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Trump’s first full education budget: Deep cuts to public school programs in pursuit of school choice

By Emma Brown, Valerie Strauss and Danielle Douglas-Gabriel By Emma Brown, Valerie Strauss and Danielle Douglas-Gabriel Education May 17 Funding for college work-study programs would be cut in half, public-service loan forgiveness would end and hundreds of millions of dollars that public schools could use for mental health, advanced coursework and other services would vanish under a Trump administration plan to cut $10.6 billion from federal education initiatives, according to budget documents obtained by The Washington Post. The administration would channel part of the savings into its top priority: school choice. It seeks to spend about $400 million to expand charter Read More …

William Joiner Institute Writer’s Workshop

30th Annual Writers’ Workshop Festival and Celebration – June 26th – June 30th 2017 Applications are still open for the 2017 William Joiner Institute’s 30th Annual Writers’ Workshop Festival. Study with award winning poets and writers and participate in a writer’s community like no other! Writers with diverse interests and backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Space is limited, apply today! This year’s Writers’ Workshop Festival will celebrate 30 years of community and creative responses to war and continue our tradition of focusing on the intersections of writing, war, social justice, and peace making. Workshop faculty include Vietnam and Iraq veterans Read More …

Hundreds Protest Cuts at Stony Brook University

In New York, hundreds of students and faculty at Stony Brook University held sit-ins and demonstrations Wednesday to protest proposed $1.5 million budget cuts to the Humanities and Language departments. The cuts would particularly affect the Hispanic languages and cultural studies. Gabriel Rudas: “My name is Gabriel Rudas. I’m a graduate student from the Hispanic Languages and Literature Department. We came here to protest against the irrational cuts Professor Sacha Kopp is doing against our department. We stand for the high quality of the research and for diversity, and we think that these cuts are a discriminatory measure taken against Read More …

Education Sec. Betsy DeVos Graduation Speech Met by Boos at Historically Black College

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was repeatedly booed and heckled Wednesday when she addressed graduating seniors at Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black college in Florida. Many students turned their backs on DeVos. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos: “Dr. Jackson, Board of Trustees, thank you so very, very much for this great honor and privilege. I am honored to become a Wildcat. And it’s a real honor and privilege to be with you as we celebrate the Bethune-Cookman University Class of 2017.” As the booing of Betsy DeVos grew louder, school President Edison Jackson interrupted her commencement address to issue a warning to Read More …

Why Yale Graduate Students Are on a Hunger Strike

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Two weeks ago, Yale graduate student teachers began a hunger strike to pressure the school to negotiate with their union. Eight committed to fasting, planning only to stop if a doctor says their health is at risk of permanent damage. If a student has to stop fasting, another union member takes his or her spot. Four of the students have had nothing but water for 14 days. The measures these graduate student teachers are taking are dramatic. But their cause — a fight for decent, secure wages and comprehensive benefits — has implications for the entire Read More …

11 Ways Chicago Is The Beating Heart Of The Disastrous Charter School Agenda

By Steven Rosenfeld / AlterNet Chicago’s political elite have fallen under the spell of the charter industry’s billionaire sponsors—and the results spell disaster for K-12 education. Chicago’s public school system has become a showcase for the negative effects of K-12 privatization, according to a new report that tracks how the city replaced struggling local schools with dozens of charters that didn’t perform better, yet deprived traditional schools of funds, students and public accountability. The report, “Closed by Choice: The Spatial Relationship between Charter School Expansion, School Closures and Fiscal Stress in Chicago Public Schools,” tracks 108 charter schools that opened Read More …

Academics Can Change the World – If They Stop Talking Only to Their Peers

Savo Heleta March 8, 2017 via The Conversation Research and creative thinking can change the world. This means that academics have enormous power. But, as academics Asit Biswas and Julian Kirchherr have warned, the overwhelming majority are not shaping today’s public debates. Instead, their work is largely sitting in academic journals that are read almost exclusively by their peers. Biswas and Kirchherr estimate that an average journal article is “read completely by no more than ten people”. They write: Up to 1.5 million peer-reviewed articles are published annually. However, many are ignored even within scientific communities – 82% of articles Read More …

Record Numbers Of Teachers At Chicago Charter Schools Are Organizing Unions

It’s a delicious irony for teachers unions that Rauner College Prep—a Chicago charter school named after Bruce Rauner, Illinois’ virulently anti-union governor—may soon have a union. On March 3, the Chicago Association of Charter Teachers and Staff (ACTS) announced an organizing drive at the Noble Network of Charter Schools, which has 18 campuses across Chicago, including Rauner College Prep. If the campaign is successful, Noble will become the nation’s largest unionized charter network. The addition of Noble’s 800 teachers and staff to its ranks would also give ACTS, a local of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), an impressive density Read More …

Argentina’s Teachers Strike, with Fate of Country’s Workers in Balance

For five weeks teachers in Argentina have been on strike almost continuously, using the days they do go to school to explain to students and parents the reasons for their conflict with the national government. Today, they’re joined by the rest of the country’s workers, in the first general strike under President Mauricio Macri. Strikers are protesting a wave of pro-corporate reforms including subsidy cuts that have led to massive increases in utility bills, exacerbating the country’s growing poverty rate. Teachers, among Macri’s top targets for attack, have been at the forefront of the mobilizations leading up to the general Read More …

Bernie Sanders Just Introduced His Free College Tuition Plan

by George Zornick via The Nation President Donald Trump doesn’t appear willing nor interested in addressing astronomical student-debt levels, which long since crested above $1 trillion. In fact, his administration has made it easier for for-profit colleges to rip off students, and recently scrapped Obama-era regulations that limited rates loan-guarantee agencies can charge people who defaulted on student loans. His budget also proposed cutting $5 billion in higher-education funding for low-income Americans. Perhaps that’s not surprising from a president who just finalized a $25 million settlement stemming from his scam for-profit university. That’s a financial tragedy for the millions who hold Read More …