers Is an Attack on Women

(32) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 4:21 PM

"He [Cuomo] has declared war on the public schools." - Karen Magee, President of New York State United Teachers

On most issues New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo just can't seem to remember the position he took the previous week. In 2013 he thought $8.75 an...

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What Happened in Selma?

(69) Comments | Posted January 15, 2015 | 1:22 PM

This is not a movie review, although I do discuss the movie Selma. It is also not just a discussion of history. When I ask, "What happened in Selma?," I am really asking what has happened since the events portrayed in the movie and what happened to the...

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Andrew Cuomo Has the "Chutzpah" to Blame Teachers and a Veteran Teacher Responds

(49) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 4:54 PM

There are probably words to describe shameless audacity in many languages. In Yiddish, the language of Eastern European Jews, we call it "chutzpah." Somehow, when they invented this word, they must have been looking to the future and thinking about New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo. The man...

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Koch Brothers Do Common Core

(43) Comments | Posted January 5, 2015 | 12:47 PM

Koch (sounds like coke) is highly addictive. In this case, not the powder or the crystals, but the money. Bloomberg News puts the combined wealth of right-wing financiers and "do-badders" Charles and David Koch at over $100 billion. The Koch brothers like to throw...

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We Did Not Start This Fire

(25) Comments | Posted December 29, 2014 | 10:10 AM

I hesitated to write about the December 20 murder of two New York City policemen. I needed more information, to see how political events played out, time to think, and as Cardinal Timothy Dolan so eloquently stated in his homily the next day, it was time to "mourn...
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A Fifth-Grader Discusses Common Core

(23) Comments | Posted December 21, 2014 | 7:50 PM

On Saturday my granddaughter and I were making latkes for the family Hanukah celebration. After peeling ten pounds of potatoes and grinding them up with three pounds of onions, we took a break and talked about school. This is the interview with my granddaughter, a fifth-grader discusses Common Core.
...
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Long Island High School Forum on "Policing in America"

(8) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 10:58 AM

On December 17, 2014 I participated in a forum at Uniondale High School in Uniondale, New York on "Policing in America: Should Uniondale Care about Ferguson?" It was organized by social studies teacher Adeola Tella-Williams and students in her Participation in Government class. The student population at

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Pearson Education Can Run, But It Cannot Hide

(37) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 12:16 PM

Bad news for Pearson Education may be good news for the rest of us. The testing and publishing mega-giant is on the run, but it looks like it will not be able to hide. Pearson Education is closing its foundation; it is under investigation by the...

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Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Death by Police, and the Racial Divide

(12) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 9:37 AM

As a teacher educator at Hofstra University I have had the good fortune to work with a number of outstanding teachers. In my last post, Lessons for White Teachers Who are Teaching about Ferguson, I wrote that as a white teacher educator at a suburban university,...

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Lessons for White Teachers Who Are Teaching About Ferguson

(23) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 3:24 PM

New York Times columnist Charles Blow recently commented, "One thing the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Mo., has sent back to the surface is just how difficult it is to have cross-racial discussions about crime and punishment in this country." This is because blacks and whites in the...

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What Does the "P" in P-Tech Stand for?

(3) Comments | Posted December 1, 2014 | 9:25 AM

Pathways in Technology Early College High School or P-Tech is a small high school with 330 students in Brooklyn, New York. Its student population is 85% African American and 11% Hispanic. Three-quarters of the students are eligible for free lunch and one-in-six is considered special education. Because of...

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Back-Door School Vouchers: What Money and Block Voting Buy

(11) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 3:38 PM

Multiple-choice quiz for groups and people who either endorsed or voted to reelect Andrew Cuomo.

What is Andrew Cuomo's top legislative priority now that he has been reelected Governor of New York State? A. Healing racial and ethnic divisions B. Better public schools C. Protecting the environment D. Repairing crumbling...
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