Tag Archives: strikes

Deadline extended for Critical Education Special Series on Transforming Unions, Schools & Society

DEADLINE EXTENDED:

Critical Education

Call for Manuscripts: Contemporary Educator Movements: Transforming Unions, Schools, and Society in North America

Special Series Editors:
Lauren Ware Stark, University of Virginia
Rhiannon Maton, State University of New York College at Cortland
Erin Dyke, Oklahoma State University

Call for Manuscripts:

Throughout the past two years, educators have led the most significant U.S. labor uprisings in over a quarter century, organizing alongside parents and community members for such common good demands as affordable health care, equitable school funding, and green space on school campuses (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019a; Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019b). These uprisings can be seen as evidence of the growth of a new form of unionism, alternately called social justice or social movement unionism (Fletcher & Gapasin, 2008; Peterson, 1999; Rottmann, 2013; Weiner, 2012). They can also be understood as evidence of contemporary educator movements: collective struggles that have developed throughout the past decade with the goal of transforming educators’ unions, schools, and broader society (Stark, 2019; Stern, Brown, & Hussain, 2016).

These struggles share much in common with other contemporary “movements of movements” (Sen, 2017) in that they develop in networks, utilize new technologies alongside traditional organizing tools, integrate diverse groups and demands, and often organize through horizontal, democratic processes (Juris, 2008; Wolfson, Treré, Gerbaudo, & Funke, 2017). They have been led by rank-and-file educators, who in many cases have organized in solidarity with parents and community members. While some recent scholarship on contemporary educator movements has conceptualized these movements as a unified class struggle (Blanc, 2019), other scholarship has emphasized heterogeneity, intersectionality, knowledge production, learning, and tensions within these movements (Maton, 2018; Stark, 2019).

This Critical Education special series builds on the latter tradition to offer “movement-relevant” scholarship written from within contemporary educator movements (Bevington & Dixon, 2005). Our aim for the series is to offer resources for contemporary educator movement organizers and scholars to:

  • understand the links between contemporary educator labor organizing and earlier struggles,
  • study tensions within this organizing,
  • explore how educator unionists are learning from each other’s work,
  • highlight urban and statewide education labor struggles in the U.S., as well as major struggles in Canada and Mexico, and
  • connect local education labor struggles to broader power structures.

Types of Submissions:

Specifically, we seek to include interviews with organizers, movement art, and empirical studies that engage critical and engaged qualitative methodologies (for example, autoethnographic, ethnographic, oral history, and/or participatory methodologies). We especially encourage submissions with and/or from rank-and-file education organizers.

  • Empirical research (4,000-8,000 words)
  • Interviews or dialogues with organizers (2,000-4,000 words)
  • Creative writing, including poems or short prose essays (<2,000 words; maximum three poems or one essay)
  • Art, including images of banner art and photographs (minimum 300dpi for images in .jpeg file format)

Examples of Possible Topics:

  • The significance of caucuses and/or labor-community organizing within a specific local context,
  • Challenges and possibilities for radical democratic or horizontal decision-making in contemporary educator movements,
  • Possibilities and challenges in transforming teacher unions to more radical entities,
  • Political education with and for rank-and-file educators,
  • Rank-and-file educator organizing to engage issues of race, indigeneity, language, and culture in education,
  • Issues of gender and/or sexuality in contemporary educator movements,
  • In-depth studies of rank-and-file educator-led campaigns and organizing experiences,
  • Tensions and possibilities between contemporary educator movements and specific North American social movements (i.e., climate justice movements, movements for decolonization, queer and trans liberation movements, prison abolition movements),
  • Critical whiteness studies and education labor organizing/movements,
  • Among others.

Timeline:

  • April 1, 2020 – Manuscript submissions due. (Note: Manuscripts will undergo a double blind peer review process. Invitation to submit a manuscript does not ensure publication.)
  • August 1, 2020 – Authors receive reviewer feedback and notification of publication decision (accept, accept with revisions, or reject for this particular series.)
  • September 1, 2020 – Manuscript revisions due.

