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D.C. Charter Schools Get First Union

Kate McGee June 16, 2017 WAMU Teachers at Cesar Chavez Prep will be the first teachers at a charter school in the District to unionize. Teachers at Cesar Chavez Prep will be the first teachers at a charter school in the District to unionize., Farragutful, Wikimedia Middle school teachers at a charter school in Columbia Heights have voted to unionize, forming the first collective bargaining unit at a charter school in the district. The teachers at Cesar Chavez Prep Middle School voted 31-2 in favor of joining the American Federation of Teachers. “We’re excited for the opportunity to work alongside Read More …

Maurice Cunningham: Dark Money Combines to Privatize Public Schools

The Diane Ravitch blog, June 21, 2017 Maurice Cunningham, a professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, began investigating the millions of dollars pouring into the state during the referendum on charter schools last fall. He wondered why so many billionaires from other states wanted to expand the number of charter schools in Massachusetts. He continued his investigation after the election and has lifted the curtain on groups like Families for Excellent Schools, Stand for Children, and Educators4Excellence, and Leadership for Educational Excellence (a group connected to TFA). He began researching the intersection between philanthropy and dark money. Read More …

Pummeled by Student Debt, Let’s Fight for Education as a Public Good

By David Palumbo-Liu, Truthout | Op-Ed Forbes recently reported that there are more than 44 million borrowers with a combined $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, and the average student in the Class of 2016 owes $37,172 in student loans. Given the enormity of these figures, we now find more and more talk about “forgiving” student loans. In October, on the heels of Bernie Sanders’ vigorous primary campaign to make college tuition-free and debt-free, even Donald Trump opined: “Students should not be asked to pay more on the debt than they can afford … And the debt should not be Read More …

Puerto Rico: Students Vote to End Strike, Classes Slated to Resume June 12

Students at the University of Puerto Rico have voted to end their two-month-long strike, which was protesting the defunding of public education and the imposition of widespread austerity amid Puerto Rico’s debt crisis. At midnight, students reopened the gates at the university’s main campus, and classes are slated to resume on June 12.  DemocracyNow, June 6, 2017.

Free Speech on Campus: A Critical Analysis

By Traci Yoder | May 25, 2017 The National Lawyers Guild Drawing connections between arguments used by liberal proponents of free speech and the rhetoric of the alt right, I examine how the free speech and open debate arguments being used today to defend the hateful messages of far right speakers have been established over a long period and need to be explored in the context of rising fascism, white supremacy, and extreme social inequality. Campus protest march against hate speech., Fibonacci Blue from Minnesota, USA , CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons   While Vice-President and former Indiana Read More …

Students Urge End to US-Israel Police Exchanges

Students Urge End to US-Israel Police Exchanges    Nora Barrows-Friedman May 24, 2017 The Electronic Intifada   The movement, spearheaded by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), aims to hold accountable institutions and companies complicit in the Israeli state’s denial of Palestinian rights. The BNC is explicit in its condemnation of all forms of racism and bigotry including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. Students gather on campus at California State University, Long Beach in support of a divestment resolution., Facebook, The student government of California State University, Long Beach passed a resolution earlier this month calling on the administration to pull its Read More …

Don’t Like Betsy DeVos? Blame the Democrats.

The Democratic Party paved the way for the education secretary’s efforts to privatize our public schools. By Diane Ravitch May 23, 2017 Of all the corrupt, unqualified, and extremist characters Donald Trump has tapped to lead his administration, none has generated the tsunami of liberal outrage whipped up by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. And with all due respect to Jeff Sessions, there’s good reason for the backlash: The billionaire Amway heiress from Michigan, who long ago made “school choice” her passion project, is the first education secretary in history to be hostile to the very idea of public education. Prodded Read More …

Philly Teachers Call Off Work In Bottom-Up Campaign

Teachers and their unions turned out for May Day this year in St. Paul, Minneapolis, Oakland, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Seattle. They held teach-ins at schools and pickets outside, and joined citywide demonstrations in solidarity with immigrant communities.   Philadelphia teachers wanted to show solidarity with the day’s themes—but also make a statement to the city about their own contract struggle. They’ve gone four years without a contract and five years without a raise. They’ve suffered school closings, freezes on steps and lanes in the pay scale, layoffs of school nurses and counselors, and the privatization of substitute teachers. Read More …

Don’t Monkey With Education

  Don’t Monkey With Education    Fay-Cooper Cole May 12, 1967 Scientific American   In 1925 a Tennessee teacher of biology named Thomas Scopes was tried for teaching the theory of evolution. An expert witness at the trial relates how evolution lost in court but won in the eyes of the nation.   , ,   May marks the 50th anniversary of the repeal of the infamous “Monkey Law,” which prohibited the teaching of evolution in Tennessee public schools. Adopted in 1925, the law led to the trial of John T. Scopes, a 24-year-old science teacher who was convicted of Read More …

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 …