|Michael Hirsch November 19, 2013|
Growing Income Disparities ‘Danger to System,’ says Former Clinton Labor Secretary
(A mixed review of Robert Reich’s documentary ‘Inequality for All’)
|Lois Weiner November 13, 2013|
The teacher activist blogosphere has been buzzing about the perfidy of the AFT’s and NEA’s endorsements of teacher evaluation tied to students’ standardized test scores and a new national curriculum, the Common Core. Both policies are key to the neoliberal dream of a national, privatized system of public education that will synchronize educational outcomes with an economic reality of growing joblessness and underemployment. (I know these are strong claims and I refer readers who want further verification and explanation to my analyses in New Politics and book.)
|Lois Weiner November 6, 2013|
It was clear from the start that teachers had an uphill battle explaining why NJ Governor Christie’s educational policies, his vicious bashing of teachers, were harmful to kids and the state. One of the most serious obstacles is that media are captive to neoliberal propagandists. Conveying a different message requires concentrated, savvy use of social media.
|Michael Hirsch November 1, 2013|
Review of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013
This American life is a mess, argues George Packer in The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America. It’s a nation fraying, with core institutions from government and finance to housing, jobs and education dysfunctional or “unwound.”
|Lois Weiner October 30, 2013|
Bill Keller’s op/ed piece in the NY Times about the mediocrity in teacher education deserved a political rebuttal that responses in the “letters” section didn’t provide. My letter, rejected, slipped in my doctoral work at Harvard and my book on urban teaching, which in the past has allowed my radical critique to pass as credible.
|Lois Weiner October 23, 2013|
One of the most deceptive aspects of neoliberal reforms in education is that destructive policies often contain one element that is seductive for progressives who care about inequality in schools. When the Dems and Republicans rewrote federal aid to K-12 schools in No Child Left Behind (NCLB) many liberal researchers were dazzled by the legislation’s requirement that schools and states report data on student achievement broken down (disaggregated) by race.
|Lois Weiner October 16, 2013|
When I speak to teachers and education activists about my research, I am often told that the vast, well-organized project I describe could not exist without our knowing about it and that what I am describing sounds like a conspiracy. No, it’s not a conspiracy because conspiracies are, by definition, secret.
|Lois Weiner October 9, 2013|
Welcome news: The strike last week of England’s two largest unions was highly successful, gaining strong favorable publicity on social media and rallies. (Mea culpa: I was corrected by a Scottish comrade about my use of “UK” - Scotland has an independent government and educational system. Wales didn’t strike because its government nudged a bit on contract issues).
|Lois Weiner September 30, 2013|
Both teachers unions and headline-writers seem to agree that the NUT (National Union of Teachers) and NASUWT (National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers) joint strikes that start Tuesday 1 October are over pay and pensions. They’re wrong.
|Lois Weiner September 29, 2013|
UK teacher Rob Price explains in this FB post why we should care about and support the upcoming joint strikes of the country’s two biggest teachers unions. (My post tomorrow will discuss why this is a strike over much more than pay and pensions.) You can tweet messages of support to @nutonline with the hashtag #teacherroar.
|Dan La Botz September 26, 2013|
In the six months since Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an Argentine cardinal, became Pope Francis, it has become clear—particularly from his recent interview—that he is a reformer who intends to turn the Catholic Church away from some of the rightwing attitudes and elitist style of his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI.
|Dan La Botz September 25, 2013|
Since school began again on August 19, tens of thousands of teachers have been engaged in strikes and demonstrations throughout Mexico—including seizing public buildings, highway toll booths, and border crossing stations, occupying public buildings and city plazas, and blocking foreign embassies—actions taken against the Education Reform Law and the new Professional Teaching Law and over local demands linked to wages and working conditions. While these are traditional tactics, these are the largest and most militant teachers’ union demonstrations in Mexican history.
|Lois Weiner September 25, 2013|
During the war in Vietnam, I heard Frank Bardacke (honored recently for his wonderful book on union democracy in the Farmworkers), give a short speech at a rally laying out how all three national TV networks and major newspapers had carried exactly the same analysis of a battle.
|Barry Finger September 24, 2013|
That is the affirmative conclusion one might reasonably come to by listening to the Democrats and their MSNBC and Nation magazine echo chambers. Far right monies bundled together by conservative “social welfare” groups are said to be defying a hapless public powerless to thwart the House Republicans from exercising veto power over the budget process, in their effort to impose more austerity and defund the Affordable Care Act.
|Jason Schulman September 23, 2013|
The death of Marshall Berman—City University of New York political theory professor, author of books including the seminal All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity, Dissent editorial board member, and one-time professor of mine—caught me quite by surprise, as I’m sure it did many. I’d last seen him in person at a Dissent holiday party and last talked to him on the phone some months ago. Alth