JOHN THOMPSON: Schools Matter

John Thompson holds a doctorate in US History from Rutgers University, and his Closing the Frontier won the Western History Association’s Athearn Award for the nation’s best 20th century Western History book over a two year period. He is a former hitch-hiker, and a current outdoorsman, community gardener, low-cost traveler, and grassroots activist. His work experience ranges from roughnecking in the oilfields to being a legislative lobbyist.

After crack and gangs hit Thompson’s neighborhood, he became attached to the children living in the drug houses and became an inner city teacher. He served in numerous capacities in whole schol and whole district reform efforts that were undermined by NCLB. He saw “reform” drive his run-of-the-mill high-poverty school into the lowest performing school in Oklahoma. As his school collapsed into “The Wire,” Thompson kept his sanity by becoming involved in the blogosphere. He is completing Getting Schooled, about teaching in the inner city in an age of “reform.”

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