Category: Education

Members of the Professional Staff Congress should vote no on the proposed agreement with City University of NY

Editor’s note: Members of the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), the union representing professional staff and faculty at City University of New York (CUNY), are voting on a proposed agreement, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)  with CUNY.   The argument to endorse . . .

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In support of the Professional Staff Congress/City University of NY tentative agreement: Vote yes

Editor’s note: Members of the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), the union representing professional staff and faculty at City University of New York (CUNY), are voting on a proposed agreement, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)  with CUNY.   In this piece,  Steve . . .

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UK University Workers Set for Strike Action

Members of the University and College Union (UCU), the national union for academic staff in the UK, are set to strike at 60 universities for eight days between 25 November and 4 December 2019. This follows a highly successful pair . . .

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Parents’ huge stake in the Chicago Teachers Union strike

A harsh reality of teachers’ strikes is that they hit parents – moms especially, who still do most of the work of caring for kids and housework – the hardest. Parents are left frantically searching for childcare options, especially if . . .

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Education Workers in Chicago Are Challenging the U.S. Ruling Class

Though the media is casting the strike of education workers in the Chicago Public Schools as (just) another episode in the wave of teachers’ strikes, and the press in Chicago is doing its best to defeat the union, this contract . . .

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From Classroom to Underclass

Scott McLemee reviews Gary Roth’s The Educated Underclass: Students and Social Mobility.

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Learning from the “Red State” Walkouts

Red State Revolt is based on Eric Blanc’s “on the ground” reporting for Jacobin on the 2018 walkouts of education workers in Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Arizona. He aims to tell the stories of the walkouts . . .

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Cryonics Phonics: Inequality’s Little Helper

Why are we still teaching reading the wrong way?” Why are “more than 60 percent of American fourth-graders not proficient readers?” asked Emily Hanford, an American Public Media correspondent, in the New York Times (October 26, 2018) and on public . . .

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The Road to Prison Abolition: A Practical Solution

Seemingly overnight, politicians are tripping over themselves as they clamor for prison reform in a climate where cases of police murder and prison abuses have drawn thousands in protests onto the streets. Today, few would doubt that America’s criminal justice . . .

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More on the Oakland Teachers’ Strike

Editor’s note: This article responds to analysis New Politics has already published on the Oakland teachers’ strike. In hosting different viewpoints on the strike, New Politics continues its tradition of opening its pages (and now its website) to debates about . . .

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Oakland teachers’ strike: Balance sheet, lessons, and what next?

Jack Gerson, retired Oakland teacher and former executive board and bargaining team member, analyzes what occurred and why in the Oakland teachers’ strike.

LA Strike: Self-Mobilization of Workers and Communities

In January 2019, a massive strike of over 30,000 public school teachers stunned the Los Angeles power structure when it received massive, almost unanimous public support, especially in the city’s large Latinx and Black communities.  Latinx students now make up . . .

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Why New York City’s teachers should vote “no” on the proposed contract – By Dan Lupkin

ImageNote: While teachers in Los Angeles Unified School District have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, members of the largest teachers union local in the US, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) in New York City, are debating a proposed contract settlement. In this guest blog, UFT activist Dan Lupkin explains why he wants the proposed contract to be voted down. We invite other opinions on this debate underway in the UFT. – Lois Weiner

Liberal fear about teaching a "people's history": Sam Wineburg on Howard Zinn

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The Zinn Education Project has published a fine response to an article based on Sam Wineburg’s book, “Howard Zinn’s Anti-Textbook.”

Clever Corporate Criticism of U.S. Schools – by Gerald Coles

ImageNote: In this guest blog, Gerald Coles, known for his work in literacy education and disabilities, describes capitalism's love/hate relationship with public education.

Return of the Strike: The Teachers Rebellion in the United States: A Forum

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A Forum on the Teachers Rebellion in the United States with Tithi Bhattacharya, Eric Blanc, Kate Doyle Griffiths, Lois Weiner. Edited and introduced by Jeffery R. Webber

Few anticipated a labour upsurge in the United States in early 2018, and fewer still expected a blaze to ignite among teachers in West Virginia, or for it to spread to Oklahoma, Arizona, Kentucky, and Colorado. Ellen David Friedman poses one of the questions which immediately springs to mind: “why is this stunning revolt occurring where unions are weak, where labor rights are thin, and where popular politics are considered to be on the Right?”[1]

Walkouts Teach U.S. Labor a New Grammar for Struggle

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Like the Arab Spring, the U.S. “Education Spring” was an explosive wave of protests. Statewide teacher walkouts seemed to arise out of nowhere, organized through Facebook groups, with demands for increased school funding and political voice for teachers. Though the walkouts confounded national media outlets, which had little idea how to explain or report on the movements, for parent and teacher activists who have been organizing against reforms in public education over the past four decades, the protests were understandable, if unexpected. What was surprising was their breadth of support (statewide), their organizing strategy (Facebook), and their breathtakingly rapid spread.

The AFT, Janus, and the fall of the Berlin Wall

Reflections on AFT's national convention

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Reflecting on the days I spent as a delegate during the AFT national convention in Pittsburgh (held July 13-16), I was reminded of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Soviet Communism in 1989-90. No one predicted it, and it seemed to come out of nowhere. But peace activists in the West who organized international support for struggles of dissidents in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe saw the social ferment.

Walkouts teach U.S. labor a new grammar for struggle

This article will appear in the Summer 2018 issue of New Politics.         

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The Red State Walkouts

An analysis - and homage - to the work of teachers

 ImageWhen I write for New Politics, I tag my blogs with key words. I wonder how many other Left publications include "teachers unions" under "labor" or include "education" as a separate topic and run critical analyses—as we do?

Teacher walkouts in Oklahoma and Kentucky challenge GOP legislatures

Kentucky school districts shut todayTeachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky massed in their respective state capitols on April 2, to demand GOP legislatures revoke  bills damaging to education passed in virtual stealth. The spark plug in Kentucky is a group of activist parents with teachers, #SaveOurSchools Kentucky.  In both states the movement has been organized outside the official teachers unions, using social media as well as traditional organizing techniques of talking with colleagues and neighbors about the issues. Another struggle of teachers is simmering, near boil, in Arizona.

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