Privatization Of Public Education: This Changes Everything

Supporters of public education and the Overpass Light Brigade pack a school board meeting against privatization (Photo credit: Joe Brusky).

By Staff of Education Alchemy – I recently read Naomi Klein’s new book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate. I was struck by how many similarities there were between the struggle to abate massive climate disaster and the current fight for public education. I think this is a good analogy because like climate change, education “reform” (aka privatization) is everywhere and nowhere. While the issues are clearly related to human and civil rights, there are no lunch counters to sit at, no visible or tangible signs of du-jure segregation.

Did One Connecticut Judge Just Change Conversation About Education Inequality?

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By Jennifer Alexander for The Hechinger Report – In that one short statement, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher delivered a harsh rebuke to anyone who has forgotten that simple truth. His ruling reminded all of us that our state has a constitutional obligation to fulfill a right of the highest importance: a great public education. In a court ruling that was mainly about how much we should be spending on education, Judge Moukawsher went deeper into the issue because money alone cannot and will not solve our persistent educational shortcomings.

Pondiscio Exposes Split In Ed Reform Camps Over Role Of Race

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By John Thompson for Living In Dialogue – Although I wouldn’t spend too much time eavesdropping on the civil war between liberal and conservative reformers, it is fun to periodically check it out. The first of the loudest shots in their internecine conflict was issued by Fordham’s Robert Pondiscio in the aptly titled post “The Left’s Drive to Push Conservatives Out of Education Reform.” He condemned “social justice warriors” who “no longer feel any compunction about accusing their conservative brethren of racism and worse.”

Where Has All The Money For Our Schools Gone?

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By Scott Klinger for Other Worlds – State and local governments give away at least $70 billion a year to business subsidies, most of it in foregone tax revenue. Local property taxes are the most significant tax most corporations pay. In most communities, they’re also the backbone of local school finance. So when subsidies slash corporate property taxes, our schools often get hurt the most. In Chicago, for example, we already have a glimpse into the unsavory relationship between tax subsidies and school finance.

“COMMON” Goal: Corporate Ownership Of Public Education…Part II

A Zapatista mural in the town of San Pedro Polhó illustrates ideas about education. Photo by Dario Ribelo on Flickr

By Staff of Educational ALchemy – Lamar Alexander and Patti Murray didn’t write the new Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Business Roundtable did. They crafted their own draft called “Principles for Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.” Let me break this down for you. By now, those of us who are fighting for public schools are pretty aware of how the Common Core standards were crafted behind the scenes by corporate interests (via ALEC and The Business Roundtable [BRT]).

'Common' Goal: Corporate Ownership Of Education

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By Morna McDermott for Educational Alchemy. Lamar Alexander and Patti Murray didn’t (really) write the new Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Business Roundtable (BRT) did. See the BRT resounding endorsement for ESSA here. Ok, they didn’t write it in the literal sense. Kind of like ALEC only writes “model”legislation. or maybe as they say it in their own words: “Thanks to the efforts of our CEO members and partners in the civil rights community who worked with leaders in Congress, the new law is consistent with the principles Business Roundtable released and promoted while the legislation was being developed.” Or let me share the Business Roundtable “Principles for Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act” guiding principles. Pretty much ESSA in a nut shell.

Common Core And Corporate Colonization: The Big Picture

Students look for their classrooms on the opening day of instruction at the Westchester Secondary Charter school. (Los Angeles Times / September 3, 2013)

By Staff of Educational Alchemy – I said it over three years ago and I’ll say it again. Common Core was, and is, an agenda crafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). It was never about “communism,” or “socialism.” It was the state and federal governments serving as the delivery boys for the privatization of public education at the hands of global corporate interests (think: Trans Pacific Partnership and UNESCO).

The Global Campaign For Peace Education

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By Staff of CPNN – The Global Campaign for Peace Education seeks to foster a culture of peace in communities around the world. It has two goals: First, to build public awareness and political support for the introduction of peace education into all spheres of education, including non-formal education, in all schools throughout the world. Second, to promote the education of all teachers to teach for peace.