Submission Instructions:

All submissions must follow the guidelines described here. Submissions should be maximum 8,000 words and use APA format (6th edition). All work must be submitted via the Critical Education submission platform.

Use this link to submit papers: http://ices.library.ubc.ca/index.php/criticaled/about/submissions#onlineSubmissions)

References:

Bevington, D., & Dixon, C. (2005). Movement-relevant theory. Social Movement Studies, 4(3), 185-208.Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019a, February 15). Major Work Stoppages (Annual) News Release. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/wkstp_02082019.htm

Blanc, E. (2019b). Red State Revolt: The Teachers’ Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics. London & New York: Verso Books.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2019b, March 07). Eight major work stoppages in educational services in 2018. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/eight-major-work-stoppages-in-educational-services-in-2018.htm

Fletcher, B., & Gapasin, F. (2008). Solidarity divided: The crisis in organized labor and a new path toward social justice. Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Juris, J. (2008). Networking Futures: The Movements Against Corporate Globalisation. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Maton, R. (2018.) From Neoliberalism to Structural Racism: Problem Framing in a Teacher Activist Organization. Curriculum Inquiry, 48 (3): 1–23.

Peterson, B. (1999). Survival and justice: Rethinking teacher union strategy. In B. Peterson & M. Charney (Eds.) Transforming teacher unions: Fighting for better schools and social justice (pp. 11-19). Milwaukie, WI: Rethinking Schools.

Rottmann, C. (2013, Fall). Social justice teacher activism. Our Schools / Our Selves, 23 (1), 73-81.

Sen, J. (2017). The movements of movements: Part 1. Oakland, CA: PM Press; New Delhi: Open Word.

Stark, L. (2019). “We’re trying to create a different world”: Educator organizing in social justice caucuses (Doctoral dissertation).

Stern, M., Brown, A. E. & Hussain, K. (2016). Educate. Agitate. Organize: New and Not-So-New Teacher Movements. Workplace, 26, 1-4.

Weiner, L. (2012). The future of our schools: Teachers unions and social justice. Chicago, Illinois: Haymarket Books.

Wolfson, T., Treré, E., Gerbaudo, P., & Funke, P. N. (2017). From Global Justice to Occupy and Podemos: Mapping Three Stages of Contemporary Activism. TripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique, 15(2), 390 – 542.

Marx, Engels and the Critique of Academic Labor

MARX, ENGELS AND THE CRITIQUE OF ACADEMIC LABOR

Special Issue of Workplace
Edited by
Karen Lynn Gregory & Joss Winn

Articles in Workplace have repeatedly called for increased collective organisation in opposition to a disturbing trajectory in the contemporary university… we suggest that there is one response to the transformation of the university that has yet to be adequately explored: A thoroughgoing and reflexive critique of academic labor. 

Table of Contents

  • Marx, Engels and the Critique of Academic Labor
    Karen Lynn Gregory, Joss Winn
  • Towards an Orthodox Marxian Reading of Subsumption(s) of Academic Labour under Capital
    Krystian Szadkowski
  • Re-engineering Higher Education: The Subsumption of Academic Labour and the Exploitation of Anxiety
    Richard Hall, Kate Bowles
  • Taxi Professors: Academic Labour in Chile, a Critical-Practical Response to the Politics of Worker Identity
    Elisabeth Simbürger, Mike Neary
  • Marxism and Open Access in the Humanities: Turning Academic Labor against Itself
    David Golumbia
  • Labour in the Academic Borderlands: Unveiling the Tyranny of Neoliberal Policies
    Antonia Darder, Tom G. Griffiths
  • Jobless Higher Ed: Revisited, An Interview with Stanley Aronowitz
    Stanley Aronowitz, Karen Lynn Gregory

BC Teachers’ Strike: Analyzing the government’s bargaining strategy & its “affordability” trope

Published in Rabble.ca on Friday, September 12, 2014 as:

B.C. schools could be open Monday, if the government wanted

Public schools in British Columbia could be open Monday, if the government wanted.

