Randy Shaw: Just as Governor Walker is making headlines by attacking a liberal institution in a traditionally liberal state (you would not likely see nationwide protests over attacks on workers in Alabama or Georgia), school administrators in progressive cities like Santa Cruz and Santa Monica are also attacking progressive student activism.
Joseph Palermo: With the aggressive onslaught aimed at public employees and their unions that Republican governors have unleashed in recent weeks, it’s long past time for politicians calling themselves “Democrats” to push aside the anti-labor elements inside their party and stand up for basic worker protections.
Lee Fang: Dozens of these for-profit schools systematically defraud their students by showing them fake job placement rates, providing false claims about the types of jobs they can attain, misrepresenting that their credits will transfer to state universities, and giving false promises that students do not have to pay back their loans.
Tracy Emblem: California taxpayers should carefully consider the cost-benefit analysis, because when we cut public funding for these institutions, we cut our state’s economic advantage and future prosperity.
Yolie Flores: If we truly are committed to an equal education for all children, we must leave behind old and entrenched political agendas and policies and embrace the truths that every child deserves a great teacher and that great teachers must be cultivated, supported, fairly but properly evaluated, and more justly compensated.
Randy Shaw: Unfortunately, the media’s excessive and irrational devotion to school chiefs as saviors for the nation’s schools ignores the reality that no school chief, can overcome inadequate school funding by running schools like corporate turnaround specialists, and fetishizing their importance distracts from schools’ real needs. Education seems to be the only field where rising to the top requires no experience. Careers spent in the profit-driven corporate world are now identified as the best backgrounds for public school leadership.
Lilian Taiz: It is tragic for all of us to have university leaders who think it’s good enough to follow the path of least resistance. In the change from fees to “tuition,” CSU leaders send a defeatist message that, oh well, there’s no money, too bad, we’ll let elected leaders off the hook and manage by shifting the cost to the students and their families.
Mark Naison: In a country with one of the highest rates of poverty in the industrialized world, with almost no social safety net to help struggling families, our teachers have to create a positive learning atmosphere in classrooms filled with young people under stress.
Bob Letcher: In the few weeks since President Obama so emphatically linked his education program to his effort to revive the US political economy, the President has not been pressed to detail either the substance of his education program or his procedure for winning support from a public that is increasingly cynical, skeptical, frightened, and angry.
Rev. Irene Monroe: A mind is a terribly thing to waste. But for conservatives and Tea Party activists who want to indoctrinate our kids rather than to educate them, a mind is a terrible thing to have. Now with far-right activists like Glen Beck pushing for more Jesus and less Darwin — working to reshape the academic landscape in schools, colleges and universities across the country — we will soon know without having to wonder “Why Johnny Can’t Think Critically.”
Yolie Flores: Because ratings based on a single measure cannot determine the effectiveness of a teacher, LAUSD is endeavoring to use several different methodologies to more effectively evaluate our teachers. We share the sense of urgency with the multitudes who have voiced qualified support of a more professional and data-informed culture of teacher and leader performance reviews.
Sikivu Hutchinson: The value-added sham won’t help parents and communities of color struggling to achieve educational equity for youth who have already been intuitively assigned a jail cell by a public school culture marching in lockstep with the teach to the test ethos.
Joseph Palermo: Any institution that calls itself a “university” yet tells its enrollment officers to “burrow” down deep into the “pain” of its students with the aim of hooking them into government-subsidized debt to rake in the profits not only doesn’t deserve to be accredited, but should be barred from having any access to federal student aid programs.