Education in the US

Detroit teacher: “Children are made into dollar signs”

By our reporters, 14 March 2016

Detroit teachers spoke to the World Socialist Web Site at the DFT emergency meeting on Thursday, March 10.

California Faculty Association prepares to sell out CSU workers

By Evan Blake and Guillaume Garnier, 14 March 2016

With a limited strike looming, the CFA is rushing to push through another deal that will erode the living standards of 26,000 professors and other staff.

The conspiracy against the Chicago teachers

By Kristina Betinis, 12 March 2016

The struggle to defend public education brings teachers into conflict with both big business parties, the corporations they represent and the unions that push through their policies.

Newark, New Jersey schools shut off lead-poisoned drinking water

By Daniel de Vries, 11 March 2016

The alarming number of elevated levels, encompassing 45 percent of the district’s schools, raises questions about whether officials ignored or covered up previous results.

Boston Public Schools students walk out over proposed budget cuts

By our reporter, 9 March 2016

More than a thousand students walked out of classes Monday to protest planned cuts to teaching positions, extracurricular activities, music and arts classes and language programs.

Detroit Public Schools emergency managers cash in

By Marissa Ross and Nancy Hanover, 8 March 2016

Former DPS emergency manager Darnell Earley receives generous golden parachute while the new “transition manager” is set to receive a hefty salary.

“Education should be a right”

Chicago students and faculty oppose potential school closure, layoffs

By George Marlowe, 4 March 2016

Students and faculty at the predominantly working-class Chicago State University spoke out against the possibility of budget cuts which would devastate higher education.

”Why did they bring in the judge now? Because he is bought”

Judge Rhodes appointed “transitional manager” over Detroit public schools

By Nancy Hanover, 2 March 2016

Detroit teachers have denounced the appointment of Rhodes, who ripped up the Michigan constitution to deprive workers of their pensions, as the school district's emergency manager.

Los Angeles area teachers stage “sickouts” over pay

By Dan Conway, 29 February 2016

The job action in the Compton School District highlights the growing opposition to the attacks on teachers and public education as a whole.

Chicago State University threatens to lay off entire staff amidst state budget impasse

By Alexander Fangmann, 29 February 2016

The South Side institution is on its way to becoming the first victim of the bipartisan effort to drastically downsize public higher education in Illinois.

Former US bankruptcy judge to be new emergency manager of Detroit schools

By our reporters, 26 February 2016

The Detroit Federation of Teachers brought the judge who oversaw the city's bankruptcy to a meeting of school employees to sugarcoat the bipartisan attack on public education.

Civil rights groups request federal investigation of San Diego police brutality

By Kevin Martinez, 24 February 2016

The request by the ACLU and other groups cites numerous deaths at the hands of the San Diego Police Department involving brutal shootings of those suffering from mental illness.

Who is Judge Steven Rhodes?

The political struggle facing Detroit teachers

By Jerry White, 24 February 2016

Detroit teachers were brought to a meeting Wednesday to listen to retired judge Steven Rhodes, who, during the Detroit bankruptcy, did the dirty work for Wall Street while posturing as a neutral and even-handed arbiter.

Louisiana legislators plan deep cuts to education, health care

By Tom Hall, 23 February 2016

A special session of the Louisiana state legislature convened on Sunday to close a $2.9 billion deficit.

Armed US marshals arrest man over 30-year-old student loan debt

By David Brown, 18 February 2016

US marshals are planning to serve up to 1,500 warrants on people who have defaulted on their student loans.

Rife with scandal, Detroit’s state-run school district to fold as privatization schemes continue

By Debra Watson and Nancy Hanover, 17 February 2016

The Education Achievement Authority’s record of outright bribery and FBI indictments made it a notorious symbol of the avarice behind the drive for school privatization.

Detroit bankruptcy judge appointed to restructure public schools

By Nancy Hanover, 15 February 2016

Michigan’s governor, facing the twin crises of Flint and Detroit public schools, has called in Judge Steven Rhodes to reorganize the Detroit schools.

Parents express support for protesting Detroit teachers and students

By Lawrence Porter, 13 February 2016

During a meeting of the district-sponsored Detroit Parent Network, audience members denounced the appalling conditions in the schools.

“It’s not just a fight for teachers or students, it’s a fight for education”

Detroit Public Schools students launch protests to demand quality education

By Nancy Hanover, 11 February 2016

DPS students use Michigan “Count Day” to emphasize their fight to defend their teachers and the right of all young people to a decent education.

Detroit and Chicago teachers fight to defend public education

By Jerry White, 8 February 2016

The struggle to defend the right to education poses political questions that are critical for the entire working class.

Politicians, unions use the “carrot and stick” to try to derail Detroit Public Schools struggle

By Nancy Hanover, 6 February 2016

As Emergency Manager Darnell Earley resigns, union officials and Michigan politicians are working overtime to try to derail the struggle of Detroit teachers.

Illinois legislators continue assault on public higher education

By George Marlowe, 5 February 2016

Both Democrats and Republicans have starved colleges and universities of state funding in order to effect permanent reductions in the number of students attending institutions of higher education.

Chicago teachers march to oppose budget and job cuts

By Jerry White, 5 February 2016

Thousands of teachers marched in downtown Chicago Thursday to oppose threats by school authorities to cut 1,000 jobs and slash $100 million from the school budget.

Detroit Public Schools emergency manager resigns

By Jerry White, 3 February 2016

The removal of Darnell Earley paves the way for a bipartisan deal in the state legislature to restructure the schools and divert even more resources to private education companies.

What’s behind the Detroit Federation of Teachers’ lawsuit?

By Phyllis Steele, 3 February 2016

Union officials claim the lawsuit and appeals to Democratic politicians will address teachers’ concerns and render unnecessary any further independent action.

Chicago teachers face mass layoffs after bargaining committee rejects CTU-backed deal

By Kristina Betinis, 3 February 2016

The Chicago Public Schools announced $100 million in budget cuts just one day after the rejection of an agreement backed by the teachers’ union.

Detroit high school students stage walkouts to support teachers

By E.P. Bannon, 27 January 2016

As teachers were forced to appear in court, high school students staged walkouts in protest of repression against teachers and the deplorable conditions in city schools.

Detroit judge rules against restraining order over teacher “sickouts”

By Jerry White, 26 January 2016

In a highly political decision, a Detroit judge denied the request by the emergency manager over the Detroit schools for legal action to halt the wave of teacher “sickout” protests.

“This isn’t just our fight, it’s for public education across the country.”

Detroit teachers denounce legal witch-hunt

By Lawrence Porter, 26 January 2016

Detroit teachers in court Monday spoke with the World Socialist Web Site after a judge rejected a request for legal action against sickout protests.

”Democracy is being taken away in Michigan”

As Detroit teachers head to court, politicians plot further attacks

By Nancy Hanover, 25 January 2016

Teachers face a hearing Monday as the Detroit Public Schools seeks an injunction against sickouts and legislators ramp up efforts to ban opposition to the destruction of public education.

Chicago teachers union leader pledges to enforce austerity

By Kristina Betinis, 25 January 2016

Negotiations between the Chicago Teachers Union and the administration of Rahm Emanuel continue amid growing resistance to cuts, including from Detroit teachers.

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.