Ndindi Kitonga, Lilia Monzo, Ramona Rivera, and Kevin B. Anderson: The massive and partially victorious LA teachers’ strike showed a new teacher militancy, widespread community participation especially in Latinx neighborhoods, and new issues brought to the fore by this historic confrontation between labor and the power structure — Editors
Is the US system of public education in crisis? Many say the answer to that question is no. But almost all agree that we have two systems of public education in the United States - one based principally, though not entirely, in the suburbs and another that is based principally in poorer urban and rural areas. One is, unarguably in crisis. The other is not. These articles discuss the root causes and possible solutions.
Peter Laarman: On cost and on relative performance, less than half of charter school kids actually do better academically than children served by regular schools.
Sara Roos: She understands what underlies esoteric funding schemes and shortfalls. She comprehends what drives and motivates teachers and students and communities. And Unions.
Sara Roos: The call for many years now in addressing problems with the Charter School system has been to call for a “CAP” on charter authorizations. Not on charters
Eileen Hatrick and Rocio Rivas: The power of people — persistent, informed, diverse, undiscouraged, led by grassroots Democrats like us — earned a victory in giving the residents of District 5 the chance to regain an honest and trustworthy representative on the school board of the second biggest district in the nation.
Eric A. Gordon: Members of the public, and the teachers themselves, had to ask why it took a painful, costly strike affecting 600,000 students and their families, to achieve what might have been won by bargaining any time over the 20 months since the expiration of the last contract.
Rebecca Gross: Community involvement among parents, students, and UTLA allies made much more possible this round of negotiations, all with students in mind. This is a victory for UTLA, but also for unions and collective bargaining everywhere.
Sara Roos: This is Resistance writ huge. This is our women’s march, the march of our teachers. Our teachers are leading the way and giving We the People a voice here in LaLaLand.
Sikivu Hutchinson: A recent study on Black student achievement found that Black students who had just one Black teacher by third grade were 13% more likely to go to college. Those who had two Black teachers were 32% more likely.
Steven Singer: This week as 30,000 teachers at Los Angeles Unified School District walked out demanding support for their students and their professions, a few slimy worms have crossed the picket line to keep some of the district’s 900 schools open.
Eric A. Gordon: Teachers did not walk alone: They had parents there and lots of their students and members of the community, all willing to get a little wet to support the cause of public education in America.
Rebecca Gross: Teachers on the picket line emphasized that more than anything, the strike is more about educational quality for students than it is about anything else.
Sara Roos: There’s a lot that is confusing about the layout of this strike. For one thing, public employees are set against public servants. That leaves the public stuck in the middle: Us.