My main support from the text comes from this passage:
"After coming along on this journey with me, I hope you've gotten a sense of what it is like to teach--not just in urban schools, but within the parameters of any space in which we are beholden to a certain set of children, a certain set of adults, and a certain set of conditions." (p.211)Doesn't this passage imply that Vilson has not been addressing teachers in the past 210 pages? After all, teachers don't need to get a sense of what it's like to teach.
To me, the whole thrust of the book is a critique of present-day education reform. I think all the short narratives he tells start gelling together when seen as part of a case that accountability reform and high-stakes testing have created at atmosphere that's bad for learning, teaching, and especially bad for Black and Hispanic students and teachers. (This was the framework through which I wrote this piece.)
I mean, he named the book "This Is Not A Test," right? And the book is full of policy suggestions, but has relatively few teaching tips. A book written for teachers would look very different, I think.
None of this means that teachers shouldn't read Vilson's book, or that reading This Is Not A Test won't help your teaching. The conversations we've been having as part of the book discussion show that this rich memoir is helping teachers continue to think through how they can better help their Black and Hispanic students. Teachers are obviously finding this book valuable, and that's great.
But I don't think that this book was written with the primary goal of helping teachers better teach their Black and Hispanic students.
I know that many of you disagree -- for all I know, Jose Vilson himself disagrees! -- and I happily invite your disagreement. Do the conversation a favor, though, and come with evidence from the book that teachers are the intended audience.