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.

California’s Public Higher Education Must Be Protected

uc roverside

Joseph Palermo: I have been astonished to see how fast and careless some baby-boomer administrators and ambitious faculty members can be when aggressively pushing “reforms” that would virtually gut the university system their parents’ generation built.

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 [...]

Bank Lending Frenzy Left Borrowers Buried in Student Debt

student debt

Marian Wang: Some banks and lenders played fast and loose with student loans, aggressively marketing them to borrowers who couldn’t afford that amount of debt

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

urban school children

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.

Open Versus Closed Education

henan

Steve Hochstadt: The goal of a liberal arts education is not mainly the accumulation of knowledge, but an understanding of how knowledge is created and the ability to create new knowledge by oneself.

On the Occasion of My Retirement as a Teacher in Urban America

Teacher Teaching Blackboard Chalk

Retired teacher, Caitlin Casement, speaks out about conditions in and out of the classroom that make it almost impossible for urban students to succeed.

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.

Battle Corporate Schools Locally to Win Nationally

talking

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

Romney Fumbles Public Education Opportunity

tutoring mitt

Unai Montes-Irueste: Romney is at a serious disadvantage when it comes to “devil in the details” discussions about education policy, especially in areas of overlap with President Obama’s policies on immigration,

Picking Next Cal State Chancellor Right

humboldt state

Lillian Taiz: We urge the CSU Trustees to adopt the more inclusive and transparent process like the one being undertaken by the Community College System.

Los Angeles Teachers: A Solomon’s Choice

cap and gown

Vivian Rothstein: By refusing to raise property, we’ve left it to the teachers to volunteer for the sacrifices the rest of us are not willing to make for the welfare of our state’s public school children.

Splitting Hairs in a Multi-Cultural School

blue streak

Walter Brasch: Students can only have “natural hair color.” They can dye their hair honey blonde or raven, and highlights and lowlights in female hair are also acceptable. But a blue streak? No way.

Founding Wisdom

jefferson mount rushmore

Nick Capo: According to Jefferson, freedom and liberty rely on the existence of an educated citizenry, one difficult to manipulate, while economic growth relies on the continued advancement of human knowledge.

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.‎

Preparing All Los Angeles High School Students for California’s Public Universities

lizette

Maria Brenes: Before the A-G Resolution, only one out of 12 students who graduated from Eastside high school had completed the A-G courses, preparing them for California’s public universities.

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.

Closing the Academic Achievement Gap Without Jailing Parents

kelley williams bolar

Unai Montes-Irueste: Students are not only condemned to life sentences of educational inequity, their caregivers are jailed for breaking them out of underperforming schools.

High School Students Protesting Corporate Education Reform

bronx high school

Mark Naison: It is one thing to subject yourself to prison-like conditions and militarized discipline if the result is escape from poverty and a ticket to the good life. But what if neither of those result from all this sacrifice?

Jamming Too Slow on Student Loans

fallon obama

Andy Love: While Democrats are merely trying to maintain the status quo, they should be building the groundwork for more progressive reforms to help students, such as 0% loans and/or free tuition as public colleges.

Student Loan Borrowers Dazed and Confused by Servicer Shuffle

rising tuition

Marian Wang: The Department of Education has been transferring large batches of federal student loans to new loan-servicing companies — leaving in the lurch some borrowers who are suddenly encountering problems with their loans.

Police, Student Protesters, and Pepper Spray

pepper spray

Tom Hayden: Unless meaningful action is taken immediately against relentless tuition hikes and the warnings of the Reynoso report, the university will continue disappearing down the path of policing to protect its privatizing.

Beware the Education–Industrial Complex

ike

Alan Singer: The Gates-Broad-Walton triumvirate support a range of what they champion as educational “reform,” but their primary interest in each case is to undermine the system of public education by promoting market-based initiatives based on competition, privatization, high-stakes testing, and anti-union activities such as campaigns for “merit pay.”

Education Reformers and “The New Jim Crow”

school hallway

Mark Naison: Current school reform policies represent a brilliant tactic to avoid dealing with the real causes of poverty and inequality in society, while finding a convenient scapegoat in public school teachers and their unions.

How Do We Improve Public Schools?

plunging education

Elizabeth Walters: I believe that the education that can be received in public schools is the heart of the American dream.I believe that instead of starving those schools, we should work to improve them.

How Civil Rights Law Demonizes Teachers

teacher student

Mark Naison: The notion that “School Reform is the Civil Rights Cause of the 21st Century” has become a cruel joke to teachers and students who find themselves deluged with unnecessary tests and placed under intolerable stress in the name of educational equity.

Public School Reform Won’t Solve Income Inequality

income inequality

Mark Naison: We can do a lot more to promote racial and economic equality through programs of progressive taxation, promotion of unionization in low wage enterprises, and efforts to uproot discrimination in the labor market.

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