America’s War on Teachers

striking teachers

Mark Naison: One question we must ask is why this campaign has acquired such strong bipartisan support and why the public has not spoken out more against it.

Turning the Tide: An Historian’s View of School Reform

high school principal

Mark Naison: Over time, people of courage and integrity will turn the tide and begin to restore sanity to educational discourse and develop a powerful alliance of teachers, parents and students, supported first by the Occupy movement, and later by unions, religious organizations and progressive politicians.

From Ghetto to Graduate Studies

read to fly

Alvaro Huerta: Too often, corporate-minded outsiders who never experienced poverty or attended overcrowded public schools preach to inner-city Latinos and African Americans about working hard, making the right choices and being accountable for their actions as the sole means to upward mobility.

LAUSD’s John Deasy Disses Parent Group

superintendant john deasy

Leonard Isenberg: What LAUSD has done is to front an alternative group called Parents as Equal Partners that it believes it can control, while arbitrarily and without legal authority disbanding DAC without even minimal guarantees of due process of law.

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.

No Money to Fix Public Education

russlyn ali

Leonard Isenberg: Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali tried the impossible task of trying to reconcile her optimism with her equally honest assessment that there was not only no money to fix public education, but even less in the future.

Anti-Teacher Union “Reformers” Hoisted on Own Petard

michelle rhee

Randy Shaw: After years of teachers union bashing and corporate-led school “reform” efforts, anti-public school forces are now on the defensive. And the main reason is that the statistical measurements do not support their arguments, and even show a pattern of falsification.

Profiteering and Union-Busting Repackaged as School Reform

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David Love: But the larger picture here is that corporate education reform is big business. And the rightwing, plutocratic agenda – of school privatization, government austerity measures and deunionization – clashes with the needs of poor, working class, and disproportionately black and brown public school students.

Racism in K-12 Public Schools

school classroom

Jessie Daniels: The clever, sinister thing about institutional racism in education is that it operates relentlessly on its own, like a machine, even when people of good will want it to operate differently.

Keeping Public Schools Public

Jamaica High School

Craig Williams: As progressives, we should also argue that educators need more funding just to deal with the increased poverty created in large part by the private sector.

Charter Schools Are Missing in Action

croweded classroom

Mark Naison: Both directly and indirectly, Charter Schools send the message that all that is of value exists outside of your community, brought in by missionary teachers and administrators.

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.

All LAUSD Students Deserve Equality of Education

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.

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.

Fetishizing School Chiefs Hurts Kids

Cathleen Black, with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (left) and outgoing Schools Chancellor Joel Klein.

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.

Ferial Masry: Surprised Political Legend

Ferial Masry and Barbara Boxer

Wendy Block: This Election Day, Masry hopes to make that scenario real by beating Jeff Gorell for the open seat in California’s 37th Assembly District (Ventura/LA County). If she wins, her victory will also be a victory for millions of people half a world away.

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