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.
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]).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
By Linda Christensen for the Zinn Education Project. Tulsa, OK – None of my mostly African American 11th graders in Portland had ever heard of the so-called Tulsa Race Riot, even though it stands as one of the most violent episodes of dispossession in U.S. history. The term “race riot” does not adequately describe the events of May 31—June 1, 1921 in Greenwood, a black neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In fact, the term itself implies that both blacks and whites might be equally to blame for the lawlessness and violence. The historical record documents a sustained and murderous assault on black lives and property. This assault was met by a brave but unsuccessful armed defense of their community by some black World War I veterans and others.
By Jennifer C. Berkshire for The Progressive – The student protest outside of Boston City Hall was winding down. Of the 1,000 students who’d walked out of their schools for the second time this spring, about 100 were left, waiting to get inside in hopes of testifying before a City Council committee against proposed school budget cuts. First, though, the students had to pass through a metal detector, a process as inefficient as an airport TSA line. “This is what democracy looks like,” they chanted, a protest staple that for once felt almost true. “The whole world is watching,” they shouted, amplified by the hulking architecture of City Hall.
By Mothers for Justice United. Seattle, Washington – The Matteo Ricci College (MRC) Coalition of Seattle University is standing against racism and oppression felt by students in the Humanities program. The MRC Coalition has presented five demands to University leadership that they feel will improve the undergraduate experience by eliminating racism at the institution. As the sit-in and take over of the Seattle University Casey Building continues, mother and social justice activist Maria Hamilton, joined the students in their protest. Maria Hamilton is the mother of slain Milwaukee man Dontre Hamilton, who was killed by former Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney on April 30, 2014.