Stairway to Whiteness: Waiting for Sputnik

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Rudy Acuña: My reading of history tells me that American exceptionalism does not respond to reason; it does not respond to facts or appeals to the common good. So I am resigned to wait for the next Sputnik or for an implosion.

The War Against Black Children

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Sikivu Hutchinson: Coming from backgrounds of abuse, incarceration, foster care and homelessness, these youth are already written off as budding welfare queens and baby mamas.

Public Universities Ramp Up Aid for the Wealthy, Leaving the Poor Behind

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Marian Wang: Shauniqua Epps was accepted to three public colleges, but none gave her any aid. Increasingly, public universities have been shifting their aid away from the poor, leaving students like Epps with few options.

Michelle Rhee Comes to Los Angeles: City Shrugs

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Cynthia Liu: As a Californian (since 1990), as an Angeleno (since roughly 2001), and as the parent of a public school-attending fourth grader, I’m hard pressed to think of a single thing on Rhee’s agenda that speaks to me as a parent or would appeal to teachers.

Restorative Justice in Los Angeles Schools

Restorative Justice LA Schools

Diane Lefer: Full implementation of restorative justice will take years but LAUSD hopes to be a model for the nation in creating an educational climate in which students feel like valued members of the school community – open to learning academic subjects and life lessons in a way that is nurturing, respectful, and humane.

Football Back at CSUN: “Say It Ain’t So, Dianne”

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Rudy Acuña: Football is a costly proposition, and I doubt whether the state will pay for the construction of a stadium at a time when it is cutting corners by withholding food stamps from the poor.

Teaching Is Relationship Building: Something School Reformers Often Forget

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Mark Naison: If you rotate teachers in and out of schools at a dizzying rate and create pressures that drive them out of the profession after a few years, you will destroy the relationship building component that is at the heart of great teaching.

On Test Scores and Poverty

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Mark Naison: The wealthy send their children to private schools with few tests and a huge emphasis on the arts; the poor and the rapidly shrinking middle class send their children to stripped-down test factories with beaten down and demoralized teachers.

What Education Activists Can Learn From Vietnam War Protesters

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Mark Naison: If you think something is crazy and wrong, and believe that to the core of your being, say so even if no one around you is willing to support you.

Vassar Sends a Message

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Randy Shaw: Thank goodness there are still college presidents like Vassar’s Hill, whose school not only reflects a commitment to socioeconomic diversity, but who is willing to speak the truth on a subject many college presidents refuse to honestly address.

Mitch Daniels, Howard Zinn, and the Politics of History

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Joseph Palermo: Mitch Daniels’s attempt to erase Zinn from the Indiana curriculum unveils him as an anti-intellectual who is clueless about the discipline of History as well as the historical profession.

Could an iPad Replace LAUSD Superintendent Deasy?

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David Lyell: LAUSD also continues to seem to be targeting teachers for dismissal who are at or near vesting accrual of life-time health benefits, and employees who have been accused and cleared of wrongdoing are rarely returned to the classroom—all under the guise of protecting students.

Why Charter Schools Are Tearing Public Campuses Apart

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Gary Cohn: Critics contend that co-locating siphons key resources from the already-underfunded traditional public schools, depriving students of playground space, library time and other resources.

Chicano Studies: Held in Trust

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Rodolfo F. Acuña: My fear is that over the years both faculty and students have lost the sense that they owe the past and are holding Chicana/o studies in trust for future generations.

When Education Is a Business

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Lawrence Wittner: The sharply reduced government funding for public universities, the replacement of full-time faculty with low-wage, rootless adjuncts, the rapid development of mass, online courses for academic credit, and the increasingly pervasive corporate presence on campus all indicate more concern for the business-defined bottom line than for intellectual growth.

Why Are College Presidents Treated Like Wall Street CEOs?

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Randy Shaw: As young people graduate college facing crushing debt, college presidents, even in public schools like the University of California, are living high on the hog.

Congratulations First in the Family Humanist Scholars!

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Sikivu Hutchinson: Black Skeptics Los Angeles spearheaded its First in the Family Humanist Scholarship initiative, which focuses on providing resources to undocumented, foster care, homeless and LGBTQ youth who will be the first in their families to go to college.

Elizabeth Warren’s QE for Students: Populist Demagoguery or Economic Breakthrough?

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Ellen Brown: Warren and her co-sponsor John Tierney propose that students be allowed to borrow directly from the government at the same rate that banks get from the Federal Reserve — 0.75 percent.

Fighting for Our Classrooms — And for the Human Beings Inside Them

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RJ Eskow: The Wall Street crowd wants us to think of education in terms of means — which usually means finding ways to spend less — rather than ends. But when it comes to education, the “ends” are our children.

Corporate Welfare or Education?

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Lawrence Wittner: United University Professions (UUP), the union that represents 35,000 faculty and other professional staff on SUNY campuses, has been disturbed for years by the state government’s abandonment of its legal commitment to fund public higher education.

Closing Public Schools to Build Luxury Housing

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Mark Naison – Approximately 1/6 of all apartments in this city are used as “pied at terres” (part time residences) for wealthy people from other countries and we want to close public schools to give them more.

How to Reduce Violence after School Closures

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Vicki Zakrzewski: Planned school closings have been met with angry protests from teachers and parents who argue that the closures will force students to cross dangerous gang lines on their way to school.

How Walmart Can REALLY Help Our Schools: Pay Living Wages

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Peter Dreier: The Waltons could end to the company’s longstanding practice of keeping its employees in poverty, with low wages, poor benefits, and unpredictable schedules that make parenting even harder than it already is.

LA Community Colleges Need to Provide Green Training

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Nancy Pearlman: As the job market becomes more competitive, the community colleges in Southern California need to revamp their vocational and avocational courses to prepare students for the twenty-first century and to reeducate workers in modern green technology jobs.

At Universities, Too, the Rich Grow Richer

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Lawrence Wittner: Although many Americans believe their universities are places where administrators and faculty members coexist on a fairly equal basis, the reality is that this is far from the case.

Mentors, Not Tests, Move Young People Out of Poverty

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Mark Naison: Virtually everyone I interviewed who was able to move from a working class childhood to professional status had someone invest large amounts of time and energy in expanding their “cultural capital” by building their self confidence as well as their skills.

When Teachers Are Valued

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James Rhodes: In Hanoi, university staff are poorly paid, yet theirs is a lasting bond among nation, family, individual, university and teacher.

Figthing for the Life of Public Education

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Mark Naison: As I watch the teaching profession be destroyed before my eyes, through bi-partisan initiatives that are difficult to fight, I am filled with anger. I hate what is going on, and will fight it with every ounce of my energy, but as a historian, I am hardly surprised.

Pendejo Politics: When You’re Stupid, You’re Stupid

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Rudy Acuña: What can you expect of an educational system where, according to a 2012 Gallup Poll, 46 percent, of Americans believe in creationism?

Race to the Top Redistributes Income to the Top

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Mark Naison: Race to the Top redistributes income and not in a good way. Why has this ambitious education reform effort become an economic engine in reverse for poor and working class families.

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