On Wednesday, in nearly unanimous fashion, members of the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation voted to walk from the picket lines into their classrooms, if the B.C. Liberal government would agree to binding arbitration on all issues, except the most contentious, class size and composition, which is currently before the courts.

Prior to the teachers’ vote government rejected the idea, twice. Education Minister Peter Fassbender called the teachers’ effort to get the schools open by going to binding arbitration, “absolutely silly” and “a ploy.”  The former advertising salesman who has been the face of a formidable government PR campaign seemed uncharacteristically perturbed.

In recent weeks, the government’s strategy has become increasingly transparent. Forcing teachers to choose between financial hardship, perhaps ruin, or protecting court victories over a government that stripped class size and composition language from their contract 12 years ago.

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that the provincial government infringed on teachers’ Charter rights when it stripped class size and composition language from their contract in 2002. Justice Susan Griffin gave the government a year to solve the problem.

In 2012, the legislature enacted new legislation that had same effect as the old and, in January 2012, Justice Griffin’s ruled in favor of the teachers again.

Former crown prosecutor Sandy Garossino told Global TV,

“Over and over and over again, [Justice Griffin] goes through a litany of examples of where the government really never intended to negotiate in good faith with the union at all. It’s very hard to get past that ruling, and it really does in my view cast a completely different view on the nature of the negotiations that are going on now. The credibility of the government is certainly in question.”

Government is appealing Justice Griffin’s decision and it is scheduled to be heard next month by the B.C. Court of Appeals.

Meantime, government wants to negotiate its way out of court losses by insisting teachers accept a contract clause, known as E80, which the union and legal experts say abrogates teachers’ court victories requiring government to restore class size and composition language to teachers’ contracts. E80 is a poison pill the union refuses to swallow.

Throughout negotiations government has argued that B.C. teachers’ demands are unaffordable. It would be more accurate to say that the B.C. Liberals have prioritized cutting taxes for the rich and corporations over providing adequate funding for public services such as education and child welfare.

The key factors in affordability are size of the economy and tax rates.

B.C. Liberals waltzed into the legislature in 2001 and started an unprecedented program of inequitable tax cuts. As a result, B.C. now has a regressive tax system. A Broadbent Institute report released this week points out that in the B.C. the poor are now paying more in all taxes as a percentage of income than the rich.

B.C. Liberals’ tax cuts over the past 10 years have benefited the richest 1 per cent of British Columbians to the tune of $41,000 per year, while the bottom 40 per cent have benefited by an average of $200 per year.

Both the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Conference Board of Canada agree that despite the elimination of the provincial deficit and the recently announced $353 million surplus, overall spending as a share of the provincial GDP is shrinking and will reach a record low in 2017.

In August, the Conference Board report “British Columbia Fiscal Snapshot: Back on Solid Groupnd” said the B.C. government will have to spend $1.6 billion more than it has budgeted on education to maintain a constant level of spending over the next three years.

With the B.C. near the bottom in provincial per student education funding and B.C. teachers near the bottom in average salary, government has budgeted 0.6 per cent increases for K-12 education the next three years. That’s not a typo.

While the provincial budget conservatively projects revenue increases at 8 percent annually, it has budgeted less than a one per cent annual increase in the budget for B.C. schools.

The current B.C. budget projects the economy to grow by almost 20 per cent over the next five years, before inflation. And the government estimates teachers’ demands for wages, class size and composition funding would add up to nearly 15 per cent over same period.

What Minister Fassbender really means when he says the province cannot afford teachers’ demands is that government has not budgeted enough to education to meet teachers’ demands.

The funding model for public education in B.C. reflects the ideological principle that more of the public’s collective wealth should be devoted to maximizing private profits rather than serving public needs.

The teachers have proven they’re serious about getting back to work. The B.C. Liberals remained intractable in their devotion to an ideology that is fundamentally anti-social.

