Education in the US

Detroit schools’ injunction against teachers: An anti-democratic attempt to crush protests

By Eric London, 23 January 2016

DPS is threatening to fire all protesting teachers, encouraging teachers to snoop on each other and employing reactionary legal arguments to attack public education.

The roots of the crisis in Flint and Detroit

By Eric London, 22 January 2016

The catastrophe in Michigan, including the lead poisoning of thousands of residents in Flint, has provoked outrage across the country.

Hearing scheduled to consider injunction against protesting Detroit teachers

By Jerry White, 22 January 2016

While a judge denied an initial request for a temporary injunction, 23 teachers have been ordered to appear on Monday morning to answer accusations that they organized “illegal strikes.”

School authorities seek injunction to halt Detroit teacher protests

By Jerry White, 21 January 2016

Twenty-eight defendants are named in a legal action, which could result in large fines if teachers continue “sick out” protests.

“We are all in this together. This is class warfare”

Video: Detroit teachers speak out in protests during Obama visit

By Jerry White and Buster Haycook, 21 January 2016

Hundreds of teachers shut down the school system in a “sick out” protest Wednesday against decaying buildings, overcrowded classrooms and years of pay and benefit cuts.

Union officials work with Obama administration to crush Detroit teacher protests

By Jerry White, 19 January 2016

The Detroit Federation of Teachers sent out a letter to educators urging them to stop their protests and place their faith in city officials and President Obama.

Democrats and unions scramble to contain Detroit teacher protests

By Nancy Hanover, 18 January 2016

Fearing that the sickouts could trigger a broader rebellion by the working class, the enemies of teachers spent last week trying to quash the movement.

Illinois professor fired for expressing sympathy for Muslims

By Joe Williams, 18 January 2016

Wheaton College has begun termination proceedings against Dr. Larycia Hawkins, a tenured professor who wore a hijab during the Christian Advent period to protest anti-Muslim bigotry.

National union leader tries to corral protesting Detroit teachers

By Jerry White, 15 January 2016

After three straight days of “sick-out” protests, hundreds of determined teachers attended a union meeting Thursday, where officials tried to smother resistance.

Detroit teachers and the political struggle for public education

By Jerry White, 15 January 2016

Rank-and-file teachers have taken their own initiative and acted independently of every faction of the Detroit Federation of Teachers and political establishment in Detroit and Lansing.

As union, Democrats try to smother protests

Detroit teachers issue demands to defend public education

By Jerry White, 14 January 2016

Sickout protests continued Wednesday as the American Federation of Teachers and the city’s Democratic Party establishment sought to corral the protests and end them.

Autoworkers support Detroit teachers’ fight

By our reporters, 14 January 2016

Autoworkers have spoken out in defense of Detroit teachers who have launched a series of sickouts in defense of public education.

The Detroit teachers’ fight to defend public education

By Jerry White, 13 January 2016

It is no accident that social opposition is taking the form of a rebellion against the trade unions, which have long served as industrial police for the corporations and government.

Detroit public schools teachers continue sickouts

By Nancy Hanover, 13 January 2016

Despite the attempts by Michigan politicians and the Detroit Federation of Teachers to end teachers’ growing protests, the sickouts are continuing.

“For too long we looked to the union… now we have to do it ourselves”

Teacher sickouts shut two-thirds of Detroit schools

By Jerry White, 12 January 2016

The struggle has erupted outside of the control of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, which has a long and sordid history of collaborating with state and local officials.

“Our livelihood is at stake”

Teacher sickouts spread in Detroit

By Nancy Hanover and Debra Watson, 11 January 2016

Teachers expressing their opposition to continuous attacks on public education and increasing threats to privatize the Detroit school district.

Behind the Detroit Public School’s debt numbers

How banks, privatizers and politicians bankrupted the schools

By Nancy Hanover, 8 January 2016

The Detroit Public Schools have been the target of both sordid profit-taking and deliberate destabilization by privatization forces.

State officials, Wall Street target Detroit schools for bankruptcy restructuring

By Nancy Hanover, 8 January 2016

Pro-privatization politicians and financial interests are seeking to use the crisis at the Detroit Public Schools to ram through a reorganization of the district.

Michigan officials, rating agencies move against cash-strapped schools

By Debra Watson and Nancy Hanover, 5 January 2016

The State of Michigan has allotted itself new powers to withhold state funding and appoint emergency managers to deal with financially distressed schools.

