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.

How to Confront a Candidate

confronting candidates

Bruce Reilly: The key to getting your issue on the map is to ask the candidate in public, with voters and media in the room. Even if you are creating your own media, the key is to get them “on the record.”

Occupy Oakland Takes Wrong Turn

occupy oakland flag

Randy Shaw: For all of its claims to represent the true democratic spirit of the 99%, it seems that once Occupy Oakland decides to close down a public facility or seize a public asset, that’s all the democracy it needs.

A “Peace Dividend?” Not Likely

obama-flight-deck

Joseph Palermo: Despite the redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq, during this dismal period of “austerity” the public isn’t likely to see any discernible difference in the government’s misplaced priorities.

Occupy Movement at the Crossroads

occupy oakland financial planner

Randy Shaw: Successful movements must be flexible enough to change tactics in the face of roadblocks, and activists’ camping in public spaces is not strategically necessary for the Occupy movement’s success.

The Public Banking Option: The German Model

BANK OF NORTH DAKOTA

Ellen Brown: Publicly-owned banks were instrumental in funding Germany’s “economic miracle” after the devastation of World War II. Although the German public banks have been targeted in the last decade for takedown by their private competitors, the model remains a viable alternative to the private profiteering being protested on Wall Street today.

Jobs: A Grand Bargain

obama phoning

Brent Budowsky: Great presidents know the difference between empty public gimmicks and game-changing public policy. They demand creative ideas, not mediocrity or defeatism, from those who advise them.

Rejoice, FCC Kills Fairness Doctrine

fairness doctrine

Sue Wilson: The final nail has been pounded into the coffin of the Fairness Doctrine. But there is much to celebrate. Wednesday’s FCC ruling shows the agency clearly understands that broadcasters do have an obligation to “serve the public interest.”

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.

The Death of Public Service

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Steve Hochstadt: Republican governors across the country argue that teachers and police and all the other employees of local and state governments make much too much money.

A Fair for What’s Fair

Madelyn Broadus

Diane Lefer: I get it now: When public education works, it’s transformative of the individual and of society. Maybe that’s why it’s under attack.

Why We Should Trade Broccoli and Asparagus for Hot Dogs and Apple Pie

apple pie

Robert Reich: The requirement that everyone purchase health insurance, or pay a fine doesn’t appeal to many Americans. They don’t like the government telling them they have to buy something. But the healthcare system can’t work without this mandate. Only if everyone buys insurance can insurers afford to cover people with preexisting conditions, or pay the costs of catastrophic diseases.

The Shameful Attack on Public Employees

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., with Memphis sanitation workers.

Robert Reich: Public servants are convenient scapegoats. Republicans would rather deflect attention from corporate executive pay that continues to rise as corporate profits soar, even as corporations refuse to hire more workers.

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.

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.

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