Post-Secondary Faculty Support BC Teachers

Please consider signing and circulating a petition for post-secondary support of BC teachers / BCTF
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/support-bc-teachers-bctf-2012/

Thank you,

Sandra Mathison, Stephen Petrina & E. Wayne Ross
University of British Columbia
Faculty of Education

Institute for Critical Education Studies
http://blogs.ubc.ca/ices/
http://blogs.ubc.ca/workplace/

Update to issue 17 of Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor

The current issue of Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor has been updated with two new field reports.

Issue No. 17 of Workplace “Working In, and Against, the Neo-Liberal State: Global Perspectives on K-12 Teacher Unions” is guest edited by Howard Stevenson of Lincoln University (UK).

The new field reports include:

The NEA Representative Assembly of 2010: A Longer View of Crisis and Consciousness
Rich Gibson

Abstract
Following the 2009 National Education Association (NEA) Representative Assembly (RA) in San Diego, new NEA president Dennis Van Roekel was hugging Arne Duncan, fawning over new President Obama, and hustling the slogan, “Hope Starts Here!” At the very close of the 2009 RA, delegates were treated to a video of themselves chanting, “Hope starts Here!” and “Hope Starts with Obama and Duncan!” The NEA poured untold millions of dollars, and hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours, into the Obama campaign. In 2009, Van Roekel promised to tighten NEA-Obama ties, despite the President’s educational policies and investment in war. What happened in the year’s interim? What was the social context of the 2010 RA?

Resisting the Common-nonsense of Neoliberalism: A Report from British Columbia
E. Wayne Ross

Abstract
Faced with a $16 million budget shortfall, the Vancouver school trustees, who have a mandate to meet the needs of their students, have lobbied for more provincial funding to avoid draconian service cuts. The government has refused the request, and its special advisor to the Vancouver School Board criticizes trustees for engaging in “advocacy” rather than making “cost containment” first priority. The clash between Vancouver trustees and the ministry of education is not “just politics.” Rather, education policy in BC reflects the key features of neoliberal globalization, not the least of which is the principle that more and more of our collective wealth is devoted to maximizing private profits rather than serving public needs. British Columbia is home to one of the most politically successful neoliberal governments in the world, but fortunately it is also a place to look for models of mass resistance to the neoliberal agenda. One of the most important examples of resistance to the common-nonsense of neoliberalism in the past decade is the British Columbia teachers’ 2005 strike, which united student, parent, and educator interests in resisting the neoliberal onslaught on education in the public interest.

France on strike

France on Strike

Weeks of strikes, protests and demonstrations have brought much of France to a standstill as workers, students and others voice their strong opposition to a government proposal to raise the age for a minimum pension from 60 to 62. A quarter of the nation’s gas stations were out of fuel, hundreds of flights were canceled, long lines formed at gas stations and train services in many regions were cut in half. Protesters blockaded Marseille’s airport, Lady Gaga canceled concerts in Paris and rioting youths attacked police in Lyon. The unpopular bill is edging closer to becoming law as the French Senate is preparing to vote on it today. Collected here are recent images of the unrest around France. Update: Pension reform bill just now passed by French senate. (40 photos total)


A man holds a placard which reads “Listen to the public’s rage” during a demonstration in front of the French Senate in Paris October 20, 2010. French trade unions kept up their resistance on Wednesday to an unpopular pension reform due for a final vote in the Senate this week. (REUTERS/Charles Platiau)

View more photos here.

Rouge Forum Update: Joy vs Organized Decay!

Check out the full Rouge Forum update here.

Reminder: Nominations for the Rouge Forum Steering Committee go to Community Coordinator

Little Red Schoolhouse:

Alfie on Assessments, Goals, and Big Tests: What is its basic conception of assessment? To get a sense of how well things are going and where help is needed, we ought to focus on the actual learning that students do over a period of time—ideally, deep learning that consists of more than practicing skills and memorizing facts. If you agree, then you’d be very skeptical about a program that relies on discrete, contrived, testlike assessments. You’d object to any procedure that seems mechanical, in which standardized protocols like rubrics supplant teachers’ professional judgments based on personal interaction with their students. And the only thing worse than “benchmark” tests (tests in between the tests) would be computerized monitoring tools, which the reading expert Richard Allington has succinctly characterized as “idiotic.”