Pennsylvania school bans teaching of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn

By Hiram Lee, 17 December 2015

A school in Pennsylvania will no longer teach Mark Twain’s classic novel, following complaints that its use of racial slurs made students uncomfortable.

The fate of Zuckerberg’s “gift” to Newark schools

By Fred Mazelis, 14 December 2015

A new book provides a case study on the nature of the “school reform” movement and the attacks on public education.

The forced resignation of Erika Christakis at Yale University

By David Walsh, 9 December 2015

Yale University lecturer Erika Christakis, at the center of controversy since the end of October, has decided not to continue teaching courses at the university.

Woodrow Wilson and Black Lives Matter

The political consequences of the racial evaluation of history

By Eric London, 4 December 2015

The demonstrations on racism in the US are of a typically middle class character and represent a very familiar and toxic element of bourgeois politics: the fight amongst different factions within the wealthiest ten percent.

City University of New York faculty protest for higher wages and defense of education

By Isaac Finn, 18 November 2015

After five years without a contract, hundreds of CUNY faculty held a protest in Manhattan to demand an increase in salary and an end to the attack on public higher education.

Study shows US charter schools pocketing billions with no accountability

By Walter Gilberti, 16 November 2015

“Charter School Black Hole” exposes the Department of Education’s failure to oversee the profitable—and sometimes criminal—financial dealings of the charter school industry.

Chicago Teachers Union holds mock strike vote as it prepares to back massive cuts

By Kristina Betinis, 14 November 2015

The teachers union has held so-called practice strike votes while working closely with the school board and the city to impose historic attacks on working conditions and benefits.

Obama issues hypocritical criticism of standardized testing in US schools

By Jerry White, 28 October 2015

Well aware of popular opposition to relentless testing, the president most identified with expanding this destructive policy has suddenly declared it might not be good for learning.

Ahead of plans for 5,000 layoffs

ISO-led Chicago Teachers Union aligns itself with mayor against teachers

By Kristina Betinis, 27 October 2015

CTU Vice President and ISO member Jesse Sharkey’s statements and actions in relation to the contract talks are indistinguishable from those of any garden variety union sellout artist.

Former Chicago Schools head pleads guilty to federal fraud charge

By Kristina Betinis, 22 October 2015

Barbara Byrd-Bennett’s guilty plea provides some insight into the scale of the fraud committed under the guise of education reform in America's third-largest public school system.

Dismissed teachers file class action lawsuit against Los Angeles Unified School District

By Dan Conway, 22 October 2015

The lawsuit seeks damages arising out of the district’s use of the so-called “teacher jail” system.

Suburban Chicago teachers conduct seven-day strike

By Christopher Davion, 21 October 2015

McHenry High School District 156 teachers returned to work October 13 after being pressured to agree to a deal that includes two years without any base salary increase.

Consent decree calls for state oversight at New York’s Cooper Union

By Isaac Finn, 2 October 2015

The withdrawal of a lawsuit against the college leaves the issue of free tuition unresolved.

Teachers strike in Scranton, Pennsylvania

By a correspondent, 29 September 2015

Some 900 teachers and support staff are striking against cuts to health care and increased class sizes.

Seattle teachers union pushes through sellout contract

By David Brown, 22 September 2015

Under pressure from the union, teachers in Seattle have accepted a sellout contract as other school districts continue to strike.

Detroit teachers union removes local president despite majority vote by membership

By Sheila Brehm, 22 September 2015

The executive board of the Detroit Federation of Teachers pushed through the removal of Steve Conn on trumped-up charges.

Seattle teachers face sellout contract

By David Brown, 19 September 2015

Union officials are pushing a sellout contract on teachers after calling off the strike last Tuesday.

Northern Virginia school officials hold meetings on cuts to public education

By Joe Williams and Nick Barrickman, 18 September 2015

The head of the budget task force promoted the meetings on the cutting of vital school programs as a demonstration of “transparency” by the school system.

Seattle teachers continue strike

By David Brown, 15 September 2015

Some 5,000 teachers in Seattle remain on strike in a battle that is being isolated by the National Education Association.

Strike by Seattle teachers continues through third day

By David Brown, 12 September 2015

With no negotiations set, 5,000 teachers and staff in Seattle, Washington remained on strike Friday.

Five thousand teachers in Seattle, Washington go on strike

By David Brown, 10 September 2015

The strike is an expression of the widespread desire among teachers to defend public education, while the unions are working to channel discontent back into the Democratic Party.

