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    “There is a campaign under way to essentially destroy the public education system along with every aspect of human life and attitudes and thought that involve social solidarity. It’s being done in all sorts of ways. One is simply by underfunding. So, if you can make the public schools really rotten, people will look for an alternative. Any service that’s going to be privatized, the first thing you do is make it malfunction so people can say, “We want to get rid of it. It’s not running. Let’s give it to Lockheed.” — Noam Chomsky, The Progressive Magazine, September 1999, p.37
  • Quotation

    “To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism, and religious dogmas.” - Brock Chisholm, Director UN World Health Organization (1948-53).

Union officials work with Obama administration to crush Detroit teacher protests

DetroitFearing a continuation of the “sick out” protests by teachers that shut down nearly the entire Detroit Public Schools system last week, the interim president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers sent out an email yesterday to DFT members urging them to stop further resistance.

Angered over the long years of DFT collusion with the attack on public education, rank-and-file teachers took matters into their own hands and organized the job actions independently of the union. Defying state threats of fines and decertification, the teachers used social media to expose deplorable school conditions and demand the restoration of wages and benefits given away by the DFT.

Read More…

Democrats and unions scramble to contain Detroit teacher protests

DetroitThree straight days of “sick outs” led to the shutdown of 93 of the district’s 97 schools. Teachers used social media to expose the intolerable conditions in their decaying schools and to demand increased staffing and resources to lower class sizes, address chronic poverty among schoolchildren and recoup years of lost wages and benefits negotiated by the DFT.

Within leading corporate and political circles there was fear the spreading protests and open defiance by teachers of the union and legislators’ threats of fines and dismissal could become the catalyst for a far broader movement of the working class. Detroit has been the epicenter for the attacks on the working class, including the 2013-14 bankruptcy when both parties, with the full support of the unions, looted city worker pensions and public assets on behalf of Wall Street bondholders. In nearby Flint social anger is at a boiling point over the lead poisoning of the water supply—by the very same emergency manager overseeing the Detroit schools—and late last year thousands of autoworkers engaged in a near rebellion against the pro-company contracts pushed through by the United Auto Workers.

Every section of the political establishment—from Republican Governor Rick Snyder and the Republican-controlled state legislature, to the Democrats, including Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, city and state officials, all the way up to President Obama—are hostile to the teachers’ demands. All of them defend the “right” of the banks, wealthy bondholders, and for-profit education businesses to decimate public education and teachers’ living standards.

After recovering from their initial shock, the enemies of teachers regrouped and began a counter-assault last week.

Read More…

Detroit teachers determined to continue fight

“We are not happy with the union. We finally acted independently”

DetroitLast week, teachers conducted three straight days of “sick out” protests that forced the closure of 92 of the district’s 97 schools.

Rank-and-file teachers organized the job actions independently of the Detroit Federation of Teachers to demand the removal of the state-appointed emergency manager and adequate staffing and resources to repair decaying school buildings, lower class sizes and provide social services to children facing chronically high levels of poverty. Teachers also insisted on the return of wage givebacks negotiated by the DFT and the protection of their health and pension benefits.

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The Detroit teachers’ fight to defend public education

DetroitOn Monday, hundreds of teachers took part in a coordinated “sickout” that closed two-thirds of the district’s 97 schools. On Tuesday, 24 schools were closed. The job actions have been organized independently of the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT), which has long collaborated in the bipartisan attack on teachers and the public schools.   Read More…

Thousands of Greek students protest educational reforms

Athens-protest

Thousands of Greek students and teachers have taken to the streets of the capital, Athens, to protest the government’s planned reforms to the education system.  Read More…

State authorities revoke labor contract for 15,000 Philadelphia teachers

u_turn_1In a meeting held virtually without any public notice and no public testimony, the five-member School Reform Commission overseeing the Philadelphia public school system in the US state of Pennsylvania voted unanimously Monday morning to revoke a labor agreement covering 15,000 teachers.

The move, which has the backing of the Republican-controlled state government in Harrisburg and the local Democratic Party establishment in Philadelphia, clears the way for authorities to unilaterally impose deep health care cuts for current and retired instructors and accelerate the dismantling of public education in the nation’s 14th largest school district.

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California court ruling signals nationwide attack on teacher tenure, seniority rights

int_lawA Los Angeles, California court ruled Tuesday that teacher tenure, seniority and other basic rights are unconstitutional. The ruling was immediately hailed by the Obama administration as a precedent for the entire country.

The ruling declares unconstitutional five California statutes, some in existence for over a hundred years. The laws guarantee the democratic right of teachers to a fair dismissal process and to job security. They also require that when budget cuts mandate teacher layoffs, the most recently hired teachers are the first to be cut. The judge placed a temporary stay on the ruling pending appeal.

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New York state unions file phony lawsuits against teacher evaluations

magnifyBy Jason Melanovski, WSWS

The Rochester Teachers Association (RTA) has filed a class-action lawsuit against the New York State Education Department for failing to take into account the severe poverty in which many Rochester students live when evaluating teachers for their students’ performance on standardized tests.

The suit was filed in the state’s Supreme Court in Albany on behalf of approximately 100 city of Rochester teachers. Following current pay-for-performance education rules, New York state teachers are evaluated by the state as part of the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR). The APPR, currently in its first year, bases 40 percent of its teacher ratings on how well students perform on state standardized English and math tests.

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¡No Pasarán! Thousands march in Madrid against education austerity cuts

Teachers’ strike affects 10,000 schools

teacher-strike

Teachers across England and Wales will begin a national strike today, leaving thousands of schools facing disruption and closure in fierce row over pay, pensions and teaching conditions.

The strike, led by the National Union of Teachers, will cause disruptions to some 10,000 schools during the one-day walkout.