The Bottomless Pit of Evidence vs High-Stakes Tests (does evidence matter?): Children perform best in exams when teachers are not overly concerned about their test results, according to research published today. Pupils show greater motivation, are better behaved and are more likely to be independent and strategic thinkers when teachers are not obsessed by grades, the study by the Institute of Education found.

Krashen on VAT: Value-added evaluations of teachers assume that higher test scores are always the result of teaching. Not so. Test scores are influenced by other factors. We can generate higher scores by teaching “test preparation” strategies for getting higher scores without students learning anything. We can generate higher scores by testing selectively, making sure that low scorers are not in school the day of the test. And of course we can generate higher scores by direct cheating, sharing information about specific test questions with students. Teachers who prepare students for higher scores on tests of specific procedures and facts are not teaching; they are simply drilling students with information that is often soon forgotten. Moreover, research shows that value-added evaluations are not stable year to year for individual teachers, and that different reading tests will give you different value-added scores for the same teacher. If The Times is serious about helping children, don’t bash teachers, address poverty. American children from high-income families do very well on international tests, but our children of poverty do much worse.

The One-Sided Truth About Value Added Teaching: From the LA Times owner’s perspective, they tell the truth on behalf of important sections of the ruling class, and occasionally those sections fight it out both on the editorial pages and in the rest of the paper too. Within that context of what is really their truth, the value added research “works,” in that it sees school workers (who have always been workers and have been professionals almost only when bosses want educators to make sacrifices) as people whose minds must be stripped; their minds and creativity replaced with the minds of managers as in the common (bourgeoisie) core standards, in other regulated curricula, in high-stakes exams (production quotas), and who must be won to this alienation as a necessity for, on one hand, the chance to keep a job, and on the other hand, for the good of the nation’s kids (future workers and warriors)…

The Lines of Influence in Education Reform (check the link to the draft/chart): Another example is the AFT, the American Federation of Teachers, where Bill Gates gave AFT $3.4M for “teacher quality initiatives” and $217, 200 for AFT conference expenses. See: Did Bill Gates Buy His Podium at the AFT Convention? Sometimes a breakdown of the numbers provides a more clear picture of the power and influence of money. Then there is money “with stipulations” that the Gates Foundation provided to NPR. The purpose of that money is “to support coverage of education issues on NPR programs, including the Morning Edition and All Things Considered”. The amount provided was $750,000. I don’t feel comfortable with that on many levels.

UC Boss Lives Like Czar (Flees Lease): Mr. Yudof, 65, moved with his wife into a 10,000-square-foot, four-story house with 16 rooms, 8 bathrooms and panoramic views. He said he needed the house, which rented for $13,365 a month by the end of the lease and was paid for by U.C., to fulfill his obligation to host functions for staff members, donors and visiting dignitaries.

Mr. Yudof held 23 such functions over a two-year period, according to the university. He also ordered a list of improvements and repairs — including air conditioning and 12 phones — that drove up costs and, according to staff members, tied up university officials in meetings and lengthy negotiations on issues ranging from water bills to gopher eradication.

After the Yudofs vacated the property at the end of June, Brennan Mulligan, the landlord, informed university officials that he intended to keep the U.C.’s $32,100 security deposit. Mr. Mulligan requested an additional $45,000 to cover the repairs for hundreds of holes left from hanging art, a scratched marble bathtub, a broken $2,000 Sivoia window shade and other claims.

WSU’s Tragic Detroit Trajectory–Falls to 4th Tier, then This: Wayne State University is failing its African-American students, graduating fewer than one in 10 while success for their white counterparts is four times higher, according to a report issued this month. The graduation gap between white and black students at WSU is the worst in the nation among public universities, according to a report by the Washington, D.C.-based Education Trust.

