Jesse Hagopian

Jesse Hagopian

Jesse Hagopian teaches history and is the Black Student Union adviser at Garfield High School, the site of the historic boycott of the MAP standardized test.  Jesse is the editor and contributing author to, More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing (Haymarket Books, 2014). Jesse is an editor for Rethinking Schools magazine, a founding member of Social Equality Educators (SEE), and recipient of the 2013 “Secondary School Teacher of Year” award from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences. Follow Jesse on his blog at or on Twitter: @jessedhagopian

Articles by this author

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Chicago Teachers Strike: 'Until We Get What Our Students Deserve'

After Mayor Lori Lightfoot rejected the demands of the Chicago Teachers Union, 25,000 teachers and 7,000 support staff launched a strike on Thursday, October 17, shutting down the schools for some 300,000 students. Also on the picket line were members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73,...
Monday, November 19, 2018

A Climate of Racism Took Two Lives at My Kroger

In October, two Black grandparents were gunned down by a white supremacist in a Kroger supermarket in Louisville, Kentucky, sending shock waves through the Black community. The shooter was recorded on surveillance video trying to get into a predominately Black church just before the killing.Michelle Randolph, who...
Monday, May 7, 2018

Teachers and Parents of Puerto Rico Launch Historic Strike & Boycott Against Standardized Testing

Today, my third grade son is supposed to take the Common Core high-stakes test, “Smarter Balanced,” at his school here in Seattle. He decided, however, that he would rather do a research project about a leader who has helped to make the world better. So my wife and I are writing the opt out letter and letting our...
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

"Things That Make White People Uncomfortable": Michael Bennett's Essential New Book

Today, my good friend Michael Bennett, former Seattle Seahawk and current Philadelphia Eagle, releases his new book, "Things That Make White People Uncomfortable"—the memoir/manifesto that he wrote with my other dear friend Dave Zirin.I am going to assume my position as a teacher here and officially assign you...
Friday, March 2, 2018

#ArmMeWith Solidarity Against the NRA and Militarizing Our Schools

"Dear Congress, who will die next because of your lack of action? Who will you murder next? Because your lack of action is causing people to die. The next person who dies because of an AR-15 will be on you!" —Sheryl Acquaroli, survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, addressing the Florida...
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

#BlackLivesMatterAtSchool is a National Uprising for Racial Justice

Educators in America know all too well that the school-to-prison pipeline is not just a political catchphrase. Those who work with students of color know this pipeline is as real as any other.“It extends across this country,” says Seattle educator, attorney, and organizer Nikkita Oliver.This is why from February 5...
Friday, January 12, 2018

Trump, “Shitholes,” and White Supremacy: Building Resistance on 8th Anniversary of the Haiti Earthquake my Family and I Survived.

Eight years ago today, my family and I survived the earthquake in Haiti. I had been laid off from my teaching job that year in the wake of the great recession and so I had joined my wife, with our one-year-old son, on her work trip to Haiti where she was conducting trainings on HIV.In the immediate aftermath of...
Friday, October 13, 2017

Seattle Teacher: Dear Betsy DeVos, You’re Not Welcome Here

My name is Jesse Hagopian and I teach ethnic studies at Seattle’s Garfield High School. I hope you didn’t just stop reading this letter after you heard the subject I am teaching—I urge you to keep reading.I am writing in regards to the Washington Policy Center’s $350-a-person fundraising dinner you will be...
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Story Behind the Meme Mocking Pepsi’s Attempts to Brand Rebellion

On April 5, I woke up to find out I was a meme gone viral."Yo Kendall, im gonna need you to come through with a pepsi, these cops are wildin"— Kim Jong Tun (@ignant_) April 5, 2017The hilarious meme by @ignant_ was in reference to the shameful ad that Pepsi produced—and quickly took...
Friday, October 21, 2016

What We Don’t Learn About the Black Panther Party—But Should

Fifty years ago this month, the Black Panther Party was born. Its history holds vital lessons for today’s movement to confront racism and police violence, yet textbooks either misrepresent or minimize the significance of the Black Panthers.The first issue of the Black Panther newspaper, which at its height had a...