Mobilize workers and youth to stop the attack on Northern Virginia schools!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, 9 September 2015

The proposal to cut up to $100 million from the Fairfax County public school system will, if implemented, devastate vital school programs.

Chester, Pennsylvania teachers unanimously vote to work for free

By Nancy Hanover and Lawrence Porter, 8 September 2015

Teachers and staff in the port city of Chester, Pennsylvania voted to return to the classroom despite the inability of the school district to pay them.

Detroit Federation of Teachers president ousted by union executive board

By Walter Gilberti and Nancy Hanover, 1 September 2015

The DFT removed Steve Conn, a leader of the pseudo-left By Any Means Necessary group, from the presidency, as Michigan officials move to reorganize the Detroit Public Schools.

Broad Foundation spearheads expansion of Los Angeles charter schools

By Marc Wells, 31 August 2015

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the brainchild of investment billionaire Eli Broad, is known for its involvement in the privatization of public education.

Seven million Americans in default on student loans

By George Gallanis, 26 August 2015

The current student loan debt, which includes government and private loans, is a staggering $1.19 trillion, more than either the auto loan or credit card debt in the US.

“Lay us off now,” Chicago Teachers Union official says

By Kristina Betinis, 21 August 2015

Jesse Sharkey, a leading member of the International Socialist Organization and the second in command at the CTU, is advising district officials on how best to enact mass layoffs.

Chicago Public Schools announces hundreds of teacher layoffs, spending and pension cuts

By Kristina Betinis, 14 August 2015

The nation’s third largest school district has released an annual budget slashing jobs and spending, and demanding concessions from teachers.

Northern Virginia schools face major budget cuts

By Nick Barrickman, 11 August 2015

The proposal would lead to the reduction or outright elimination of sports programs and activities such as band and drama.

More attacks on public education in Louisiana

By Aaron Asa, 14 July 2015

A recently passed law in Louisiana will facilitate the use of textbooks with religious-based attacks on evolution and climate change.

Michigan governor outlines plan to dissolve Detroit public school system

By Khara Sikhan, 7 July 2015

The plan to break up the schools into an “old” and a “new” district is a prelude to the expansion of for-profit charter operations and the gutting of teacher pensions.

A further comment on Paulson’s gift to Harvard: Public education and American democracy

By Barry Grey, 15 June 2015

The privatization of education is profoundly antidemocratic and alien to the basic principles and conceptions that animated the American Revolution and founding of the republic.

Hedge fund billionaire Paulson’s $400 million gift to Harvard

By Barry Grey, 10 June 2015

The fact that billionaire bankers and hedge fund operators bankroll universities is not a small factor in the stultifying conformism and cowardice that dominate academia.

Chicago Democrats prepare new attacks on public education

By Kristina Betinis, 2 June 2015

As the Chicago Teachers Union continues negotiations for a new contract, the head of Chicago Public Schools has stepped down amid a corruption scandal.

Seattle teachers hold one-day strike

By Angelo Bosworth and Hector Cordon, 19 May 2015

Seattle teachers are walking out Tuesday to demand improved living standards and to oppose test-based performance evaluations.

Chicago mayor demands wage, benefit cuts from teachers

By Kristina Betinis, 7 May 2015

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is using a largely manufactured budget crisis to demand a seven percent pay cut, higher health care payments and pension reductions from Chicago teachers.

Re-sentencing leaves Atlanta educators still facing years in prison

By Kranti Kumara and Jerry White, 5 May 2015

From the beginning, the Atlanta case has been a political vendetta aimed at further discrediting public school teachers and accelerating the process of privatizing public education.

Los Angeles teachers face political fight to defend public education

By Dan Conway, 4 May 2015

The agreement signed by the LA teachers' union will escalate the assault on teachers and public education, while rewarding the union apparatus for backing school “reform.”

“Part 2” of the Detroit bankruptcy

Michigan governor releases plan for assault on public education

By Nancy Hanover, 2 May 2015

The governor’s plan to reorganize Detroit Public Schools is the most ambitious structural overhaul of public education since the all-charter school district was established in New Orleans.

New Florida public school superintendent to receive record salary

By Matthew Taylor and Matthew MacEgan, 29 April 2015

Palm Beach County, Florida is falling in line behind other school districts in the state by giving its new school superintendent a CEO-style compensation package.