After Painting School Doors Blue (closing 40, laying off hundreds of teachers) Detroit PS sends 62 page Homework Packages to Students 2 Weeks Before School Opens but 2000 teachers and Dozens of Principals Have No Assignments: Detroit elementary and middle-school students don’t resume classes for two weeks, but they already have homework. Detroit Public Schools announced Monday it will mail 62-page packets of homework this week to 28,650 students in grades three through eight. The packets, which must be finished and turned in the first day of classes, focus on areas in which DPS students have tested poorly.
The initiative is the first time DPS students have been given homework before the start of school, said DPS spokeswoman Kisha Verdusco.

Detroit Foundations Release List of Worst Schools in Detroit (August 25): The first-ever ranking of the city’s public, charter and private schools is being released today in an effort to help parents choose good schools and pressure failing schools to shut down…
listing of schools in the city is produced by Excellent Schools Detroit, a broad coalition that includes Detroit Public Schools, charter school leaders and several foundations. The list is divided in three categories — elementary, middle and high schools — and the schools are ranked based on test scores and other data averaged over a three-year period.

What if There Was a Parade for Schools and Only Fools and Crooks Came? (Cosby pops up waiving his bogus doctorate): Waving from the final float were Mayor Dave Bing, activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, comedian and activist Bill Cosby, and Robert Bobb, the district’s emergency financial manager under whose watch the parade was launched last year…The crowd was fairly thin.

California–No School Funds for September: California will delay paying $2.9 billion of subsidies to schools and counties in September, a month earlier than projected, to save cash amid an impasse that has left the state without a budget for 54 days.

RaTT Saps: The department chose nine states – Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island – and the District of Columbia for the grants (which means that teachers in the “winner states” will suffer, but so will education workers in the “sucker states” which entered the shell game, and lost–States that did not apply are: Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. Delaware and Tennessee, as Round 1 winners, were not eligible to apply). USE RATT MAP

Obamagogue’s Errand Boy, Duncan, Wants More Data For Merit Pay and Firings: U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will call for all states and school districts to make public whether their instructors are doing enough to raise students’ test scores and to share other school-level information with parents, according to a text of a speech he is scheduled to make Wednesday.

SoCal Bans Literature With Help of Teachers and Profs: “The Old Man and the Sea,” “The House on Mango Street,” and “The Great Gatsby” are so last century when it comes to high school English classes in Chula Vista and National City. Once literature-based, English classes throughout the Sweetwater Union High School District — and elsewhere in California — have been revamped in an attempt to better prepare students for college and the real world.

That means reading lists once dominated by the classics now consist of newspaper editorials, historic documents, advertisements and some nonfiction. Assignments no longer dwell on the symbolism in a poem or focus on an entire novel. Instead, they emphasize expository, analytical and argumentative writing.

Developed by professors from the California State University system with help from high school teachers, the new “rhetorical approach” to English was designed to curb the growing number of high school graduates who need remedial instruction in college…the district saw a jump in scores on statewide English tests.
Vita For Professor McClish

Secrets of the Wag-the-Dog CSU Foundations Begin to Leak: California State University officials are concerned that they have erroneously mixed public and private funds in accounting for the foundations that support the system’s 23 campuses, according to a report the California Faculty Association is releasing today.

Rouge Forum Update: Toward a Nationwide School Strike October 7th

Toward a Nationwide School Strike October 7th

Rouge Forum Flyer [For Nationwide School Strike (2 pages easy PDF download for meetings, caucuses, etc.]

Aging Pole Dancer Hides Fee At CSU School: “In preparation for Ms. Palin’s arrival, workers had transformed the cafeteria’s dining hall. It was draped with crimson tablecloths, festooned with orchids and surrounded by chain-link fences.”

Strange Bedfellows (save the hankies): Bamn represents DPS: “The board is asking for a temporary restraining order to prevent the layoffs and outsourcing while the case is in court. The board’s attorney, George Washington, said the motion for an injunction will be filed this afternoon.”

