Teach Trayvon: What’s not in the Common Core & how to close the education gap

Want to close the so-called “achievement gap”?

This gap–better described as the opportunity gap–would quickly narrow if standards were added about analyzing the continuity of the American judicial system in excluding Black jurors and acquitting people who murder African Americans–from Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin and beyond.  When you teach students about the major issues affecting their lives, and allow them to use the curriculum to help them solve these problems, you see education come alive for all students.  The fact that you can’t imagine a standard that addresses institutional racism in America  being added to the Common Core State Standards is a clear indication that they are not interested in truly raising the achievement of all.

This video of a speech I gave in the wake of Trayvon’s murder by George Zimmerman could serve as an opening lesson in the unit:

Followed by this lesson from Linda Christensen at Rethinking Schools, The Danger of a Single Story:


Trayvon, I promise you, while Zimmerman was acquitted after murdering you in cold blood, this fight for justice isn’t over!

6 thoughts on “Teach Trayvon: What’s not in the Common Core & how to close the education gap

  1. What do you mean by “murdered”? Trayvon had Zimmerman pinned to the ground, broke his nose, gave him two black eyes, and was repeatedly slamming his head against the concrete. The killing of Trayvon was self defense, not murder.


  2. Primary Teacher

    Bravo for an excellent post. I believe the previous commentators have missed the point. For my part, I will recommit to the anti-bullying and social-emotional curriculum for my very young children. And don’t worry too much about the spelling error. Those who wait to be perfect don’t accomplish much.


  3. mags

    Get back to the basics and stop lowering standards to allow failure to pass as “success.” Banish the attitude of entitlement in today’s kids. No, you are not entitled to succeed — you have to WORK at it! Teach he ten commandments and there would be no bullying.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s