Table of Contents

    Cover Theme
  • "The Laptops Are Coming! The Laptops Are Coming!"

    By Sarah Heller McFarlane Things to think about before the laptops arrive in your classroom.
  • Free A Time to End the Silences

    By the Editors of Rethinking Schools

    "When texts don't talk about racism, when standards don't mention racism, when teachers don't teach about racism, they automatically eliminate any discussion of anti-racism."
  • Prophet Motives

    An excerpt from Keeping the Promise?: The Debate Over Charter Schools

    By Leigh Dingerson "Any discussion of charter schools must ask not only whether charters promote a worthwhile vision of public education, but also whether they are faithful to their own promises."
  • Fault Lines in Merit Pay

    By Sam Coleman "Far from addressing the systemic, institutionalized problems in New York City's public schools, the city's test-based pay program attempts to provide a 'silver bullet' solution by relying on crass material incentives."
  • City Teaching; Beyond the Stereotypes

    By Gregory Michie "For city teachers, it's also about functioning within—and challenging—a system that in many ways works to undercut and even thwart your best efforts."
  • Rethinking MySpace

    By Antero Garcia "As an educator constantly searching for ways to use popular culture in my classroom, I decided to make MySpace part of my teaching repertoire."
  • Childhood Is Dying

    By Dahr Jamail, Ahmed Ali "Iraq's children have been more gravely affected by the U.S. occupation than any other segment of the population."
  • Empire or Humanity

    By Howard Zinn "The American Empire has always been a bipartisan project—Democrats and Republicans have taken turns extending it, extolling it, justifying it."
  • Introduction

  • Putting a Human Face on the Immigration Debate

    By Steven Picht-Trujillo, Paola Ledezma "For those of us working with immigrant populations, we have in our students living examples that we can use to bring the immigration issue to the forefront and teach all of our students."
  • An Open Letter to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund from the Association of Raza Educators

    The Association of Raza Educators implores you: open your scholarships to all students of Hispanic descent regardless of citizenship.
  • Everything Flowers

    By Lisa Espinosa "I noted the biased curriculum... the absence of lessons on the Chicano movement or other aspects of my history and culture, the various attempts to make me less Mexican and more white."
  • Pump Up the Blowouts

    By Gilda L. Ochoa "This year is the 40th anniversary of the Chicana/o School Blowouts, and I wonder how schools, communities, and the media will mark this important movement."
  • Free Review: Our Dignity Can Defeat Anyone

    By Julie Treick O'Neill By Julie Treick O'Neill A review of the film Maquilapolis [City of Factories]
  • Departments Free
  • Resources

  • Letters to the Editors

  • Short Stuff
  • Kids in the Middle

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Rethinking MySpace

Rethinking MySpace

By Antero Garcia

The time stamp on my email program shows that the last MySpace message I received was Wednesday, 3:08 a.m., during my off-track vacation. Logging onto the site, I read the message that apparently could not wait to be sent until a more humane hour: "hey garcia, i was wondering if u could tell me what work im missing from both of ur classes so i can make it up during these days . . . and since i will be taking some interssesion classes i was wondering if u are ever going during vacation to school so i could give it to u."

Preparing to reply to the email, I paused and wondered if being able to connect with students at all hours is really a part of a culturally relevant education experience.

I am in my third year at Manual Arts High School, a year-round school in South Central Los Angeles. Blocks away from the freeway and the University of Southern California, Manual Arts is in a low-income community; African Americans make up 20 percent of the student body, the remaining 80 percent Latino. In order to deal with overcrowding, the students are separated into three different tracks.

Although I've never been interested in the social and networking sites that now flood the internet, recent sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter have become too prominent in my students' lives to ignore. As an educator constantly searching for ways to use popular culture in my classroom, I decided to make MySpace part of my teaching repertoire.

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