Columbia University Says It Won’t Bargain With Graduate Student Union

ELIZABETH A. HARRIS, The New York Times, JAN. 30, 2018   Columbia University announced on Tuesday that it would not bargain with its graduate students who voted to unionize more than a year ago. The case will now wind its way to a federal appeals court. In addition to studying, graduate students do much of the teaching of undergraduates at many universities, and the question of whether they can unionize has seesawed back and forth for years. The National Labor Relations Board established the right during the Clinton administration in a case that involved graduate students from New York University. A few years later, that Read More …

Republicans Stuff Education Bill With Conservative Social Agenda

NEMONA HARTOCOLLIS, The New York Times, FEB. 1, 2018   Religious colleges would be able to bar openly same-sex relationships without fear of repercussions. Religious student groups could block people who do not share their faith from becoming members. Controversial speakers would have more leverage when they want to appear at colleges. A 590-page higher-education bill working its way through Congress is a wish list for a wide range of people, groups and colleges saying that their First Amendment rights — freedom of speech, religion or assembly — are being trampled. Many of them are religious, right-leaning or both, and the Republicans behind the bill Read More …

What Students Are Taught About Slavery

Jacob Sugarman, February 3, 2018, Alternet Just eight percent of American high school seniors can identify the cause of the Civil War; less than a third (32 percent) know which amendment abolished slavery in the U.S.; and fewer than half (46 percent) know that the “Middle Passage” refers to the harrowing voyage across the Atlantic undertaken by Africans kidnapped for the slave trade. These are only a few of the more unnerving findings from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project, which concludes that in classrooms across the country, the subject of slavery is as mistaught as it is misunderstood. Drawing Read More …

In a Historic First, the Chicago Teachers Union and Charter School Teachers Have Joined Forces

Jeff Schuhrke, February 1, 2018, In These Times With the approval of a historic union merger, teachers in Chicago are positioning themselves to mount a greater challenge to privatization and austerity. On Monday, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) announced that its members had voted in favor of amalgamating with the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff (ChiACTS), which, since 2009, has organized about 1,000 educators at over 30 charter school campuses. While cooperation between unionized educators at charters and district schools in the United States is common, this is the first known case in which teachers from both types Read More …

We Must Cancel Everyone’s Student Debt, for the Economy’s Sake

Eric Levitz, February 9, 2018, New York Magazine Late last year, congressional Republicans passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut, which delivered the lion’s share of its benefits to the wealthy and corporations. The GOP did not justify this policy on the grounds that all corporate shareholders and trust-fund hipsters deserved to have their wealth increased. Rather, the party argued that, however one felt about making the rich richer, the tax cuts would ultimately benefit allAmericans by increasing economic growth and lowering unemployment. But what if we could have achieved those objectives, at roughly the same price, by forgoing tax cuts — and wiping Read More …

Vermont Teachers Say They Feel ‘Attacked’ by Policymakers

Tiffany Danitz Pache, February 7, 2018, VTDigger There are nearly 7,000 teachers in Vermont, 75 percent of whom are women. Nearly 90 percent of paraprofessionals in Vermont schools are women. And a majority of those surveyed recently don’t like what comes out of Montpelier. The results of the survey, which was commissioned by the Vermont NEA and conducted by Rebecca Kolins Givan and Pamela Whitefield, researchers at the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations, are to be released Thursday. Titled “Women’s Work? Voices of Vermont Educators,” the Rutgers report paints a picture of a workforce that is predominantly Read More …

It’s Time to Pay the Tab for America’s College Athletes

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, January 9, 2018, The Guardian In Thailand, bony little boys as young as nine and 10 are thrown into the boxing ring to punch each other into bloody submission while parents, relatives and other screaming adults bet on the outcome. Youth sports or child abuse? While most Americans feel outrage and revulsion at the idea, as a culture we are just as willing to toss our college-age kids into the gladiatorial arena to risk life and limb while we snack, guzzle and wager on the outcome. All while compensating the young athletes who are at risk with – Read More …

Connecticut Supreme Court Overturns Sweeping Education Ruling

ELIZABETH A. HARRISJAN. 18, 2018 It was a 12-year legal battle that began as a challenge to Connecticut’s education funding system and came to touch on issues ranging from graduation requirements to teacher evaluations. On Wednesday, it reached its likely conclusion when the State Supreme Court said Connecticut was fulfilling its constitutional obligation to its public school students. States across the country have faced legal challenges about how they spend money in schools and whether they spend enough on poor students, but this case, Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell, took a remarkable turn in 2016 when Read More …

Student Debt Slavery II: Time to Level the Playing Field

Ellen Brown, January 5, 2018, The Web of Debt Blog “Students should not be asked to pay more on their debt than they can afford,” said Donald Trump on the presidential campaign trail in October 2016. “And the debt should not be an albatross around their necks for the rest of their lives.” But as Matt Taibbi points out in a December 15 article, a number of proposed federal changes will make it harder, not easier, for students to escape their debts, including wiping out some existing income-based repayment plans, harsher terms for graduate student loans, ending a program to Read More …

Guides for Fighting the Targeted Harassment of Faculty

What do you do if you or a fellow faculty member on your campus is subject to targeted online harassment? In the current political climate, this has become everyday reality in higher education, and the AAUP has developed some resources to help guide you and your colleagues when these situations do arise. All of the resources can be found on our One Faculty, One Resistance site. We’ve created a one-page guide to help you prepare to respond to cases of targeted harassment. By actively engaging with your administration to plan for cases of targeted harassment on campus and ensuring that Read More …