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The Secret History of Western Education: The Scientific Destruction of Minds – Charlotte Iserbyt

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezTIYd5UFRY

Seven Days that Shook Chicago: The 2012 Chicago Teachers Strike

(by Peter Brogan) — On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly to suspend their first strike in 25 years, begun on the previous Monday, September 10 at 12:01 am. Many commentators from both left alternative publications and in the corporate press have observed that in an era of austerity when seemingly no unions in the United States – and I would add Canada – are fighting back against layoffs, budget cuts, wage freezes and the like, the CTU has stood up to a city government that was seeking massive concessions. Many of these concessions, from merit pay and teacher evaluations based on standardized tests, have been central to the dismantling of public education that has been advanced by political and economic elites like the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Walton Foundation under the guise of “education reform.” As CTU president Karen Lewis noted on more than one occasion, this strike was part of a wider battle over the soul of public education. I would add that it has also been a testing ground for an alternative strategy, movement oriented strategy for the North American labour movement.

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Related:

The Crisis of Education in America: “How to Become a Serf”

A society in which people exist for the sake of companies is a society enslaved

by John Kozy

Educational systems now train workers to fulfill the needs of companies. A society in which people exist for the sake of companies is a society enslaved. But there’s a deep problem with the notion that education should equal vocational training. To paraphrase a very famous and renowned person, man does not live by work alone. Indeed, the knowledge and skills needed to earn a living in a capitalist industrial economy are of little use in human relationships, and human relationships are the core of everyone’s life. Schools devoted to vocational training provide no venue for teaching cultural differences, for trying to understand the person who lives next door or in another country. Value systems are never evaluated; alternatives are never considered. As a result, although we all live on the same planet, we do not live together. At best, we only live side by side. At worst, we live to kill each other. Education as vocational training reduces everything to ideology, our devotion to which causes us to reject the stark reality that stares us in the face, because our ideologies color the realities we see and people never get wiser than those of previous generations. People have become nothing but the monkeys of hurdy gurdy grinders, tethered to grinders’ organs with tin cups in hands to be filled for the benefit of the grinders. And this is the species we refer to as sapient. What a delusion!

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Brutal repression in Honduras targets teachers, popular resistance

Weeks of demonstrations continue against de-facto regime and its plans to privatize public education.

DAVID DOUGHERTY: On Wednesday, March 30, the Honduran popular resistance called for a general strike and public works stoppage while attempting to occupy universities, schools, and major thoroughfares following several weeks of mobilizations. The de facto regime of Honduran President Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo has stepped up violent police and military confrontations against demonstrators across the country in recent weeks. Today, several universities were among the various areas targeted by the regime’s military and police forces.

Source

American education system

American Dream-US Students Lagging in Global Test Scores

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

National actions to defend public education in America

Last fall, California sparked a movement that has grown drastically over the past year. Much energy went toward building March 4th 2010, National Day of Action to Defend Education, which as a resounding success in the struggle to defend public education. Thousands organized and participated in the events of that day which took place in 32 states.  Major actions took place throughout California, but also in Milwaukee, New York City, Illinois, and Baltimore with hundreds of actions planned nationwide. University of Puerto Rico students capped off a two-month strike with a victory receiving many concessions from administration.

What is clear is that this fight is not over. The lines are drawn. As working families struggle to recover from the crisis, access to education is diminishing as cuts continue to come. California activists have proposed October 7th as the next Day of Action. Internationally, activists are focusing on October and November as crucial moments in the struggle to fight back against neoliberalism and defend education rights. We, the below signed organizations and individuals, call on students, teachers, faculty, staff, workers, and parents to unite together and Defend Public Education this fall.

Read More…

Wake Up Call

Film by Alex Jones

This eye-opening film should be watched by all adults.
Parts 12 – 14 specifically relate to our children, their education, and their future.
 
 

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 

Thousands of teachers to be laid off – What economic recovery?

Thousands of teachers are about to lose jobs in many states. To manage massive budget deficits, severak layoff notices were sent out to 22,000 teachers in California, 17,000 in Illinois, and 15,000 in New York. The numbers are expected only to increase in the coming months.

US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan indicated that between 100,000 and 300,000 public education positions in the US are in danger of being terminated. The American Association of School Administrators found in a study that 90 percent of school superintendents plan to cut jobs in the next fall. In addition, please be informed that the mass layoffs have the blessings of Obama administration.  Read More…

Districts warn of deeper teacher cuts

School districts around the country, forced to resort to drastic money-saving measures, are warning hundreds of thousands of teachers that their jobs may be eliminated in June.

The districts have no choice, they say, because their usual sources of revenue — state money and local property taxes — have been hit hard by the recession. In addition, federal stimulus money earmarked for education has been mostly used up this year.  Read More…

Comment: Perhaps, we should close some military bases abroad, stop our wars of conquest, and reverse our imperial policies – or stop aid to developed countries like Israel, before we dump the education of our children. A country in which there is no money for teachers but more than enough money for soldiers, policemen and propaganda is a totalitarian country.

Massive Miami-Dade Teacher Skip Day

(Miami, Aril 12, 2010) – They’ve taken to the streets and they’ve written Governor Crist, but Monday teachers across South Florida plan to send their strongest message yet to state lawmakers concerning Senate Bill 6 when they organize a massive “sick-out.”

Many Miami-Dade classrooms were teacher-less as educators hope to quash the controversial teacher merit-pay bill, passed last week in the Florida House. One out of every four teachers called in sick today, leaving the county scrambling to find substitutes or put some administration to work. /…/

The bill everyone is upset over, will give teachers pay raises based on student performance on standardized tests. Bad evaluations could cost teachers their certifications. It passed around 2:30 a.m. Friday by a 64-55 vote.  Read More…