The Defense of Public Education

The dismantling of public education and Obama’s education legacy

Part 2

By Nancy Hanover, 6 June 2016

The past eight years have seen an unprecedented assault on the right to public education spearheaded by the Obama administration and the financial industry.

The dismantling of public education and Obama's education legacy

Part 1

By Nancy Hanover, 3 June 2016

The past eight years have seen an unprecedented assault on the right to public education that has been spearheaded by the Obama administration and the financial industry.

Louisiana law institutionalizes charter schools

By Matthew Taylor, 27 May 2016

New Orleans remains the center of the drive for the privatization of education, with a new state law making charter schools permanent under the guise of “local control.”

Leaked video shows police assault on student

Detroit's Cass Technical High School students oppose police brutality, support teachers struggle

By Zac Corrigan, 23 May 2016

A video of an assault by a Detroit Public Schools police officer was widely discussed among students who opposed the attack and connected it to the broader issues of police repression.

Teachers in widespread walkouts in Mexico

By Don Knowland, 19 May 2016

The strike is in opposition to a 2013 law that gave new powers to the government to monitor, test and fire teachers en masse.

Boston Public Schools students walk out over budget cuts

By Kate Randall, 18 May 2016

More than one thousand students walked out of classes Tuesday for the second protest this year against budget cuts that threaten student services and teachers’ jobs.

Wall Street presses for Detroit school restructuring deal

By Nancy Hanover, 13 May 2016

Detroit Public Schools emergency manager Judge Steven Rhodes is ramping up pressure for a legislative deal in the state capitol.

After sickouts, what is the way forward for Detroit teachers?

By Jerry White—SEP candidate for US president, 13 May 2016

The struggle of Detroit teachers poses the need to unite all sections of the working class in a movement against big business and its political servants in both parties.

Detroit Federation of Teachers backs right-wing attack on public education

By Nancy Hanover, 9 May 2016

The purported “rescue” of the indebted Detroit Public Schools is the pretext for a far-ranging attack on public education, establishing a new model of state-backed privatization.

Working to impose concessions, Chicago Teachers Union calls off strike date

By Kristina Betinis, 9 May 2016

Amidst growing anger from teachers, the CTU is working to block a struggle against the Emanuel administration.

Three hundred workers laid off at Chicago State University

By George Gallanis, 7 May 2016

The layoffs are part of a bipartisan effort by Illinois Democrats and Republicans to permanently slash funding for the state’s public higher education system.

Michigan state House passes draconian attack on public education

By Shannon Jones and Nancy Hanover, 6 May 2016

In the wake of their return to work following a two-day sickout, Detroit teachers are facing attacks from emergency manager Steven Rhodes and the state legislature.

Detroit Public School teachers end sickouts, face new legislative attacks

By Nancy Hanover, 5 May 2016

The Detroit teachers union shut down a two-day sickout as Michigan legislators debated new attacks under the guise of “rescuing” the public schools.

Video: Detroit teachers speak on the struggle to defend education

By our reporters, 4 May 2016

Detroit public school teachers spoke to the WSWS at a demonstration on Tuesday, the second day of their walkout.

In midst of water shutoffs, Flint water crisis

Detroit teachers shut schools for second day to protest non-payment of wages

By Thomas Gaist, 4 May 2016

The new attack on Detroit teachers is part of a wider assault on the working class being carried out by both big business parties and the Obama administration.

Support the struggle of Detroit teachers! Unite the working class in a fight back!

By Niles Niemuth, 4 May 2016

The attack on Detroit teachers is just one part of an assault on every section of the working class throughout the region and beyond.
Click here to watch video

“Our money is literally being stolen”

Teacher sickout shuts Detroit Public Schools

By Shannon Jones, 3 May 2016

Nearly all of the Detroit schools were shut down Monday as teachers protested the announcement by DPS Emergency Manager Steven Rhodes that they will not be paid over the summer months.

Video: Detroit teachers denounce attacks on public education

By our reporters, 3 May 2016

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White spoke to Detroit teachers participating in a rally of Detroit teachers engaged in a sickout on Monday.

California State University faculty union agrees to sellout deal

By our reporters, 9 April 2016

A statewide strike planned for 23,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches throughout the 23 California State Universities has been called off by the union.

Chicago Teachers Union holds one-day “strike” to channel opposition behind Democrats

By Kristina Betinis and George Marlowe, 2 April 2016

In the face of enormous opposition among teachers to the attacks on public education, the CTU called a phony one-day “strike” to politically disarm teachers by promoting illusions in the Democratic Party.

Detroit Public Schools principals charged with taking kickbacks

By Marissa Ross, 2 April 2016

The scandal comes on the heels of months of teacher and student protests for better conditions.

CTU calls phony one-day “strike” to back Democrats

By Kristina Betinis, 1 April 2016

The most critical issue facing teachers is developing an independent struggle against the CTU-Democratic Party alliance

Chicago Teachers Union approves one-day stunt “strike” on April 1

By Kristina Betinis, 26 March 2016

As union leaders deepen their alliance with the Democratic Party and the right-wing administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, teachers are coming into increasing conflict with the union.

Legislative attack on Detroit Public Schools taking shape

By Nancy Hanover, 24 March 2016

With funding for Detroit schools in question, Judge Rhodes and Republican Governor Rick Snyder are backing legislation for an unprecedented reorganization of the impoverished city’s schools.

Opposition grows to Boston Public Schools budget cuts

By Kate Randall, 23 March 2016

Hundreds of Boston Public Schools parents, students and teachers packed BPS headquarters to protest planned cuts to the 2016-2017 school budget.

Faculty and students protest budget cuts proposed for City University of New York

By Isaac Finn, 19 March 2016

Hundreds demonstrated against plans to cut $485 million in CUNY funding at Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office in Manhattan.

As April 8 fiscal deadline approaches

Judge Rhodes threatens shutdown of Detroit Public Schools

By Nancy Hanover, 14 March 2016

As Wall Street demands action on the reorganization of Detroit Public Schools, Judge Steven Rhodes threatened that schools could “go dark.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.