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 …

Banning Howard Zinn’s Books Is Hardly a Way to “Start a Conversation”

On March 2, 2017, the Arkansas Times revealed that Republican State Rep. Kim Hendren had introduced a bill intended to outlaw the teaching of “books or any other material authored by or concerning Howard Zinn” in Arkansas public schools. Zinn, a historian who passed away in 2010, is best known for his work, A People’s History of the United States, which tells the American narrative from the perspective of the historically downtrodden, those swept under the rug in the myth of “American exceptionalism.” It is understandable, then, why a politician like Hendren would desire to limit student access to Zinn’s Read More …

Boston-area Education for Social Justice Conference, April 1, 2017

The conference is FREE and OPEN to all. Breakfast and lunch are included. Schedule 8:30-9:00 Breakfast 9:00-10:00 Welcome and Keynote 10:00-11:15 Workshop Session 1 11:20-12:35 Workshop Session 2 12:40-1:40 Lunch & Resource Fair 1:45-3:00 Youth Performances Open Mic Register here:  http://besj.weebly.com/registration.html Click here for more information on our Keynote Speakers and Workshops

Homeschoolers Want Fed Check, No Balance

Most of what’s catching the media’s attention — The Donald’s tweets and buffoonery, his latest failures as a communicator, his nuttiness and his hair — really won’t change our lives. Even his personal racism and xenophobia will fade when he’s gone. But the policies that are taking shape behind the scenes, including the appalling ideas from Congress as they pretend to follow the will of their voters, can change the United States and democracy forever. Way back two weeks ago, this column was concerned about privatizing the prisons. A bad idea, when fatcats can profit by locking up the poor Read More …

How San Francisco Student Activists Made College Free Again

City College of San Francisco will be the first in the nation to offer free tuition to all city residents. BY s.e. smith   “Education is an essential public good. It should be a right and not a privilege.” This fall, San Francisco is set to offer something no other U.S. city does: tuition-free college for all residents, whether they’re low-income immigrants or the children of tech CEOs. On February 6, following months of organizing by students, faculty and labor activists, Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Jane Kim announced a deal that will eliminate tuition at the City College of Read More …

Students for Bernie Find Their Home in Growing Socialist Movements

By Tom Hesse March 17, 2017 Courtesy of Young Democratic Socialists Members of the Young Democratic Socialists gather at the organization’s annual winter conference, in Brooklyn, N.Y. “You could actually watch our membership tick up as the results came in,” one student leader said, describing the election’s effect on the group. For Ajmal Alami, it’s more important “to have workers win a $15 minimum wage than it is to, maybe, change the name of a building to someone else’s name.” “Not that those aren’t campaigns worth going for,” said Mr. Alami, the campus coordinator for the Young Democratic Socialists at Read More …

Native American student removed from class for refusing to pledge allegiance to flag

This I think is an impressive young woman who for many of her own reasons and as a member of the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation refused to be coerced into a pledge that she fundamentally disagrees with by a rather strident nationalist teacher. “After I said I was not going to participate, my teacher raised her voice and said she refused to educate ungodly and unpatriotic students,” said Fields. “She was angry and told me that I needed to take an online course to better understand why I needed to participate.” Fields continued, “After I refused to pledge to the flag, my teacher Read More …