In Philadelphia, Progressive Education Organizers Fight ‘Disaster Capitalism’

The battle over public education is, in large part, a battle over labor, and there’s no better illustration of that than Philadelphia. (Molly Knefel)

By Molly Knefel for In These Times – This week, Democrats descended upon the city of Philadelphia, attempting to present themselves as simultaneously progressive enough to be the party of racial, gender, and economic justice, but conservative enough to be welcoming to Republicans turned off by Donald Trump. In a succinct illustration of some of the contradictions at play during the Democratic National Convention, vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, the former governor of a Right-to-Work state, spoke proudly of his dad running a union shop.

Nation’s Largest Teachers Union Endorses Teaching “Climate Justice”

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By Staff of The Zinn Education Project – In May, the Portland, Oregon school board passed the country’s first comprehensive “climate justice” resolution. The school board voted unanimously to “abandon the use of any adopted text material that is found to express doubt about the severity of the climate crisis or its root in human activities,” and called for all schools to teach a “climate justice” curriculum. The Portland resolution said that students in city schools “should develop confidence and passion when it comes to making a positive difference in society

Duopoly Parties Fall Short On Universal, Democratic Education

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By Jeff Bryant for Education Opportunity Network. Although education policy has not been a prominent issue in the current presidential race, the Democratic Party’s platform gives the subject some of its just due with a fairly extensive treatment. In the current draft, which will be finalized on June 8 and 9, there are numerous mentions of education and a special section with over 1,000 words devoted to the topic. Many are saying this platform “may be most progressive platform the Democratic Party may have ever had.” But is it progressive on education? Let’s weigh the evidence. First let’s examine how the Democratic Party platform differs from what’s proposed in the Republican Party’s platform.

Save Our Schools: See You in DC July 8-9!

A Zapatista mural in the town of San Pedro Polhó illustrates ideas about education. Photo by Dario Ribelo on Flickr

By Anthony Cody for Living In Dialogue – One week from today, on Friday, July 8, I will join thousands of activists from around the nation at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, to once again raise our voices for meaningful changes in our schools at a protest organized by the Save Our Schools Coalition. We will hear from Reverend Barber, from Diane Ravitch, Jonathan Kozol, Tanaisa Brown, Barbara Madeloni, Jtiu Brown and many more.

The Edible “U” Campus Gardens

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By Sarah Lappe for Utah Stories. Salt Lake City, UT – Just beyond of the University of Utah’s President’s Circle, tucked between buildings and walkways, you will find one of the Edible Campus Gardens. This beautiful garden has long brown garden beds speckled with a variety of young, green plants. As you walk between the beds, you will find kale, onions, garlic, and tomatoes, and for a moment you forget you are on an urban campus. There are two garden locations on campus. The first and oldest garden is located at the Sill Center for undergraduate research, which was started in 1996 by Professor Fred Montague, who is also known for his handwritten and drawn book entitled, Gardening: An Ecological Approach. The second and larger garden site is located just east of Pioneer Memorial Theatre and was established in 2002.

After Police Attack, Barricades Reappear In Oaxaca

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By Scott Campbell for El Enemigo Común – Teachers in Mexico have been on strike since May 15, demanding, among other things, an end to the neoliberal educational reforms being pushed forward by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. For a roundup of events during the first 15 days of the strike, see the most recent Insumisión column. While things have been tense in Oaxaca, with Governor Gabino Cué announcing that he had hundreds of police ready to remove any teachers encampment or blockade, there have been no big confrontations until tonight.

Is Funding Transparency Enough To Prevent Billionaire Influence

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By Anthony Cody for Living in Dialogue – Here is where we stand with the revived controversy over the Los Angeles Times’ 2010 “investigation” into teacher effectiveness. In 2009, Teachers College, which sponsors The Hechinger Report, received a grant from the Gates Foundation in the amount of $652,493 in order “to support the development of high quality education coverage in the nation’s leading newspapers and magazines.”