Critical Education has just released a new issue, featuring the article “Water is a Right: A Critique of Curricular Materials and Learning Experiences in Schools Sponsored by the Transnational Water Utility Service Industry” by J. Hall.
Critical Education 3(3), 2012
Water is a Right: A Critique of Curricular Materials and Learning Experiences in Schools Sponsored by the Transnational Water Utility Service Industryd
There is no longer an infinite supply of fresh water on the planet. In large part, the global water crisis is a result of large-scale, destructive, industrial “innovations.” In just fifteen years, two-thirds of the people on the planet will feel the impact of the diminishment of safe drinking water. Given the global water crisis, the focus is this analysis is on the transnational water utility service industry as well as the larger shift from the notion of drinking water as a public right to a commodity to be privately owned and sold on the global marketplace. I discuss the very different ways these corporations are entering communities in the Southern compared to the Northern hemisphere, including attempts to re-brand their image after public failures. I then consider the particular strategies these conglomerates use to seep into cities and towns in the North. Emphasis is placed on how this sector of the water industry is becoming involved in schooling through sponsoring curricular materials and activities. I also provide initial analysis of the messages distributed in a sample of such materials and activities intended for K-12 students. While literature exists that explores curricular materials in schools provided by transnational corporations involved in direct control of natural resources, surprisingly, the privatization of the world’s fresh water supply receives little attention in both education-based scholarship and media.
Check out the petition at dumpduncan.org
From the website:
“The future of public schools is in jeopardy. Private interests, aided by the Federal Government, are attempting to supplant local control and to transfer public funding to the hands of corporate interests. Public schools, locally controlled, are a cornerstone of our democracy. Relegating them to corporate-owned test prep factories places our nation at risk and steals our children’s future.”
The petition currently has 4300+ signatures.
In an open letter to the Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel,
Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, and the Chicago School Board educational researchers in and around Chicago offer a suggestion for caution in implementing a plan to use student achievement test scores as a substantial part of the evaluation of teachers and principals. They urge the CPS to:
1. Pilot and adjust the evaluation system before implementing it on a large scale.
2. Minimize the percentage that student growth counts in teacher or principal evaluation.
VSB Trustees Chair Patti Bacchus sent this letter to Premier Christy Clark urging the repeal of Bill 22.
On Tuesday, Sandra Mathison, Professor of Education at UBC and ICES member, addressed 700 teachers at their union’s annual general meeting. The teachers met to plan a course of action to resist and attempt to repeal Bill 22, a bill that takes draconian measures to limit the BCTF’s ability to bargain fairly and freely for its members.
Mathison’s keynote focused on the current neo-liberal narrative of accountability in British Columbia, a narrative that has been building since the Liberal party was elected in 2001 and one that continues to gain momentum as evidenced by the passage of Bill 22. This is a powerful narrative that seeks to blames teachers and the BCTF for many of the problems in BC’s schools. Mathison argued that teachers, parents and students need to work together to change this narrative, to create a narrative of authentic accountability that recognizes teachers professionalism, engages local communities in educational decision making, and demands that government be accountable for funding education adequately and fairly so that teaching and learning can occur.
The full text of the talk can be found on the BCTF website.
The 10th Tri-national Conference in Defense of Public Education will be held in Mexico City, Mexico on May 17 – 19, 2012 at Centro de Educación Continua – Unidad Allende del IPN, en el Centro Histórico de la Ciudad de México.
The topic of our conference is: “Putting the public back in public education: Alternatives for the future”
Download the Final Declaration of the 2010 Conference of the Trinational Coalition for the Defense of Public Education, May 9, 2010 – Montreal Canada.
At lunch hour today, we collated and delivered, to BC Premier Clark and Minister Abbott, 400+ signatures from faculty members, librarians, administrators, students, and staff in post-secondary institutions across the province in support of BC Teachers and the BCTF. See Petition Site for more.
Thank you to all who helped circulate and signed this petition! Your activism and presence make a difference.
Post-secondary Support of Teachers / BCTF Petition
We want to forward this petition to the Ministry at the 500+ mark today or tomorrow morning. Please circulate and let’s boost this to 500+! We are currently at 399 signatures…
Over a three day stretch, secondary students organized, marched, walked, spoke, and shouted out against oppressive labour legislation in British Columbia and for their teachers and the BCTF. It’s rare that secondary students get opportunities to unify as a political force at the provincial level, but now in this labour dispute the students are making a difference. On Friday, 2 March, thousands of students walked out of their classes and schools and rallied across the province. In Vancouver, the students descended en masse for a rally at the gallery.
On Tuesday, 6 March, at the BC Fed and BCTF rally hundreds of the youth marched with the unions down Government Street and to the steps of the BC Legislature. For the crowd of 6,000, two young women, Hannah Case and Erin Galbraith, spoke a lotta truth to a power undermining their teachers’ rights. In Vancouver, on 7 March for the rally at the gallery, secondary students Navi Rai and Melissa Wong stood together on the steps and voiced their support for the teachers’ rights and their right to a fair government. Both were active in organizing Friday’s walkout. And raising the roof of nature, Chandler McCorkingdale rapped. Sorry, BC Liberals, the students and the public are standing with the teachers.
Now, where in the world are the missing BC post-secondary students, especially the Education majors? Especially now? I know that some are organizing online. And I know that the Canadian Federation of Students BC is 100% behind the BCTF and the teachers. But across three rallies not a single post-secondary student signed onto the speaker’s lists. Not a single one spoke while thousands of the secondary students have shown their strength as a political force. Perhaps UBC’s Teacher Education Officer John Yamamoto’s interview with the CBC’s Morning Edition on 7 March is telling. Yamamoto advised that the Education students should, nay must, remain neutral. Some advice for the teacher candidates– one gets the sense that he thinks he is advising 700 administration candidates! Where are the post-secondary students and will the CFS BC organize the group to be heard or present?