Education Reform

Is the US system of public education in crisis? Many say the answer to that question is no. But almost all agree that we have two systems of public education in the United States - one based principally, though not entirely, in the suburbs and another that is based principally in poorer urban and rural areas. One is, unarguably in crisis. The other is not. These articles discuss the root causes and possible solutions.

Why Is Public Television Against Public Schools?


Peter Dreier: PBS has nary a word to say about the big money that has been funding the attack on public schools and teachers unions.

Common Core Disregards the Lessons of American History


Mark Naison: Common Core is different. Here is a federal education policy, a blueprint for national standards (which is really a national curriculum) that no grassroots movements, to my knowledge, have ever called for.

ACLU Lawsuit Delivers for Students at 37 Schools


Diana Rubio: Attorneys representing middle-school students who experienced huge teacher turnover due to budget-based layoffs have reached a historic agreement in the Reed v. State of California et al. lawsuit.

Kids Under Pressure


Mark Naison: All over the nation, stories abound of classrooms becoming zones of extreme stress, with teachers and students displaying symptoms of anxiety, rage ,and depression in response to the new demands.

Resist Teach for America


Robert Skeels: I’ve been tasked with establishing the UCLA chapter of SUPE. I need help. We’re looking for students who care deeply about public education and want to change the discourse about our schools.

Pay Off $1 Trillion in Student Loans by Closing Overseas Military Bases

student loan crisis

Munir Moon: About 6.7 million of all student borrowers are delinquent on their payments by three months or longer. Compounding the problem is that student debt cannot be discharged through bankruptcies.

What’s Wrong with Grit?

grit academic success

Vicki Zakrzewski: Are students who demonstrate high levels of grit—particularly when pressured by parents and teachers–dealing with their emotions in a positive or negative way?

Segregation in Education: Reading Between the Lines


Scot Nakagawa: The composition of our American citizenry will soon be mostly non-white, but white students aren’t, for the most part, being prepared for that future, making what’s happening on the whiter side of the color line in our schools something racial justice advocates should be concerned about.

Fixing Our Schools

cooking school

Mark Naison: I thought it might be appropriate to momentarily drop my Junkyard Dog/Badass Teacher persona and offer some positive ideas about how to improve our educational system.

Liberals and Tea Party Find Common Ground with Common Core


Karen Wolfe: Tea partiers ideologically oppose just about any federal program–especially anything with the Obama name on it. But does political ideology explain liberals’ opposition to Common Core?

My Brothers Keeper Initiative


Sikivu Hutchinson: Unless the District makes a concerted effort to train and staff highly qualified teachers at high-need schools and promote a culture of high expectations for African American and Latino students, the roll-out will only deepen the race/class disparities in Los Angeles.

Who Wants to Be a Rocket Scientist? Race, Gender and the STEM Divide

black science students

Sikivu Hutchinson: Put bluntly, in an era in which affirmative action has been viciously discredited and all but gutted by both the Right and neo-liberal “Left”, young African Americans are less educated than older African Americans.

The Trojan Horse: How It Destroys Chicano Studies


Chicano Studies at CSUN: Brown students wanting to know about Mexico will have to learn about it through white professors.

Inequality on Campus


Underpaid Adjunct Professors: Underpaid adjunct faculty now comprise an estimated 74 percent of America’s college teachers.

Vergara v. California’s Corporate Heart


Vergara vs California: Are job protections for teachers to blame for educational underachievement among low-income students of color?

Sugar: It’s What’s for Breakfast in LA Schools


Healthy School Meals: Is it too much to ask that dollars and sense be allocated to ensure the breakfasts served are low in fat and sugar as well as nutrient rich?

In Praise of Black Women Teachers


Black Women Teachers: Exemplary black teachers’ dedication to community is rarely highlighted in mainstream representations of teaching.

Deasy v. Deasy: The Two Faces of L.A.’s School Superintendent


Vergara v. California — Many an eyebrow raised when Deasy testified on behalf of plaintiffs in a lawsuit whose defendants included LAUSD.

Why Is Ted Mitchell’s Nonprofit Pushing Vergara v. California?


Ted Mitchell — Another part of its agenda may be to gut the seniority rights and other job protections enjoyed by public school teachers.

Are Schools Violating the American With Disabilities Act Every Time a Kid Goes to Court?


American With Disabilities Act — Naming a child’s case as “difficult” does not release school officials from their responsibilities.

How California’s Growing Income Gap Affects Our Schools


Income Gap Affects Schools — Long Beach Unified will spend around $9,000. Money isn’t everything, but an adequate amount is necessary.

The Walmartization of Higher Education


Poorly Paid Adjunct Professors — The sneaky cut in hours means that these poorly-paid professors will also suffer a pay cut.

How to Integrate Social-Emotional Learning into Common Core

teacher student

Social-Emotional Learning — I found the Common Core Standards provide an excellent excuse for the teaching of social-emotional skills.

Ivan Illich’s Toe


Ivan Illich’s dragon was the monopoly of the schools of education that gave poor people the illusion that schooling was the answer.

Believe It or Not, There’s Something Exciting in the Governor’s Budget Proposal


Emergency Repair Program — Gov. Brownthat the state finally take a step forward by including $188.1 million for the ERP in his budget.

What’s at Stake in Privatizing Education?


Privatizing Education — Evidence unambiguously supports the idea that the corporate culture in all its forms is antithetic to education.

Pentagon Data on Student Testing Program Rife with Errors and Contradictions


Student Testing Program — We’re witnessing the institutionalization of a direct informational pipeline to the Military Entrance Processing Command.

Socialism, Liberty, and Government and Corporate Power


Socialism and Liberty — In the US today, policies that are egalitarian in intent often become the opposite in implementation.

Cultivating the “Entrepreneurial Spirit” at America’s Largest University


State University of New York — The university’s new mission became evident when Andrew Cuomo began calling for a dramatic “culture shift”.

Standing Up for Children and for Freedom of Speech


Freedom of Speech — Never has intimidation and the suppression of free speech become so epidemic in school districts throughout the nation.

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