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What’s At Stake in Privatizing Education

Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer

Forms of Privatization in Public Education The idea that government can’t do anything right has been trumpeted by the right wing for decades, particularly by its recently deceased leader Milton Friedman, a former economist at the University of Chicago. He campaigned to reduce government functions to a minimum while letting private enterprise step in and […]

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The New York Times Gets an ‘F’ on Education Policy

Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer

A recent New York Times editorial took a moment out to lecture mayor-elect of New York City Bill de Blasio on how he should treat teachers and their unions. We hope he doesn’t listen. The editorial began by endorsing a pay raise for New York City teachers, but insisted that “any sort of raise will require […]

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Tearing Down the Ivory Tower: a Defense of Vocational Education

Tearing Down the Ivory Tower: a Defense of Vocational Education
Arthur Posey

In 2012, Diane Ravitch wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal that highlighted the many ways in which the over-emphasis on standardized testing has created a crisis in the education system. According to Ravitch, one of the many problems with the No Child Left Behind Act is that since “the law demanded progress only […]

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A Curious New York Times Article on Teacher Evaluations

Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer

A recent New York Times article, “Curious Grade For Teachers: Nearly All Pass,” finds incredulous the idea that, “In Florida, 97 percent of teachers were deemed effective or highly effective in the most recent evaluations.” The author goes on to cite similar percentages in other states and concludes: “The teachers might be rated all above […]

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We Need to Pass the Oil Extraction Tax to Fund Education (Prop. 1522)

Workers Action

“Our response to this economic war on the people is to ensure that public education be supported by a stable, rational and democratic system of taxation and we believe a good way to accomplish that is to pass the Oil Extraction Tax To Fund Education (Prop 1522), which would impose a 15% tax on the extraction of oil and gas: finite resources that belong to the people. That tax would generate $3 to $3.5 billion a year for the 9-10 million students in K-12, Community Colleges, CSU and UC. California is the only major oil-producing state that has no oil extraction tax. Even Texas and Alaska have an oil extraction tax.”

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Billionaires Unite! (Against Public Education and Teachers)

Shamus Cooke

In less than a week two billionaires have joined the anti-teacher “Billionaires Club”: a group of ultra-wealthy individuals hell-bent on destroying public education and teachers’ unions. The newest members of the club are Oprah Winfrey and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg.Winfrey has used her show — twice in one week — as a platform against public […]

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Both Parties Attack Public Employees

Shamus Cooke

States everywhere across the United States are facing the common enemy of extreme budget deficits. Many states have deficits in the multi-billion dollar realm, as the budget crises dominate the debates for the upcoming gubernatorial elections. In these debates, Republican and Democratic candidates are finding it difficult to disagree on the most essential issues around the budget […]

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Teachers and Democrats Head for Divorce

Shamus Cooke

It’s best to quickly recognize the red flags in any failing relationship. This way, ties can be severed rather than allow things to linger forever in dysfunction. For Democrats and teachers’ unions, the writing is on the wall. The two are simply going in opposite directions.  The Democrats continue on the road to corporate-inspired charter schools, using […]

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The Rift Between Teachers and Democrats Widens

Shamus Cooke

The corporate media is brutally honest on rare occasions. Take for example a recent article in The New York Times Magazine, titled The Teachers’ Union’s Last Stand. The title itself is surprisingly sincere, since it admits that the nation’s teachers are being targeted for attack by the Obama Administration, through his “Race to the Top” […]

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In Defense of Student Activists

Bill Leumer

In December 2009, eleven student activists at San Francisco State University (SFSU) occupied the business building on campus, preventing classes from being held for one day. Such occupations have occurred on other campuses, including U.C. Berkeley and U.C. Santa Cruz, as a result of students protesting cuts to public education throughout the state of California […]

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Arne Duncan and Corruption at the Top

Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer

A recent New York Times article (March 23, 2010) — discreetly tucked in the back pages of the newspaper — reported that Arne Duncan, Obama’s Secretary of Education, kept a confidential log of names of the rich and powerful who were trying to take advantage of their political connections to get their children admitted into Chicago’s best […]

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Dueling Strategies in the Defense of Public Education Part II

Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer

In Part I of this essay we looked at strategies in defense of public education that are referred to as “ultra-left,” meaning that they veer so far left that they sever ties with the working class and consequently lose all traction when it comes to influencing the movement. Here we will examine strategies that veer to the […]

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Dueling Strategies in the Defense of Public Education Part I

Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer

The massive turnout across the state of California on March 4 in defense of public education provides indisputable evidence that this movement is just at the beginning stage. And much credit is due to the countless number of students, staff, and teachers who committed many, many hours of their time, tirelessly organizing for March 4; […]

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The Way Forward for the Movement in Defense of Public Education

Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer

On March 4, students, staff, teachers, faculty and their unions on all levels of public education created history by uniting and pouring out onto the streets to engage in what were overwhelmingly peaceful demonstrations to defend public education. The movement swept through small towns and large cities with demonstrators, including young elementary school students, carrying […]

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The Fight to Save Public Education

Shamus Cooke

March 4 was historic. It will be remembered as the day that people began to fight back against the destruction of public education. The student and teacher led offensive took place in cities across the country; teachers, students and school workers demonstrated and marched, showcasing the aggressive methods of the struggle. San Francisco led the […]

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Democrats versus Public Education

Shamus Cooke

Public education in the United States is under heavy attack. And because a so-called “progressive” President is leading the charge, many education activists have been lulled to sleep while on lookout duty. Obama recently announced his “race to the top” program to “reform” education. Much like Bush’s No Child Left Behind, Obama’s plan represents progress […]

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Capitalism and the Attack on Public Education

Ann Robertson

Ann Robertson During the past several decades, government funding for public education on all levels has declined and in some cases plummeted, leaving students languishing in overcrowded classrooms housed in dilapidated buildings. An examination into why this is happening offers a glimpse into the ugly mechanisms that fuel capitalism in its onward quest to plunge […]

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