The Making of an Education Catastrophe

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Mark Naison: Here’s how a college professor whose field is African American history discovered that public schools and public school teachers were under attack and decided to step forward in defense of both.

Ready for Less Academics?

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Walter Brasch: Fewer people know the names of the recent Nobel laureates than the starting quarterbacks for Division I college teams. To find out why, I went to Green Valley College.

Virtual Schools: Cyber Pie in the Sky?

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Gary Cohn: The virtual schools are gaming the system. They get [public] funding based on the number of students they get in the door. Then many of these students struggle and fail and leave.

Urban School Closings

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Mark Naison: More than 3,000 people will lose their jobs as a result of the latest round of School Closings in Philadelphia, more than 80 percent of them Black

Child Labors

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Claude Fischer: Many a parent wonders today whether the weight of schooling, para-schooling, and scheduled enrichments are just too high a burden on children. Perhaps they are.

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

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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