Sorry, Occupy

occupy sandy

Mark Naison: The transformative role that Occupy activists have played in coordinating relief to the hardest hit victims of Hurricane Sandy has shown me that the Occupy networks that survived the evictions were much stronger than I realized.

A Victory for Outer Borough New York

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Mark Naison: So the event was cancelled. Not because the Mayor came to his senses. But because outer borough New York had risen in revolt.

Defending Teachers and Teaching

mark naison

Mark Naison: Every time I walk into a classroom, I am trying to do for my students what the best teachers I had did for me; to capture my imagination to such a degree that what went on in that class would be etched in my memory for life.

What Teachers Do

teacher student

Mark Naison: Teachers are some of the most selfless, generous people in our nation. They deserve better than what they are currently getting from our political leaders and mass media

The Bronx Example: Urban Food Deserts

Urban Food Deserts

Mark Naison: For the last few years, public health experts have used the term “Food Deserts” to describe communities where residents lack access to healthy food and suffer the twin problems of hunger and obesity

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.- What Teachers Everywhere Gain From the Chicago Strike

karen lewis

Mark Naison: Chicago teachers have shown the way, not only to force changes in policy, but to create a new narrative about what is really going on in the nation’s schools.

Stubborn Facts About Obama Education Policies That No Amount of Convention Sugarcoating Can Cover Up

rahm immanuel barack obama

Mark Naison: If you watched the Democratic Convention, you would never know that the Obama Administration’s education policies were extremely controversial with America’s teachers and had provoked outrage among many of the nation’s most distinguished education scholars.

Time For “Testing As Child Abuse Suits” to Fill the Nation’s Courts

worried student

Mark Naison: When a massive threat emerges to the health and well-being of the nation’s children, action must be taken. Protecting children from abusive testing is the REAL civil rights cause of our time.

Assessing Charter Schools: Follow the Money

Charter Schools

Mark Naison: Here are common sense criteria to judge charter schools intent to educate or to undermine public schools

Where You Will Find the Democratic Spirit This Fall

occupy schools

Mark Naison: The signs of popular initiative are all around us, if we care to look. They are the real hope of the future in a country where the mainstream economic and political systems have been rendered stagnant by a concentration of wealth at the top.

Rich Klimmer: Pride of the American Working Class

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Mark Naison: Richie, a tough, working class kid from Chicago who had played basketball at Marquette, approached this campaign as if it might be the last of his life because, in fact, it was.

The Ryan Nomination, The Obama Re-Election Campaign, and the Left

child chasing obama

Mark Naison: Obama supporters who want progressives to take precious energies away from grass roots movements to re-elect the president are, whether intentionally or not, sabotaging long term possibilities of democratic change.

Driving Out Our Best Teachers

teacher student

Mark Naison: How you can improve the quality of a profession by subjecting its members to public ridicule and abuse, in everything from campaign speeches, to editorials, to Hollywood films, is a mystery that I am too dense to unravel

How “Race to the Top” Has Magnified the Obesity Problem in Poor and Working Class Neighborhoods

obese kids

Mark Naison: On Fordham Road, most of the people including the children, are heavy, some to the point of obesity.

The Hypocrisy of Current Initiatives to “Improve Teacher Quality”

eli broad

Mark Naison: Teach For America has done NOTHING to improve the quality of the teaching profession. And their policies are symptomatic of an ideological trap that all Education Reformers have fallen into.

Not Every Bronx Tale Has a Geoffrey Canada Ending

geoffrey canada

n his memoir, Fist, Knife, Stick, Gun, Geoffrey Canada describes growing up on Union Avenue in the Morrisania section of the Bronx as a harrowing experience — a place where bullies terrorized young people and where no institutions, certainly not the local public schools, offered refuge or protection. It was only when Canada’s family moved [...]

Let’s Stop Overlooking the Impact Poverty Has on Urban Students

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Mark Naison: I would like to see urban schools emphasize community involvement, artistic expression, and physical and emotional health on the part of their students.

The Army Occupying America’s Public Schools

michelle rhee

Mark Naison: Many teachers, parents, union leaders, and school administrators secretly despise the policies being imposed on them; but see no way off opposing them with sacrificing their careers or children’s welfare.

Elections and History

occupy-schools-coloring

Mark Naison: The fate of grassroots movements often depends on those who hold public office, especially those who control the power to suppress such movement through the application of armed force.

Battle Corporate Schools Locally to Win Nationally

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Mark Naison: The first step is to join the discussions about how public education is being destroyed wherever it takes place.

Why Business Leaders Should Not Manage Schools

high school principal

Mark Naison: All across the country, we have more and more teachers who hate their jobs because their job security has been destroyed, and more and more children who hate school because of the constant testing

What Is Lost When Teaching as a Lifetime Calling Is Undermined

bronx african american history project

Mark Naison: Current reforms will make our schools places where inquiry and imagination are stifled, and students and teachers are always looking over their shoulder to see if they have violated some rule. If that happens, something very precious in our lives will have been lost.‎

Fault Lines in the Plutocracy and the Police Harassment State

nypd stop and frisk

Mark Naison: In gentrifying cities like New York, Chicago, and Oakland , police harassment greets young people of color wherever they turn, from the schools they attend, to the neighborhoods they live in, to downtown business districts, to the public transportation systems they use.

Save Our Schools and Vietnam War Protests

save our teachers

Mark Naison: Within three or four years, revolt against testing and privatization may well cripple many school systems.

The Genius of Barack Obama: Why We Must Organize Independently to keep Hope of Change Alive

President Barack Obama with ABC's Robin Roberts making same-sex marriage announcement.

Mark Naison: Together, the President’s actions cemented my conviction that he was one of the most brilliant politicians I have seen in my lifetime, equaled only by Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan, and surpassing even his sometimes rival, sometimes ally Bill Clinton.

Police Everywhere

nypd

Mark Naison: I can only imagine how young people of color feel about this smothering police presence, especially as they are the ones this presence is often placed there for.

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