Washington state teachers hold one-day strikes over wages, class sizes

By Jerry White, 23 April 2015

While the teachers’ union is limiting the walkouts to one day, the action reflects the determination of educators around the country to fight the bipartisan assault on public education.

Union agrees to sell-out deal covering Los Angeles teachers

By Dan Conway, 23 April 2015

The agreement covering more than 35,000 Los Angeles teachers abandons any demand for smaller class sizes and does nothing to halt the erosion of living standards.

Drastic cuts to suburban Detroit school district

By Nancy Hanover and Jerry White, 18 April 2015

The suburban Detroit city of Hazel Park is laying off nearly a quarter of its school district staff and slashing the pay of the remaining teachers and support personnel.

Judge hands down brutal sentences in Atlanta test “cheating” case

By Jerry White and Kranti Kumara, 15 April 2015

Ten former educators were sentenced to prison Tuesday in a case that has been used to further vilify teachers and promote the privatization of public education.

Pennsylvania: Wealthy pay less in taxes, but receive more money for education

By Douglas Lyons, 8 April 2015

The wealthy in Pennsylvania pay less in taxes while receiving more in per-pupil education spending than working class school districts.

State legislature recommends 82 percent cut to Louisiana State University budget

Board of Regents considers privatization

By E.P. Bannon, 3 April 2015

The proposed cuts, if passed, will be the largest budget reduction to any state university system in history.

The Atlanta “cheating” case and the crisis of public education in the US

By Jerry White, 3 April 2015

The conviction of Atlanta educators on “racketeering” charges takes place in a country where bankers and other corporate criminals ravage the lives of tens of millions with impunity.

Atlanta teachers, principals convicted in cheating scandal

By Andre Damon, 2 April 2015

The conviction of Atlanta teachers on racketeering charges is a vindictive attempt to scapegoat education workers for the crisis created by decades of attacks on public education.

Boston School Committee approves austerity budget, school closures

By John Marion, 27 March 2015

Virtually no aspect of children’s education will be left untouched by the budget unanimously approved Wednesday.

The fraud of Obama’s “Student Aid Bill of Rights”

By Nancy Hanover, 23 March 2015

Obama’s proposal for student loan aid is both a publicity stunt to appease popular concern over ever-rising student loan debt and a plan to tighten enforcement on repayment.

France, Japan boost military ties directed against China

By Kumaran Ira, 16 March 2015

In a deal aimed primarily at China, France and Japan agreed to stepped-up cooperation between their armies and defense industries after talks in Tokyo.

Obama administration arranges deal

Collection agency buys Corinthian Colleges chain

By Nancy Hanover, 11 March 2015

The Obama administration has brokered the sale of career-college chain Corinthian (CCI) to ECMC, a ruthless student loan collection agency.

Five Boston public schools slated for closure

By John Marion, 9 March 2015

Facing a $42 to $51 million budget shortfall, Boston Public Schools is preparing to push through a new round of school closings following previous cuts in 2011 and 2014.

Pennsylvania school district to be run for profit

By Samuel Davidson, 25 February 2015

York City School District is set to become the largest school district in the US to be run by a single for-profit company.

Obama budget cuts target high school counselors

By Nancy Hanover, 21 February 2015

The Obama administration is promoting a low-paid untrained corps of “near-peers” while continuing to propose cuts in federal funding.

People from wealthy families eight times more likely to graduate college

By Evan Blake, 5 February 2015

In the United States, seventy-seven percent of people from wealthy families obtain bachelor’s degrees by the time they turn 24, compared with only 9 percent of those from low-income families.

Wisconsin governor proposes largest ever cuts to public university system

By Eric London and Matt Rigel, 3 February 2015

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a possible Republican candidate for president in 2016, plans to slash $300 million from the state’s public universities.

The political struggle facing Detroit teachers

By Jerry White, 27 January 2015

The following leaflet was distributed to teachers attending Sunday’s union meeting in Detroit.

New president of Detroit teachers union looks for collaboration with Democratic Party

By Jerry White, 27 January 2015

The new leader of the DFT, Steve Conn, is seeking to convince teachers to appeal to a coalition of corporate executives and big business politicians to defend public education.

What is the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren?

Unions, Democrats and Republicans form school privatization group

By Debra Watson and Nancy Hanover, 21 January 2015

As Detroit emerges from bankruptcy, Democratic and Republican politicians are now turning their attention to further privatizing public education in the impoverished city.