Schoolbrary: Library and School Fittingly Covered with a Prophylactic: “The San Diego City Council voted Monday to start building a downtown library with a school on two upper floors. The plan passed despite a downturn that has cut back on library hours across the city and the fact that fundraisers still have to scrounge up more than $30 million in donations.” See the unforgettable image here.

Ohanian on College of Ed Review of Her Site: “This just confirms my view that in schools of education, critical thinking skills are nothing more than reheated mashed potatoes. And as far as “difficult to integrate” the material on my site into “most curriculum and pedagogy for teacher education,” are these people out of their minds? My site only concerns the daily life’s blood of practicing teachers. If this weren’t true, why would the Bank Street College of Education be invited me to launch their new season?”

Detroit School Budget Deficit Booms:The budget deficit for Detroit Public Schools has ballooned from $219 million last year to $363 million, according to budget documents released Tuesday by the district.The 66-percent spike in the debt occurred during the first full year of leadership under Robert Bobb, the state-appointed emergency financial manager. Bobb was appointed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm to help eliminate the district’s deficit. His term expires in March. A year ago Bobb pledged to end overspending and expected a $17 million surplus that would help whittle the $219 million deficit accumulated from previous years.

Read the complete June 30, 2010 update here.

Rouge Forum Update: Support Oakland’s 4/29 Strike! March on Mayday!

Open Letter to March 4th Activists: “The central issue of our time is the rapid rise of color-coded social and economic inequality coupled to the promise of perpetual war, this challenged by the potential of mass, class-conscious, resistance. If the above paragraph is wrong, completely baseless, then save time, stop reading, as most of what follows flows from it.”

Substance News Censored by Chicago School Bosses: For several days in April 2010, Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman, or one of his top aides, ordered and monitored the suppression of traffic on the SubstanceNews Web site by putting a “block” between teachers and others in Chicago’s schools and access to the site.

California Community College System on the Brink: “As some students are blocked from state universities, the community college system has trouble absorbing both them and the laid-off workers who are going back to school for retraining. All are trying to fit into a community college system that lost $520 million in state financing over the last academic year, about 8 percent of its overall budget.”

Duncan To Detroit: You’re On Your Own: “But these issues have to be worked out at the local level. We want to be supportive of change, we want to challenge the status quo, but again this has to be worked out at the local Detroit community.”

Kenneth Burnley of DPS Fame Moves To Alaska (avoiding prosecution): “Kenneth Burnley, the former CEO of Detroit Public Schools, has landed a new leadership post — in Alaska. The Mat-Su Borough School Board unanimously selected Burnley on April 24 to become superintendent of the district with 16,600 students and 44 schools. Burnley led Detroit Public Schools, now down to 85,000 students and 172 schools, from 2000-05 during the state’s takeover of the district. He is working at the University of Michigan under a fellowship.”

No Rhee, No Funds for DC Schools–So Say the $ Tyrants: “Private foundations pledging $64.5 million for raises and bonuses in the District’s proposed contract with the Washington Teachers’ Union have attached a series of conditions to the grants, including the right to reconsider their support if there is a change in the leadership of the D.C. school system.
The leadership condition, set by the Walton Family Foundation, the Robertson Foundation, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and the Broad Foundation, makes it clear that they could withdraw their financial support if Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee leaves or is fired through the funding agreement’s expiration in 2012.”

Detroit Public School Gangsters Busted Again: “indicted for converting more than $3 million of district funds to themselves, friends and family, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Named in the indictment are Stephen Hill, 58, of Detroit, former executive director of the risk management office and Christina Polk-Osumah, 59, former risk management finance manager. Also named are Sherry Washington, 53, and Gwendolyn Washington, 66, both of Detroit, who are partners of Associates for Learning, a vendor hired to administer a health awareness program for DPS. The eight-count indictment unsealed today alleges bribery, fraud, extortion and money laundering committed between 2005 and 2006. Such crimes are punishable for up to 10 to 20 years in prison.”

Univ. of Wisc. Cancels 4/26 Antiwar Forum Over ‘Security Concerns’

Read the full Rouge Forum Update here.