Driving Out Our Best Teachers

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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

Why Teachers Must Become Community Organizers and Justice Fighters

occupy lausd

Mark Naison: Teacher Activists must put forth a vision of Radical Democracy which envisions an education which empowers students as critical thinkers and agents of historical change, not just as obedient test takers and which envisions schools playing a central role in neighborhoods united and mobilized to get a fair share of the nation’s resources.

Bringing Teach for America Back to Its Roots

Mark Naison: It behooves us, as progressive organizers and justice fighters, to keep the lines of communication open to people in these organizations, and be there to work with them if they join us in resistance to policies that concentrate economic sacrifice amongst America’s poor.

LAUSD, Charters, and Insanity

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Leonard Isenberg: Ex-LA Mayor Richard Riordan, who is now chairman of the board of cash-strapped ICEF Public Schools, is now in the process of trying to get his board to vote control of the charter’s 15 schools over to Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, another large, local charter-school group.

Charter Schools Fall Short

Cynthia Liu: A national law regulating charter school management would reduce confusion and not allow individual schools to hide behind gaps in oversight if the parent management organization operates across several states.

The Attack on American Education

Robert Reich: Over the long term, the only way we’re going to raise wages, grow the economy, and improve American competitiveness is by investing in our people — especially their educations.

In Defense of Public School Teachers

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.

Billionaires Unite! (Against Public Education and Teachers)

teacher and student

Shamus Cooke: If the teachers’ unions combined with other public sector unions, parent associations, and the community at large to demand fully funded public education by taxing the rich, the billionaires would find themselves without allies. Their money might then be put towards something useful.

Are Teachers and Democrats Headed for Divorce?

Randi Weingarten

Shamus Cooke: The Democrats continue on the road to corporate-inspired charter schools, using the tried and true method of “stronger teacher evaluations” to undermine “underperforming” schools and teachers — thus opening the door wide to private charter schools with their non-union workforce.

The Otherworldly Attack on Public Education

arne duncan

Carl Bloice: Why is it that the richest, most powerful nation on the planet, one that produces more and more billionaires each year and can spend one million dollars each on the soldiers it sends off to war, can’t afford to educate its kids? It remains a mystery to me that an administration that can spend millions of dollars to bribe states into facilitating its quite controversial school “reform” programs can’t come up with the resources to stave off the pending mass layoffs of teachers.