US education secretary promises no let-up in standardized testing

By Michelle Ryan, 20 January 2015

In an address to educators at a Washington, D.C. elementary school, US education secretary Arne Duncan defended the Obama administration’s policy of scapegoating teachers.

More than half of US public school students living in poverty

By Andre Damon, 19 January 2015

For the first time in at least fifty years, most public school students in the US are considered low-income.

Michigan governor names 4th emergency manager for Detroit Public Schools

By Nancy Hanover, 19 January 2015

New Emergency Manager Darnell Earley has pledged further cuts to impoverished Detroit schools.

Obama announces pro-business community college plan

By Evan Blake, 15 January 2015

Obama made clear that his proposal aims to provide American corporations with skilled, low-cost labor.

New York Governor Cuomo’s second term to continue assault on public education

By Josh Varlin, 5 January 2015

Students are returning to school after the winter break amid budget cuts that have increased class sizes, cut programs, and eliminated teachers’ positions.

US Department of Education reveals new criteria for financial aid to colleges

By Evan Blake, 29 December 2014

The new college ratings system represents the extension of Obama’s Race to the Top into the sphere of higher education.

Charter school fraud exposed in Rochester, New York

By Jason Melanovski, 16 December 2014

The 22-year-old founder of Greater Works Charter school falsified his educational background.

New Orleans local school board makes its pitch to charter operators

By Tom Hall, 8 December 2014

The Orleans Parish School Board is attempting to coax charter operators at its former facilities, which were taken over after Hurricane Katrina, to return to their former district.

Protests, building occupations follow California tuition hike

By Evan Blake, 29 November 2014

The regents’ vote to approve 5 percent annual tuition increases for the next five years has prompted demonstrations on UC campuses statewide.

University of California’s regents approve tuition hikes

By Gabriel Black and Marc Wells, 21 November 2014

The UC board of Regents has approved steep tuition increases for the next five years.

Los Angeles schools superintendent backs “parent trigger” privatization scheme

By Adam Mclean and Marc Wells, 21 November 2014

Under the guise of empowering parents, the “parent trigger” law is part of a drive, funded by multibillionaires and backed by the unions, to privatize public education.

New York State grants third round of charter school proposals for Buffalo

By Michelle Ryan, 11 November 2014

The Buffalo Board of Education is escalating efforts to privatize the Buffalo Public Schools, while laying blame for the crisis in public education on teachers.

Harvard’s new sexual harassment policy, democratic rights and the new right

By David Walsh, 11 November 2014

On October 15, 28 professors at Harvard Law School published a statement sharply criticizing the university’s sexual harassment policy announced in early July.

University of California president proposes new fee hikes

By Gabriel Black, 8 November 2014

A yearly tuition increase of up to 5 percent is being implemented in the UC system while the cost of living for students skyrockets.

State education cuts reduce share of low-income students going to college

By Kevin Martinez, 5 November 2014

State funding for higher education has fallen 17 percent between 2008 and 2012, after adjusting for inflation.

Louisiana Supreme Court declares anti-teacher tenure act constitutional

By Dan Conway, 29 October 2014

The Supreme Court of Louisiana has ruled that anti-teacher legislation backed by Governor Bobby Jindal is constitutional, paving the way for mass firings and public school closings.

Judge orders Philadelphia officials to negotiate school cuts with teachers union

By Nick Barrickman, 27 October 2014

A judge barred the School Reform Commission from unilaterally revoking a contract covering 15,000 Philadelphia teachers.

College police across the US armed with military-grade weaponry

By Nancy Hanover, 24 October 2014

The Defense Department has provided at least 117 college police departments with military hardware.

Waukegan, Illinois teachers’ strike enters third week

By Jeff Lusanne and Kristina Betinis, 22 October 2014

Although the suburban Chicago district has a $37 million budget surplus, school officials are demanding teachers pay higher medical costs and accept a de facto wage cut.

Philadelphia unions use teachers’ rally to promote Democrats

By Nick Barrickman and Jerry White, 20 October 2014

Some 3,000 teachers, parents, students and other city workers participated in a rally to oppose the revoking of the labor agreement covering 15,000 teachers.

Students forced to endure sweltering temperatures in Southern California classrooms

By Kimie Saito and Adam Mclean, 20 October 2014

Children were sent to school nurses with nausea, headaches and bloody noses during a recent heat wave.